Sowing the seeds of love

By Kate Hassett

Sowing the seeds of love
Man plants fields of sunflowers to honour memory of his late wife and benefit cancer patients

For Don Jacquish, the memory of his late wife will forever be celebrated.

Don’s beloved wife Babette was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer, back in 2006. Sadly, late last year she lost her battle and passed away.

Babette was known as a sunflower enthusiast amongst the local community and her family, it was from this that the idea for ‘Babette’s Seeds of Hope was born.

“It fit her personality, she’d walk into a room and her smile would light up the whole room” said Don.

Don set about honouring her memory by planting kilometres of sunflowers in her name.

“She got to be known as the sunflower lady of the community,” Don told ABC News. “So after she passed away, I thought it would be a tribute to her to plant 4.5 miles of sunflowers on each side of Highway 85.”

The “sunflower strip” was made possible when Don was able to rent land from his neighbours spanning across five different farms. This meant, that for as far as the eye could see, Don’s farm was surrounded by the memory of Babette.

Don told ABC news that Babette was the original inspiration for the idea, as she was planning on selling sunflower seeds to benefit cancer research before she passed away. It was a month after her death, that Don decided to honour Babette’s final wish and start the company.

The bags, which will feature Babette’s portrait and story on each and every one, will see proceeds donated to hospitals, research facilities and patient advocacy.

“She was a pretty modest person, and I’m not sure she’d want her pictures on the bag, but she’s such a beautiful woman, she didn’t really know how beautiful she was, inside an out”.


She was the kind of woman however, who left her husband a note that he would find four months after her death, hidden away in a file.

It read: ” You move on and live each day, feel me in the morning air, and when you wake up and make your coffee. I will be there always.”

For now, she will be present in the natural surroundings too, as the sunflowers start to bloom and Babette’s legacy lives on, by helping the lives of others.

When asked what Don thought his wife would think of the idea, he responded, “I think she would be smiling.”






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