Rising Sun: John Mooney Road Resident and His Grandkids Grow What They Hope is a Record-breaking Plant

Mathew santosuosso and his cousin John Coull Young helped their grandfa¬ther, James Santosuosso, grow this 11 foot-plus sunflower at the family home on John Mooney Road.

They weren’t magic beans that Jim Santosuosso bought at the Home Depot earlier this summer, but one would think that the sunflower seeds he planted are growing as high as the storied Beanstock.

Santosuosso and his grandsons, Matthew Santosuosso and John Coull Young, have grown one monster of a sunflower this summer on John Mooney Road, and they might just end up setting a record with it.

Santosuosso said that he and his grandsons are planning on taking the gargantuan flower to the Topsfield Fair next week for entrance into the largest sunflower contest.

If it pans out as expected, they might not only win, but also they might set an all-time record at the fair.

“I don’t know what happened,” Santosuosso said last Friday. “I just got them at Home Depot. Really, no kidding. We didn’t do much to them. I guess there was one a pretty good seed in there. I gave some of the same seeds to a friend on Mountain Avenue and they’re not even four feet tall.”

The Santosuosso Sunflower – as its come to be known – now stands at 11’ 6” without being stretched out or anything.

According to Santosuosso, Topsfield Fair personnel said they’ve never had one taller that 11’ 2”.

Santosuosso has lived on John Mooney Road for 48 years, building his own home there and raising eight children with his late wife. He was a builder by trade and built scores of homes in the area.

This summer, he said he thought that growing some sunflowers with his grandkids might be a fun idea. So, he went and got the seeds at Home Depot and began giving them away in pots.

He and his two grandsons planted about five of them in the front yard, and apparently planted one super powered seed.

“We’ve never grown sunflowers here, but we’ve never seen anything like this either,” he said. “Everyone told us to measure it and see if it’s a record. We’ll see if we have a winner.”

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