Tulips mark the official start to our flower season here on the farm. From the first leaves that push up out of the ground in March, to the long awaited buds and finally blooms, our eyes feast upon the color after a winter of brown and grey. They are truly soul food!
Tulips are grown as an annual crop in the cut flower world. Each fall they are planted, like eggs in an egg carton, usually in unheated high tunnels to get an extra jump on the spring season. Watered well, and covered with 6" of soil, they settle in for their long winter's nap and await the warm sun of late winter to start growing.
Tulip harvest time is a fast and furious one. They are pulled, bulb and all, when the buds are just showing a hint of color and stored in the cooler for up to several weeks. There are a few early birds that start the season off, and then after that they come on in a giant wave. We usually scout the patch 2-3 times a day to catch the buds at just the right time. If they are too colored or open, they will not store well.
It's hard not to take a million pictures of these very first beauties of spring. Such grace, beauty, and hope in these gorgeous blooms! Enjoy and happy spring!