Texas Agriculture March 18, 2016 : Page 10

Family farm brings Dutch tulips to Texans By Jessica Domel News Editor More than 5,000 miles from home, a Dutch family is living out their dream on Texas’ first and only tulip farm. Although Texas Tulips officially opened last year, the story of the farm begins 40 years ago in Holland. “It started with a TV show, Dallas. We watched it every Friday evening,” Pieter Koeman, owner of Texas Tulips, said. “We were sitting with my mom, dad and sisters, and I thought to myself, ‘When I grow up, I want to live there.’” Pieter and his family grew millions of brightly-colored tulips for the flower auctions in the Netherlands. When his father, Piet, passed away, the family decided to change their course. By Jessica Domel News Editor “Four years ago was the first time we visited Texas. We wanted to bring the tulips over here. With our experience with tulips, we thought it could happen,” Pieter said. “We found Pilot Point after miles and miles of driving in a rental car. We found the perfect property with the perfect soil close to the DFW area.” And so Texas Tulips was born in an old peanut field in the heart of horse country between Aubrey and Pilot Point. The farm now features rows and rows of Dutch tulips flown as bulbs straight from the Netherlands. They’re planted in December. By late February or early March, the family opens the doors to Texas Tulips for the public to pick their own tulips. “We wanted to do something special that nobody else has done,” Pieter said. “We love Texas.” Texas Tulips is truly a family farm. Pieter, his wife Petra, their children, family and friends from the Netherlands can be found in the fields helping guests pick tulips and wrapping them up in tissue paper. Others wander through the field and pose for photos amongst the flowers. There’s even a small hay maze for little ones to play in. “The biggest compliment we got was from one lady who told us, ‘Normally, my son just wants to see the computer.’ The little one, who was maybe four years old, told us, ‘I had no idea this was real nature. It’s beautiful with all the colors,’” Celia Von Falkenhausen, a family friend who helps at the farm, said. “I think that’s what’s really great about this whole experience.” M ARCH 18, 2016 The tulip farm is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. They’ll remain open until the first week of April. 10

Family Farm Brings Dutch Tulips to Texans

Jessica Domel

More than 5,000 miles from home, a Dutch family is living out their dream on Texas’ first and only tulip farm.

Although Texas-Tulips officially opened last year, the story of the farm begins 40 years ago in Holland.

“It started with a TV show, Dallas. We watched it every Friday evening,” Pieter Koeman, owner of Texas-Tulips, said. “We were sitting with my mom, dad and sisters, and I thought to myself, ‘When I grow up, I want to live there.’”

Koeman and his family grew millions of brightly-colored tulips for the flower auctions in the Netherlands.

When his father, Piet, passed away, the family decided to change their course.

“Four years ago was the first time we visited Texas. We wanted to bring the tulips over here. With our experience with tulips, we thought it could happen,” Koeman said. “We found Pilot Point after miles and miles of driving in a rental car. We found the perfect property with the perfect soil close to the DFW area.”

And so Texas-Tulips was born in an old peanut field in the heart of horse country between Aubrey and Pilot Point.

The farm now features rows and rows of Dutch tulips flown as bulbs straight from the Netherlands.

They’re planted in December. By late February or early March, the family opens the doors to Texas-Tulips for the public to pick their own tulips.

“We wanted to do something special that nobody else has done,” Koeman said. “We love Texas.”

Texas-Tulips is truly a family farm. Koeman, his wife Petra, their children, family and friends from the Netherlands can be found in the fields helping guests pick tulips and wrapping them up in tissue paper. Others wander through the field and pose for photos amongst the flowers.

There’s even a small hay maze for little ones to play in.

“The biggest compliment we got was from one lady who told us, ‘Normally, my son just wants to see the computer.’ The little one, who was maybe four years old, told us, ‘I had no idea this was real nature. It’s beautiful with all the colors,’” Celia Von Falkenhausen, a family friend who helps at the farm, said. “I think that’s what’s really great about this whole experience.”

The tulip farm is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. They’ll remain open until the first week of April.

There are 40 varieties of tulips at the farm. They bloom in different stages to ensure visitors to Texas-Tulips always have something beautiful to look at and pick.

“Every week, something is changing here,” Von Falkenhausen said.

Admission to Texas-Tulips is $2.50 for adults. Admission for children is free. There is a $2.50 charge for each tulip picked.

Bulbs from the Netherlands can be purchased through the Koeman family on their website.

Directions to Texas’ only tulip field can be found online at Texas-Tulips.com.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Family+Farm+Brings+Dutch+Tulips+to+Texans/2425555/294126/article.html.

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