Tulips last a short time every year and I’m always keen to see them in the muddy or dry conditions on the tulip farms north of us in Skagit County. Dear and I traveled north on Tuesday morning May 2nd. The tulip festival usually runs the month of April but because of the weather and a late bloom this year they extended the festival into the first week of May.
Who is behind the tulips? Roozengaarde was established in 1985 by the Roozen family and Washington Bulb Company, Inc. The Roozen family business of growing Tulips, Daffodils and Irises is the largest in the world, covering Skagit Valley with more than 1200 acres of field blooms and 15 acres of greenhouses. William Roozen emigrated from Holland in 1947 with years of experience in the bulb industry. He had a good back, strong hands, and a heart pulsing with dreams. Roozen started a bulb farm on five acres of land, holding meetings in a garage and toiling long hours beside a few hired hands. He saved money by buying used tractors and farm equipment.
The Roozen family’s hard work ethic spans at least six generations. The family first began raising tulips in Holland in the mid-1700’s. In the Skagit Valley, Roozen (which means “roses” in Dutch) worked for other farmers before setting off on his own in 1950. Five years later, he purchased the Washington Bulb Co., founded by two of the area’s first bulb farmers, Joe Berger and Cornelius Roozekrans. The Washington Bulb Co. now farms about 2,000 acres of land. In 1985, William Roozen handed the business down to his five sons and a daughter, Bernadette Roozen Miller, who passed away in 1996. William Roozen passed away on July 13, 2002 and, with 35 grandchildren, was confident the family company will keep growing.
Woke up this Monday morning to sunshine! What a nice sight. This week is the last quiet week at this old house before we start traveling east, south and further east.
I’m linking up to Mosaic Monday with Maggie at Normandy Life.