Holland Ridge Farms is a family-owned tulip grower and flower farm in central New Jersey. It currently hosts two annual flower festivals – tulips in the Spring and sunflowers in the Fall. The events attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the East Coast and continue to grow every single year. Read on to learn more about how it all got started and discover the people behind the flowers.
Tulip growing is in the Jansen family DNA
The Jansen family roots run deep in Holland where they started growing tulips over 100 years ago. At the head of the family is Casey Sr, who immigrated to the United States in 1964 when he was just 17 years old and founded Holland Greenhouses Inc. Sr learned Dutch-tulip bulb techniques from his father and incorporated everything he was taught into growing tulips in New Jersey. Holland Greenhouses Inc still operates today as a wholesale growing company that ships millions of tulips to supermarkets up and down the East Coast.
It’s not what you can do for yourself, it’s what you can do for others.
Casey Jansen Sr – Owner of Holland Ridge Farms
The Tulip Festival is born
With over 50 years of tulip growing experience under his belt, Sr spearheaded the idea of creating a tulip festival for the public to enjoy. While scouting land for a brand-new greenhouse, Sr and his son Casey Jr discovered 153 acres of preserved farmland with nutrient-rich soil, perfect for growing flowers. For over 200 years the land was owned by the Rue family and functioned primarily as a dairy farm. If you look closely today, you can still see remnants of its dairy farming past. In 2017 the entire Jansen family spent months lovingly restoring the farm to its former glory and also began incorporating elements from their Dutch heritage. Coincidentally the land next to the farm became the location of the new greenhouse!
In the Fall of 2017 we planted more than 1 million tulip bulbs in preparation for a tulip festival – the first of its kind on the East Coast. In April 2018 we opened the gates to the public and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Tens of thousands of visitors flocked to the farm to experience the rows and rows of colorful tulips. We were all blown away by how much people enjoyed the experience and immediately began setting our sights on the future potential of Holland Ridge Farms.
Building on the success of the tulips, we added a sunflower festival in the Fall of 2018. By 2019 both events had grown in popularity and attracted well over one hundred thousand visitors from across the United States. After a turbulent start to 2020, we had to cancel our tulip festival and were forced to adapt in the hopes of keeping the business going. Read on below to see how we made it through!
Adapting to the Coronavirus
As we prepared to launch our biggest and best tulip festival yet, the whole world came to a standstill. Our tulip festival had to be cancelled and we scrambled at the last minute to switch to a drive through tulip trail. Unfortunately that was also shutdown. To recoup some of our losses we adapted once more to selling our fresh-cut tulips online for curbside pickup and doorstep delivery.
The response was overwhelmingly positive. Our community truly came together to support our family business in a time of need. We welcomed thousands of friendly faces to the farm as individuals, couples and families drove up to collect their colorful tulip bunches. Many of these bunches ended up in the homes and offices of frontline workers to bring some joy to their day. The same goes for our delivery service. We shipped beautiful bunches up and down the East coast with heartfelt messages of love and support.
We were able to sell out of all of our tulips, which really helped get back at least some of the investment we put out into the fields. We feel extremely blessed that we have so many loyal customers which we now think of as family friends. We will continue to sell our fresh-cut flowers each season and we cannot wait to welcome everyone back to the farm for our next event.