Spring Still Sprung at HRF: Tulip Season 2020 Recap
In the beginning of 2020, our team at Holland Ridge Farms was working hard and gearing up to make our third annual Tulip Festival the best one yet. Sadly, all our planning came to a screeching halt within the matter of weeks, as we waited to see how COVID-19 would unfold. As a small, family business that runs seasonally, we immediately became concerned how this could affect our original plans. Once it became clear to us that our Tulip Festival would no longer open like it was in years past, we buckled down and brainstormed safe and sufficient ways for our customers to still be able to view our tulip fields. Though we thought we had a great idea in place, it proved to be only the tip of the iceberg when it came to overcoming hardships this year. Below we’ve recapped the rollercoaster ride that is our 2020 tulip season- one we will be sure to never forget!
Tulip Trail Canceled at the Last Minute
As we all know, the shutdown of businesses and the quarantine rules were put into place rather quickly in New Jersey. Since the safety of our guests were always in the forefront of our plans, we scrambled to unveil our brand-new drive through tulip trail. We worked hard to reconfigure and change the way we operate in order to ensure we were abiding by all rules. Once the opening day of the trail finally came, we were set to welcome our first customers to the farm. Unfortunately, when we got there, we were told the devastating news that we weren’t permitted to have customers on our fields and our trail would have to be shut down.
We experienced a lot of emotions when this happened, but we were mostly heartbroken that our months of planning, planting and preparing could have all been for nothing. We once again did our best to adapt and decided to implement a couple new services that could still bring our tulips into your homes.
A Tulip Surprise Box Delivered to Your Door!
Once we knew there was a chance that our millions of tulips could just go to waste, we wanted to make sure that would never happen! That’s why we decided to start selling our fresh cut tulips online, so you could send or have our flowers delivered right to your door. We needed to go by what varieties were freshest that day, so our tulip surprise box featured 20 stems of fresh cut tulips in two mystery colors. Since we had never shipped tulips direct to customers before we had no way of knowing how well it would be perceived. We were completely blown away with the amount of people who purchased a surprise box and even more so with the people who showed kindness and patience with us as we navigated this brand–new service.
Tulip Pickup at the Farm
When our drive through trail was shut down, we were told we would still be permitted to sell tulips at the farm, but customers weren’t able to drive through our fields. We reconfigured our traffic patterns for customers to still be able to see some color from our fields in a distance as they came to pick up their orders. Tickets were online only, and customers could purchase as many 10 stem bunches as they wanted for pickup at the farm. Once vehicles pulled up, tickets were scanned through windows and bunches were placed in cars and trucks with no contact necessary. Our tulip pickup was a great success and seeing all your smiling faces day in and day out truly made it all worthwhile.
The Overwhelming Support We Received
Through all the challenges and ups and downs, one thing always remained true and that was the support from all our guests and customers. We never expected to receive the amount of emails, letters, comments, and messages that we did all from people offering to help and show support. Many either ordered surprise boxes or picked up at the farm just to spread joy and brighten up their loved one’s lives. We even had people who dropped off to hospitals, nursing homes and neighbors. We were moved to tears many times by the generosity of people that we saw day in and day out. We will forever be grateful to each and every one of you!
The Future looks Sunny
Now that our tulip season dust has settled, we’ve been working hard to prepare for our next event at the farm- our 2020 Sunflower Festival! In just a few short weeks we will begin planting the millions of sunflowers and other wildflowers that will be on display come September. We are planning to take you along for the ride through our Facebook and Instagram pages where we will be documenting the process.
We can’t wait to welcome you all to the farm come fall!