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Pick-your-own tulips a new concept in Dutch horticulture

First fields open this Spring

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

MARKNESSE - A grower in this community in the Noordoostpolder, one of the countryís prime farming districts, has hit on a novel idea to bring tourists to his bulb fields. This Spring, people will be able to help themselves - for a fee - to a bunch of tulips they cut themselves at a dedicated field, owned by entrepreneur DaniŽls.

The first ever pick-your-own tulip field in the Netherlands sits on just over an acre, which has been planted with 200,000 bulbs. The Noordoostpolder is the 1940s land reclamation in the eastern part of the IJsselmeer, which in recent years has become an attractive alternative location for large-scale bulb growing. Traditionally limited to the famed Bulb Region between the western cities of Haarlem and Leiden, growers there increasingly are relying on acreages elsewhere as urbanization encroaches the bulb farms at home.

For a while, DaniŽls had been hearing requests from tourists if they could pick flowers from his tulip fields. By setting aside a parcel of land for the new venture, the traditional promotional slogan ĎBring home a bunch of flowersí will get a new meaning at DaniŽlsí farm.