Texas Neighbors Spring 2016 : Page 8

TEXAS NEIGHBORS | SPRING 2016 Tiptoeing through WWW.TEXASFARMBUREAU.ORG

Tiptoeing Through Texas-Tulip

Jessica Domel

The sun is shining. Flowers are blooming. And spring has officially “sprung” at Texas’ first and only tulip farm.

For most, a visit to Texas-Tulips means the opportunity to relax, take photos and pick your own selection of colorful tulips.

For the Koeman family, Texas-Tulips means so much more. It’s a symbol of a dream come true.

“It started 35 years ago with a TV show, Dallas. We watched it every Friday evening,” Pieter Koeman, owner of Texas-Tulips, said. “We would sit with my mom, dad and sisters. I thought to myself, ‘When I grow up, I want to live there.’”

Koeman grew up in the Netherlands on his family’s farm. There, they grew fields of tulips, chrysanthemums, irises and more.

When Pieter’s father, Piet, passed away, the family decided to take their tulip-growing talents and follow Pieter’s dream to America.

“Four years ago was the first time we visited Texas,” Pieter said. “We wanted to bring the tulips over here. 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 with its pink, red, yellow and purple blooms.

In its second year, Texas-Tulips remains the state’s first and only tulip farm.

Each year, the Koeman family orders its tulip bulbs directly from the Netherlands and plants them using a specialized machine from abroad.

By the end of February or early March, the colorful tulips are ready for visitors from across the state.

“We wanted to do something special that nobody has done before in Texas,” Pieter said. “We love Texas.”

The entire Koeman family, including Pieter’s mother, Afra, and a number of friends pitch in to ensure Texas-Tulips is a beautiful destination for photographers, families and flower-lovers alike.

“The biggest compliment we got was from one lady who told us, ‘Normally my son just wants to play on 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,’” Cora Von Falkenhausen, a family friend, said. “I think that’s what’s really great about this whole experience.”

More than 40 varieties of tulips bloom at the farm. Their bloom dates are staggered from March to April.

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

It’s a colorful change. And a continued sign of the Koemans’ hopes and dreams blooming in Texas.

Read the full article at http://texasneighbors.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Tiptoeing+Through+Texas-Tulip/2453315/297556/article.html.

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