The Flower bulb region is a major tourist attraction in march, april and may and more than a million people from all over the world enjoy the bulb fields every year and visit the Keukenhof.
In this episode the bollenjongens guess where most tourists come from and what they actually think of all those tourists. We also show special images of the very first flower parade and the visit of Winston Churchill to the flower region in 1947.
Nowadays, the bollenjongens and their families are also doing more and more to keep tourists in the region longer than just a visit to the Keukenhof. Sylvia, Allan's niece, therefore founded the Tulip Experience Amsterdam. This combination of a museum, show garden and picking garden is located in Noordwijkerhout and Sylvia explains why the name 'Amsterdam' was chosen.
Another initiative is the 'Tulip Barn' of Carlo's sister, a bulb field in the shape of a rainbow, which tourists are allowed to walk through to take pictures. In other bulb fields, this is not allowed due to the risk of disease transmission. With these initiatives, they want to give tourists the opportunity to admire, smell and photograph the flowers up close and thus let them experience the region even more.
When spring has passed and the bulbs have finished flowering, they will remain in the ground for a few weeks to continue growing before they can be lifted. To know when the time has come, the bollenjongens check their bulbs several times. Allan explains how you can see and feel when a bulb is ripe enough to be harvested.
And then summer begins. The busiest time of the year for the bollenjongens. The hundreds of millions of bulbs have to be removed from the land in a short time and processed in the bulb shed. Carlo harvests them on his land in Lisse, after which the bulbs are immediately placed in front of a drying wall for a few days. Carlo explains how such a drying wall works.
The bulbs then go through the peeling machine and are sorted by size. The bigger the sphere, the more it yields.
But how is the price of a batch of tulips determined? There are special intermediaries who negotiate between buying and selling parties. Eric Barnhoorn is such a mediator who negotiates the numbers, the price and the quality conditions. Johan is with Eric at a grower in De Zilk and witnesses a telephone negotiation. Of course Johan tries to raise the price a bit, but whether that has so much success…?
And because the bollenjongens are so busy in the summer, time must also be made for some relaxation. The bollenjongens tell us how they relax.