Home SeasonsFall The History of the Biggest U-Pick Tulip Farm — Right Here in New Jersey

The History of the Biggest U-Pick Tulip Farm — Right Here in New Jersey

by Eva Grall
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There’s a farm in Cream Ridge, New Jersey that allows visitors to take a little trip to Holland without leaving the state. With over eight million bulbs planted this year, Holland Ridge Farms makes the perfect backdrop for holiday photos and Instagram portraits while allowing visitors to pick their tulips and sunflowers seasonally. Though tulip season may be over for 2022, that doesn’t mean we can’t still appreciate this wonderful farm. Read on to learn more about the history and details of Holland Ridge Farm, located at 86 Rues Road in Cream Ridge.

holland ridge farms

History

New Jersey has a rich history of farming, from the dairy cows of Cedar Grove to the famous blueberry and tomato farms around the state. The property that is now Holland Ridge Farms was once a dairy farm, owned by generations of the Rue family from 1803 to 2012. Amherst Farms, as it was formerly called, was once the home of thousands of cows. The Rue family also raised cattle for beef and grew potatoes, spinach, corn, and other smaller grains throughout the years. Some of the buildings still there today are original, preserved for visitors so that they may learn about NJ’s surprisingly vast agricultural history.

holland ridge farms

When the Jansen family bought the farm in 2012, they had tulip-growing in their blood. The Jansen family patriarch, named Great Opa Casey, was an experienced bulb seller and grower in Holland who taught his son, Casey Sr., all his tulip-growing secrets. Casey Sr. then passed the lessons on to his son, Casey Jr., who put the lessons into motion to create the family’s farm. Overall, the Jansens have been in the tulip industry for over 100 years.

holland ridge farms

While the technology to plant and care for tulips has vastly improved, the farm celebrates the original tools of the trade in a small museum. Different shovels were used to dig and plant the bulbs, while sifters helped the farmers sort bulbs by size. Farmers wore baggy pants to be more comfortable while they planted. Today, Holland Ridge uses expert equipment developed in Holland — the tulip capital of the world — to make planting, growing, and picking much easier on the 300 acres of farmland.

Read More: A Look into Montclair’s Van Vleck Gardens

Visiting The Farm

Visitors can go to Holland Ridge Farm during its two popular flower-picking seasons in April and September. Though these visiting periods may be brief, it is certainly worth the trip — and it’s helpful to plan ahead, as tickets sell quickly. For those who missed Holland Ridge Farm’s incredible tulip season this year, we’ve got you covered — here’s what you can expect for your visit next time.

holland ridge farms

This flower farm is just an hour’s drive from New York or Philadelphia. With over 8 million tulips planted this year alone, Holland Ridge is the largest U-Pick tulip farm in the United States. And while the season for tulips has recently ended thanks to a chilly April, Holland Ridge doesn’t just plant tulip bulbs. As soon as the fields are cleared, the farm begins its next harvest for fall: sunflowers.

A visit here is incredibly highly delightful. Children run laughing through fields of flowers. Families pose knee-deep in blooms to get that perfect holiday card photo. Meanwhile, millions of candy-colored tulips or sunflowers sway in the breeze while hawks soar overhead. It is a sheer wonder, and the farm brings happiness, joy, and vivid color to every visitor. It is why thousands of people make the pilgrimage to Holland Ridge each year — and that number is only getting bigger.

holland ridge farms

The farm is the perfect background for holiday shoots, family memories, and social media influencers. It even encourages it, with props and sets scattered around the farm inviting people to take photos. You can sit inside a giant clog, snack on Dutch pancakes, or hop a ride on their recently added tractor service — believe us, it is a long walk across those fields.

The experience of visiting is treasure enough, but the fact that you also get to pick your own flowers in any style or color combination that you like is the icing on this Dutch pastry. For one dollar a stem, you can choose as few or as many flowers as you want and take them home to savor all season long.

holland ridge farms

But a visit doesn’t have to be just about the flowers. There’s a great local bakery stocked with treats, food trucks-a-plenty for the hungry kin in tow, and even farm animals for the kids to enjoy. In the fall, there are sunflowers as far as the eye can see, the autumn setting making the trip all the more enjoyable.

And while the experience at the farm is second to none, there are other options for enjoying and supporting Holland Ridge Farms during the long off-seasons. You can pre-order the unique bulbs to grow at home in the fall or purchase the tulips at local groceries stores — you’ll find them at local Whole Foods.

holland ridge farms

Along with the farm, the family has invested in massive greenhouses that grow premium tulips from Holland for wholesale. In addition, Holland Ridge is committed to producing quality flowers without pesticides or insecticides via hydroponics. We’re glad to see the family is committed to putting the garden back in the Garden State.

See More: Moss & More: Inspiring Green Thumbs in Montclair

Holland Ridge Farms | 86 Rues Road, Cream Ridge

holland ridge farms

The farm is open for tulip picking in April and sunflower picking in September. You can subscribe to the website to snag tickets online as soon as they become available — weekend bookings go very fast. Sunflower tickets are expected to become available in early September. Whether you plan to pick flowers or take family photos, make sure you bring comfortable footwear because the farm is vast and can be muddy. Entry tickets are $13 per person, and flowers are $1 per stem. Professional photography is encouraged but note that all visitors must pay for entry.

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