Dutch farmer Erik van Dam was a bit tied up directing the plowing and sowing machines in a greenhouse of his Triflor tulip farm in the Netherlands, while others were busy harvesting the full-blown specimens before dawn.
The farm owner didn't want to miss the planting season for tulip bulbs. The small bulbs will be separated and preserved for next year, with the bigger ones grown into flowers. Van Dam has to be well prepared with a large supply for the Chinese market.
Triflor's fresh-cut tulips have been exported to China through the "Air Silk Road" linking Luxembourg with Zhengzhou, capital of the inland province of Henan in central China.
Henan residents finally have the chance to see the Dutch national flower and peony, an indigenous floral variety well-recognized across China, vie with each other in beauty.
The Zhengzhou-Luxembourg air freight service offers 18 round trips every week, in a bid to meet the growing domestic demand for time-sensitive cargo like fresh foods and flowers.