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Canada: Pick-your-own tulip farm owner in Niagara expects increase in visitors

In the Niagara region, Canada, pick your own tulip farms expect to attract many visitors this year. Paula Boots, one of the co-owners of pick-your-own tulip farm JP Niagara Tulip Experience states "In our first year of operation we welcomed over 30,000 visitors, and we expect even more visitors this year". In this article, she tells us more about her tulip farm and her expectations for this year.

A visitor in the JP Niagara Tulip Experience farm in St. Ridgeville, Niagara, Canada.
Credits: Joseph Garcia

"Tulips are one of the first signs of spring, Canada is known for having cold winters and people are really excited to go out there and being outside. This year we expect more visitors. Not only because it is our second year and we have a bigger flowering than last year. But also, because ecotourism is becoming more and more trendy, visiting a pick-your-own tulip field fits right in. Moreover, our advertisement on social media appears to pay off. Social media is our main way of advertisement, we believe that nowadays it is the way to promote events like this. Joseph has a great eye for photography and is responsible for many of the pictures people see on our social media," Paula explains.

Two years ago, Paula Boots and Joseph Garcia started the JP Niagara Tulip Experience farm, which is located in St. Ridgeville, Niagara, Canada. Paula tells us how it all started: "I am born and raised in the Netherlands close to the Keukenhof, the well-known Dutch spring flower garden. I have travelled the world, and have lived in Macedonia, California, and New Zealand. Thirteen years ago, I settled in Niagara. I have always been working in the flower industry. I have a great love for design and creating things, working in the flower industry has always been a great way to express that. My own pick-your-own tulip field was a dream of mine for a long time.

I realized that dream after I met Joseph in Canada. He is a trained chef who is born and raised near Veracruz, Mexico. Just like me, he has a great love for creating beauty. Now, he expresses that love in creating tulip fields. Since he's living in Canada, he has been involved in the flower industry. We started working together five years ago while we were setting up another pick-your-own tulip field that was not our own. We quickly became good friends and decided to start our own tulip field, and in that way JP Niagara Tulip Experience was born."

Owners Paula Boots and Joseph Garcia
Credits: Anne Kalagian

Paula highlights that pick-your-own farms are quite popular in the region she is living in: "Pick-your-own farms are a real Niagara region thing, we have all kinds: cherry, peach, strawberry. This area is known for all the produce. They draw such a crowed that it becomes a true festival."

How to make your pick-your-own tulip farm stand out among all those others? At JP Niagara Tulip Experience, they believe that building a personal relationship with customers is one important factor: "People love to see the face behind the business and support the local farmers. That is really what we stand for. We are always there, when our customers contact us, they should be able to talk to us whether it's on the phone, the e-mail or social media. We are always in the field to say hi and interact with them. We noticed that people are less and less supportive of big corporations these days. JP is just us; Joseph and me, Paula."

She adds: "We also have a wide range of varieties to show. Our farm grows over 1,5 million tulips in more than 120 different varieties. Our tulip bulbs are supplied by our partner Haakman Flower Bulbs B.V. Visitors are amazed by the more unusual tulips, the ones that you cannot find or see in the store-bought bags. Take for instance the Purple Parrot tulip, the Queensland tulip, or the Guido Snik tulip. Many visitors are not familiar with all the different tulip varieties, it blows their mind that there are so many different shapes and colors."

An impression of the JP Niagara Tulip Experience farm.
Credits: Joseph Garcia

When asked what she expects for the future, Paula says: "For sure we believe there are still many opportunities, being just over 1 hour away from the Greater Toronto Area there are many visitors to reach. It is a nice day trip. We have visitors from all walks of life; families, young adults, and seniors. I think because in today's time it is still something that is fairly affordable, outside, and just overall beautiful. We enjoy every minute of it, and we and hope that we can make a lot of people happy in the years to come."

For more information:
JP Niagara Tulip Experience
[email protected]