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Featured Product: Tulips

Posted by Corinne Monaco at May 06, 2020 10:10 AM |
Our vendors work hard to bring you the specialty products that you enjoy at your neighborhood farmers market. Each week, we celebrate the fruits of their labors by highlighting one of our favorite market treats and diving into the history and science behind them. This week, we're taking a look at the global reach and surprisingly sordid past of Tulips.

A beautiful flower, the tulip graces the farmers markets in early spring to bring us color during the cool months leading into summer. The dazzling displays brought by flower farmers to market this time of year announce winter's end, and celebrate the bounty to come. Representing spring sweetness, the Tulip's role in society wasn't always so tender.

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There are over 150 species of tulips, and over 3,000 different varieties--all a part of the lily family. 
Tulips are originally from the Himalayan region and were passed through Turkey and then on to the Netherlands in the 1500s where they saw their biggest surge in popularity. The name tulip comes from the Turkish word for turban, potentially for reasons related to the tulip's shape or the fact that the Turkish would adorn their turbans with the colorful flower. Prized for its beauty and symmetry, infatuation with tulips in the Netherlands grew to a frenzy known as Tulip Mania or Dutch Tulpenwindhandel. At the height of Tulip Mania in 1633, it is rumored that some single bulbs were priced higher than the value of a year's wages of a skilled worker. Estates and businesses were mortgaged in order to purchase bulbs for resale at higher prices, and a single rare bulb would pay for a bride's dowery. Tulip Mania was short-lived, and in 1637 the price structure for tulips collapsed seemingly overnight, demolishing fortunes and bringing on financial ruin for many ordinary Dutch families.  

Flower farmers have been severely impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19, and will need all the help they can get to recover from losses. It's not too late to Give Big! Please consider donating to our campaign so we can replenish the Good Farmer Fund, there to support farmers during periods of hardship. All contributions are welcome and appreciated! Give Big today.

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