A blooming husband-and-wife team
Watch April 2023 Video for an introduction of Wicked Tulips' Owners Keriann & Jeroen Koeman
Their first blooming business was called EcoTulips. It began in 2009 when Keriann, a self described "green girl" met Jeroen Koeman, who hailed from a Dutch family of tulip growers. They fell in love, got married, and started EcoTulips LLC. In September 2015, they moved from Central Virginia to Rhode Island and started their new endeavor, Wicked Tulips Flower Farm. In 2018, the couple decided to simplify things and combine EcoTulips.com with Wicked Tulips Flower Farm. They now sell all their products under the same brand-name Wicked Tulips.
Keriann is a native New Englander, so Rhode Island's proximity to family combined with the colder climate made it perfect for starting a tulip farm here in the States - a long time dream of Jeroen's.
As they did in Virginia, the couple opens their farm to visitors every spring. They started by hand planting approx. 60,000 tulips and now plant 1.5 million tulips with a tractor. They host the largest u-pick tulip events in New England at three locations! You can tiptoe through acres of tulips and experience the sights, sounds and smells of spring. Bring home a fresh picked bouquet of the most amazing tulips you have ever seen.
When they started their business in 2009 the bulb industry had a long way to go towards becoming more eco-friendly. They decided then, that they would purchase and sell certified organic bulbs until things improved. At that time most Dutch bulb farmers were using neonicitinoids, which are known to harm bees. In addition, there was a lack of information regarding the importance of soil health which led to a greater use of chemicals.
They are happy to say that now, over a decade later, things are changing for the better and the bulb industry has made some big steps in the right direction. Soil health has become a priority with most farmers and neonicitinoids have been banned. As long time vocal supporters of these issues, it is with great pride that they are seeing these best practices put in place.
Because of the complexity of the organic bulb industry, they decided not to sell certified organic bulbs in 2020.
Jeroen's two brothers, who still run the family tulip farm in Holland, are now members of a group of farmers who are actively working towards and are succeeding in significantly reducing the amount of pesticides they use and work diligently to improve soil health. They are incredibly proud to be part of these positive changes in the bulb industry. As always, they will continue supporting farms that invest their resources in environmentally friendly farming practices. It is a direct result of these industry changes that they now have more farmers from which to purchase their bulbs. This means a more diverse selection of bulbs for the u-pick event and online store. They are so excited to share them with you!
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Photo credit Jenn Lyons Marcocci