For hundreds of years tulips have been packaged and transported around the world – a testament to people’s love for the colorful blossom. First domesticated in the Ottoman Empire, tulips quickly became a status symbol in the Ottoman royal court. In fact, the word tulip is derived from the word turban – a nod toward the visual similarity between the two.
The Skagit Valley’s proximity to bustling cities brings the pressures of development to the doorstep of farmers.
The Skagit Valley’s roughly 450 acres of tulips represent 75 percent of U.S. commercial production. About 300,000 people visit the fields during the month-long annual tulip festival in April. Those tourists generate about $65 million in revenue for the county.