30 March 2021

daffodils and fields of gold

Today we drove to Skagit Valley to see the daffodils in bloom. Thinking about the sheer miracle that we can still come to the farms and see these fields glittering with gold, I'm reminded of an old quote by Noor Shirazie from the tumblr days.

If flowers can teach themselves how to bloom after winter passes, so can you.

It's surreal to think that a year ago, the tulip industry was plunged into a state of uncertainty in wake of the pandemic. Last year, WA state went on lockdown mid-March at the height of tulip season, where Skagit Valley farms RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town receive about 90% of their income. The region accounts for 75% of the U.S. commercially-produced tulips, and the hit to the tulip industry was so devastating that no one was sure if there would be another Tulip Festival after this. Despite that, Tulip Town, now under new owners, began adapting to the changing tides. Online ordering, augmented reality 360 viewing, campaigns where people can purchase bouquets for frontline workers, first responders, members of isolated or vulnerable communities and more. Communities find ways to keep beloved traditions going, and this community's love for tulips was no exception.

I'm relieved to see that, a year later, the gardens have endured. The photos today are from the daffodil fields at RoozenGaarde. Between mask mandates and limited capacity tickets and time slots, viewing the outdoor gardens and fields felt very safe. Everyone kept their distance, and for the first time ever, for better or worse, the gardens were quiet as a grave. 

While it would have been great to see both fields, having stayed inside for over a year, I found myself quickly worn out. It was still early for the tulip fields as well, but we purchased some to take home. 

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