Veenderpolder and Lijkerpolder: Bulbs and Flowers

Veenderpolder and Lijkerpolder: Bulbs and Flowers


Veenderpolder and Lijkerpolder: Bulbs and Flowers

Tulip bulbs are grown here since 1880. In 1927, bulbs were planted for the production of flowers for the first time. During wintertime, growers wanted to gain some extra income as they couldn’t cultivate vegetables. It was the start of a flourishing industry.

The remarkable connection between the Veenderpolder and Lijkerpolder outside the dikes and tulips begins in 1880 when the first growers started to cultivate tulip bulbs. Tulip bulbs are harvested when the pressure of cultivating vegetables is over. This way they could extend their capacity and gain more income. The bulbs are sold to bulb traders in Hillegom, Haarlem and Sassenheim (Bulb Area), Who, at their turn, export the bulbs.

Bulb auctions

In the heyday of the tulip bulb growing in Roelofarendsveen, the growers organized bulb auctions of their own, in Autumn ‘dry’ and in Spring ‘green’. At ‘dry’ actions, the growers take the bulbs to one location, and invite the bulb traders to purchase. At ‘green’ auctions, bulbs which are still in bloom, are auctioned on the fields. In the presence of a notary the auctions starts with advance bidding, followed by an auction for the highest bid. Bids are placed by raising a finger or wave with an auction booklet.

In this polder, relatively expensive and exclusive tulip bulbs are grown. In good and bad times, an attractive loot for thieves. Around 1930, during the crisis years, multiple batches of bulbs were stolen. This was a reason for Grower van de Wereld to call the police for action. ‘Isn’t there a possibility to prevent people from walking over the fields and make use of the capacity of the state police?’


In 1927 a few growers changed their trade from bulb growing to tulip growing, and sell tulips as flowers not as bulbs. In some families, the first son grows the bulbs and the second son grows the flowers. Tulips are packed in wooden boxes and brought to the auction hall in Aalsmeer. In 1932, flowers are brought to auction for the first time at the auction hall in Roelofarendsveen.

The amount of tulip growers grows steadily, It’s obvious that the tulips feel at home in this peat polder. They flourish extremely well in the ground climate and fit perfectly into the cultivation plan of the growers, who cultivate different produce in Spring and Summer. As tulips grow fast with the right treatment, it’s possible to fill the green houses a few times in a row. That way a large produce is yielded, on a relatively small surface.

This story is part of the Tulip Route. A sailing trip full of stories of the flourishing polder. 
The Tulip Route is free of charge. You can find a map of this route on our website,
or at one of our Tourist Transfer Points (TOP) nearby local restaurants and pubs or marinas.

The Tulip Route in Roelofarendsveen is made possible by local entrepreneurs.
This story is offered by: Zwet Tulips


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