Rows upon rows of tulips are in full-bloom, blanketing an acre of Jaemor Farms in Alto with purples, reds and other hues.
“I don’t know of anywhere close by that does something like this,” said Carli Jones, Jaemor’s agritourism and marketing coordinator.
The farm welcomes people to pick their own tulips and snap photos while out in the vibrant field. The one-time event will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, March 20, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday, March 21. Admission is $5 per person, to access the tulips and the farm's peach blossoms. Tulips are $2 per stem for those wanting to pick and take some home.
Despite priding himself on his peach farming, Drew Echols, farm manager and co-owner of Jaemor, said over the past few years, he’s shifted his focus toward flowers.
In 2019, the Alto farm tested its first “U-Pick” flower field. Since then, he said the flower fever shared among visitors has only amplified. Throughout the summer and fall of 2020, people flocked to the farm to fill cups with dahlias, sunflowers and zinnias.
Echols credits this shared obsession with flower fields to people’s desire to take Instagram-worthy photos and escape into beautiful scenery.
“It’s one of those things that’s good for the soul,” he said. “You can get out and forget about all the junk in the world and go pick some flowers.”
Echols said he felt inspired to grow tulips because of their early-bloom time. Never entering the realm of tulips before, the farmer approached the flower with caution, asking his dad, Jarl, for help.
“I said, ‘You need to do me a favor and do homework on these tulips,’” Echols recounted. “‘Give me a full report on how to grow tulips and which ones to grow.’”
In November, the staff at Jaemor planted around 14,000 bulbs that encompass an acre of land. Like the tulip fields in the Netherlands, Echols said he attempted to create patterns with the different colors of flowers.
“I’m excited,” he said. “It’s going to be neat to see them all just come up, and you don’t know exactly what you’re getting.”
As it’s his first time growing bulb plants, Echols said he was faced with a small learning curve. Luckily, for him, green thumbs run in the family.
“They (bulbs) can’t be planted too deep. They have to be perfect,” he said. “We made sure to do our homework before.”
Echols said he couldn’t help but think of his late grandmother, Valvoreth, while planting the thousands of bulbs in November.
The first Jaemor brochure, which was in black-and-white, displays an image of Valvoreth’s tulip beds that used to lie between the farm’s two driveways.
“My grandmother was into all things flowers,” Echols said. “I think she would love it. She would tell me, ‘I can’t believe you planted that many tulips. You’re never going to sell them all.’”
Jaemor Farms is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday.For more information about Jaemor’s first tulip field, visit jaemorfarms.com or its Facebook page. No professional photography is permitted during the U-Pick event. To book an exclusive peach blossom photography session, email Carli Jones at email@example.com.
What: Flower picking and photo opportunities at Jaemor Farms’ tulip field; note, no professional photography is permitted during the event
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 20; 1-5 p.m. Sunday, March 21
Where: Jaemor Farms, 5340 Cornelia Highway, Alto
How much: $5 per person admission, plus $2 per stem to pick tulips
More info: Jaemor Farms’ Facebook page