Anne VanLierop describes her family’s farm on the eastern edge of Puyallup as the last one in the valley growing daffodils exclusively for flowers, many of which are sold out of the farm’s nursery just off Pioneer Avenue.
The VanLierops have been in the daffodil business in the Puyallup Valley since 1934, when Anne’s grandfather was one of several experienced growers lured from Holland to help local farmers develop a blossoming daffodil and tuplip industry.
During the Depression, she says, he was paid in bulbs, so he acquired land and began raising them himself.
The family has been in the flower-gorwing business ever since.
“My family loves the Daffodil Festival,” she says of the day-long event April 19 that features a parade that will begin in Tacoma and visit Puyallup and Sumner before concluding in Orting.
“It celebrates people,” says VanLierop Farm’s retail manager. It also serves as a marquee for the farm, which expects to produce 5 million daffodils, 3 million tulips and a million irises this year.
Her sister, April, is in charge of field production and wholesale operations. Their parents, Neil and Bonnie, take care of most everything else, but have a lot of additional help — 40 or so hands yearound and up to 125 during the harvest season.