Tulip Festival Canceled After Hungry Deer Destroy Crop - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Tulip Festival Canceled After Hungry Deer Destroy Crop

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The annual Organic Tulip Festival in Madison County will not be blooming with business this year due to some destructive deer.

Organizers are taking a hard financial hit because nearly 90 percent of the buds are wiped out. This would have been the fifth year of the only organic tulip festival in the country but they were just not prepared to prevent the flowers from turning into food.

“We're calling it the Tulip Destroying Trifecta,” said Keriann Koeman, co-owner of EcoTulips and organizer of the festival.

Koeman and her husband are trying to stay lighthearted after almost all their planted tulips were wiped out.

“With the snow, you could really see all their hoof prints and I think there was like a convention, a deer convention that came to the tulips,” Koeman said.

The Koemans were planning for their biggest year yet.

“We planted 60,000 tulips and created a third garden, we created a pollinator garden. We even flew over my husband's brother from Holland to help us plant,” Koeman said.

But they couldn’t control a trio of factors leading up to the flower fiasco.

“The acorn crop, from what I understand, was low and then we had the early onset of winter and the late winter and I think they were just starving and found a tasty treat for themselves,” Koeman said.

The Koemans did spray deer repellent and set up a fence, but it was too little too late.

“We realize for something like this, you really need an electric deer fence, and we haven't needed that in the past and we thought we were OK this year, and that was not the case,” Koeman said.

The deer did not touch some of the other flowers. EcoTulips is having a big sale through its website to try and offset the loss.

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