Sunflowers shine at annual Holland Ridge Farms festival

BY Raven Santana, Correspondent |

Whether it’s for the perfect family photo or special occasion, Casey Jansen, president of Holland Ridge Farms says it’s impossible to take a bad photo at the farm’s annual Sunflower Festival.

“We have families showing up in dresses with sunflowers on them, engagements, I mean everything’s happening here, just because of the beauty of the sunflower,” said Jansen.

Now in its second year, the Cream Ridge farm invites the public onto its property to admire, pick and photograph sunflowers of different colors and heights, totaling upwards of 1 million, which line the field in rows.

Jansen’s father founded the business after emigrating from Holland 55 years ago, and originally started selling cut and potted tulips and other plants to supermarkets before deciding to expand. Six years ago, the family bought an old dairy farm, which they dubbed Holland Ridge Farms.

In addition to the sunflowers, the farm also offers a cultural and educational experience with an on-site museum, to highlight the family’s Dutch background.

Sunday is the last day of the Sunflower Festival and season. Jansen says all the sunflowers that are left over when the season is done are crushed and mulched into organic matter for the next crop.