During my first spring in Germany, I ooh’d and aah’d at the sight of beautiful greenery and fields of blooms along the road whenever my family went on weekend trips. I noticed several flower fields with a banner that said “Blumen” and a couple of cars parked nearby. I was curious, especially since I knew “Blumen” meant flowers. I wondered: was the farm giving away free flowers to those that stop by and visit? I had to investigate.
It turned out that the flowers were not free but still cheap! Each sunflower (my favorite!) was .30 cent Euros and the smaller variety were between .10 and .25 cents. A flower price list was posted beside the “Blumen” banner. We saw the sign “Selbt Schneiden,” which meant I could cut my own flowers of choice. This entailed walking in the fields to choose the blooms I wanted to harvest. Also small knives and/or pruning shears were available for use, sitting in a basket above big rocks that held up the banner poles. A “price list” was posted, giving guidance on how much to pay upon harvest of the blooms.
What to Expect
Flower-picking proved to be challenging at first, especially with the thick sunflower stalks that I had to sever in order to get my flowers. I eventually got the hang of it. I did wish that I wore rain boots instead of my Mary Janes, which were eventually enveloped in mud.
Paying for the flowers was based on honor system. You need to pay the exact amount for your flowers (or pay a bit more with a little tip if you wish) as there wasn’t a vendor to provide change for your bills. Payment was inserted in a coin box provided. We stayed a bit longer just to observe the other customers– everybody paid. I love that the Germans are a stickler for honesty and integrity.
Other flower farms often times also sell seasonal vegetables and fruits. They were laid out in big baskets on the ground with a price tag per basket. The same honor system set-up goes for payment.
Ever since then I have been prepared for spontaneous stops to “Blumen” farms. I now keep my own set of sharp pruning shears in the van, along with old newspapers and plastic bags to wrap my flowers with. It has become part of our weekend adventure to spot flower fields we have never visited before, especially those that carry interesting varieties.
Author’s Profile: Janice is a military spouse, mom of 3 (a teen, tween and toddler), thrifty traveler, practical crafter and a blogger who currently lives in Stuttgart with her family.