EDEN, N.Y. (WIVB) – Twisted metal and broken glass is what’s left of most of the Zittel family greenhouses.
The recent lake effect storm delivered a huge blow to Amos Zittel and Sons’ family business.
“We got the second round of three to four feet of snow and it really was just faster than the structure could handle,” Bill Zittel, co-owner of Amos Zittel and Sons said. “We have probably lost, out of our two and a half acres of greenhouses, almost all of them.”
Zittel said about 15 percent of their greenhouses did not collapse. He explained that it will cost up to $3 million to purchase new ones.
“It has been quite the process,” Zittel said.
He added that all of the water, electric, and gas lines for heaters that ran through the structures have to be shutdown, drained, and cleaned. Afterwards they will try to get the utilities back to the greenhouses that are still standing so they can be used.
As a result of the damage, Zittel said he has no income coming in. “We have no way to generate what we do, which then creates no way of income.”
Normally at this time of the year workers put roots on plant materials, let it grow, and then sell it to garden centers across the country. Zittel said they won’t be able to do that this year.
However, even though the storm may have hit their farm hard, the Zittel family is not giving up.
“We’re not going to allow this to knock us out of the ball park; we’re going to come back bigger and stronger,” Zittel said.