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Eden farmers recovering from winter's wrath

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Eden Valley farmers like the Zittels were hammered by the November 2014 storm, a storm which hit the agricultural heartland of Erie County so rapidly that several greenhouses were left in ruins. They still sit there as farmers focus on preparing this year's crops.

Paul Zittel says fighting back against the local climate is expensive and difficult.

"We've already ordered two acres of greenhouses at our facility over on Webster Road. We're going to build two acres of the state of the art greenhouses over there," Zittel said. 

"We had some insurance. We had about $1.2 million in insurance. To rebuild these greenhouses, it's going to be $2 million."

On top of that, the family went four months without income over the winter keeping themselves and their workers going. Now, their working greenhouses are filled with tiny plants waiting to be plunked down in 220 acres of land for this year's vegetable crops.

Zittel was trying to ready yesterday to plant 18 more acres of corn for the family farmer's market.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.