Some local growers taking the wet spring in stride

May 8, 2017

This unusually wet spring is being taken with a grain of salt by at least one local farmer. Despite the record breaking amount of rain, so far the growing season is right on track in the Eden Valley.

Credit Eden Valley Growers Assoc.

Amos Zittel and Sons have been growing produce for local consumers since the late 1890s according to Paul Zittel.
"I'm 74 years old so I've been in this business for 52 years. And I've seen a lot. And I've seen all sorts of adversity. And this is another one that's being thrown at us as far as an adversity. Last year it was drought. This year it's too much rain," Zittel said.

Growers in the Eden Valley, 20-miles south of Buffalo, he says, are able to handle it though because of the valley's semi-arid soil.     
"It's gravel. It takes the rain and lets it percolate down through. Where many farmers with heavier soil are just destroyed," Zittel said

The seven members who make up the Eden Valley Growers Association grow 45 varieties of vegetables that get shipped as far away as Boston, Florida, Texas and Michigan. Last year they sold nearly half a million cases of produce. And Zittel says so far the 2017 growing season is right on schedule.  
"We've got 34 acres of corn under plastic and that's all up. We've got 6 acres of corn on bare ground and that's poking itself up. We'll be taking the hoops off of the lettuce that we planted the first week in April. And that'll be in the chain stores before the end of this month," Zittel said.

And he encourages Western New Yorkers to support their local growers.