Collapsed Connecticut Greenhouses Could Hurt Landscape Industry

Updated Feb 18, 2013

Shutterstock 12619054The massive storm that dumped more than 2 feet of snow in many parts of Connecticut was only the latest headache for Mark Sellew as he struggles through storms and a weak economy to run his family farm in rural Lebanon.

About 600 linear feet of plastic-covered greenhouses collapsed from the snow this past weekend, he said Wednesday. The building collapses damaged or destroyed ornamental plants, herbs, perennials, trees and other plants he sells to landscapers and nursery centers in the Northeast and along the Atlantic seaboard.

The damage would have been greater, Sellew said, had he not spent $10,000 for 2-by-4s he used to reinforce greenhouses on his 500-acre Prides Corner Farms.

“We’ve never had one single event cause this kind of damage,” he said. “It’s unprecedented.”

State agriculture officials say more than 120 farm buildings such as greenhouses and hoop houses — structures of sheet plastic stretched over bent metal hoops — were damaged or destroyed in Connecticut. Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky said the winter of 2010-11 was more destructive, but the 511 buildings that were damaged or destroyed then followed several snow and ice storms over a few months.

“This is a single storm,” he said. “This is a significant loss.”

View the full article here.

By Stephen Singer

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