“If you asked me last year what I’d say was going to happen, I would say I was dreaming about throwing everything out because it was really scary,” said Jan Barendse, owner of River Road Greenhouses in Marcy, Oneida County.
But for River Road Greenhouses, those concerns did end up going away, along with their plants.
“Cuomo agreed because we do a lot of vegetables and it was essential that we could open up, but then the weather was really cold, and then the day after Mother’s Day, it warmed up and we were full out every single day,” Barendse said. “It was unbelievable.”
Barendse is from Holland and grew up in a family that had a greenhouse.
“Came here sort of as an exchange student, and then I met this nice lady and I have stayed," Barendse said.
Fast-forward and Jan and his wife, Karen, have run the business for more than 15 years. “It was my passion first, but I passed it on, so she enjoys it, too,” Jan said.
The property has 30 greenhouses, and a whole lot of plants. “We do 12,000 flats of bedding plants, including vegetables. Vegetables are really, really popular,” Jan said.
“So many people, particularly my age, go on cruises, maybe river cruises, or go to Europe, or wherever else they go to, and I don’t see them going yet. So they have lots of money to spend on other things, and they fix up the house, either with flowers or a new deck or a new carpet, new paint, whatever it is, it’s amazing,” Jan said.
River Road Greenhouses is also open after the spring season. Later in the year they sell mums and poinsettias.
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