HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — Draudt’s Farm Market & Greenhouses has been growing in Hamburg for almost 100 years, but it took just two days of heavy snowfall to have it all come crashing down.

It started as wide-open farmland in 1923 and blossomed into a thriving business in the Village of Hamburg. Owner Les Draudt and his family personally built their 14 greenhouses and farm more than 40 acres of vegetables.

But as the snow started falling in Hamburg late last week, eight of those greenhouses caved in under the weight.

“We worked as hard as we could and thought we were all set and we were wrong,” Draudt said.

“It’s just tough to see everything you’ve worked for, for so long and put everything into — gone,” added Draught. “But we’re going to try.”

He said the greenhouses weathered the 2014 Snowvember storm fine. The Draudts fired up extra heaters in the greenhouses ahead of last week’s historic storm to fend off the snow, but it wasn’t enough.

Les said after Snowvember he insured some of the structures. He says without that safety net — they wouldn’t be heading into their one-hundredth year of business.

“I walked through, everything was looking pretty good on some of them and I opened the door to another one and it was on the ground,” said Draudt. And they kind of just kept falling as the day went on.”

Draudt’s is still digging out and Les said they’re working to save any plants and vegetables he can. As for the future, Draudt’s plan on re-building state-of-the-art greenhouses.

Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.