Delmar florist talks future plans

"We produce flowering plants, both annuals and perennials, for wholesale distribution," Verstandig said about the Selkirk business. "It's a year-round operation."

Verstandig said he tried to keep his family's property on Delaware Avenue a part of the town.

"We made an honest effort to keep it in the community because we felt like the community deserved it," Verstandig said. "We offered the property to the town a number of times for various reasons all of which didn't get much response."

The Verstandigs offered the property to the town for an expanded Town Hall, a new library, for the school district, and even the fire department " proposals that, for one reason or another, fell through, Verstandig said.

"It was hard to expand to make the Delaware Avenue operation more profitable," Verstandig said. "The town government, both before and presently, have been very supportive throughout the years but most of my proposals were defeated by public opposition."

It wasn't until the parcel was re-zoned that he could finally sell the piece of land he had so many problems expanding and improving upon, said Verstandig.

"The property was zoned residential since the inception of zoning in the town," said Verstandig. "When the reassessment and zoning took place with the new administration, we got the zoning changed to multiple residential which then gave us the opportunity to sell it for a reasonable price."

Because of more space in Selkirk, Verstandig said he is looking forward to expanding and going greener than ever.

"Right now were in the pursuit of renewable energy. We're getting the glitches out, and, when we do expand, it will hopefully be independent in terms of energy consumption," he said.

Aided by USDA grants, the Verstandigs have installed radiant heat in the Selkirk greenhouses and a water recovery system for all of their greenhouses. The next step, Verstandig said, is investing into solar and wind equipment for electrical production.

As for his employees in Delmar, Verstandig said many would still have jobs when he closes his doors on Delaware Ave.

"We've had a number of local residents who have been loyal and hardworking, and we will continue to employ them," Verstandig said. "We appreciate all of our customers over the years here, and we think the Selkirk plan is going to be a very positive project.""

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