As I write this, looking out of my office window at the nursery I see many plants. Beautiful plants with new leaves and flowers in every direction; but not a single customer.
Just before our Shelter in Place order on March 16th we had taken steps to ensure that we’d have a diverse inventory of flowering trees, maples, azaleas, rhododendrons, flowering vines, rare succulents, shade perennials, natives, herbs, indoor plants, fruits, and of course vegetables. They are still here, waiting for your next visit.
The latest update from the City of Berkeley made it clear that we are a non-essential business, and as such had to remain closed for all business activities until at least May 3rd. Note that I feel gardening is essential to staying in touch with nature while providing food, but BHN management wants to do the right thing; to protect our workers and the general public from rapid spread of COVID-19. You are most likely reading this after that date, and we HOPE to be open for business in May.
It is difficult to project what daily life will be like over the next few months, but you can be sure that at Berkeley Hort we will be practicing new social distancing protocols, sanitization of carts, baskets, and other high contact surfaces, and monitoring nursery traffic throughout the day to limit numbers to a safe level.
We know how important it is to plant a garden in spring, especially herbs and vegetables for future harvest. To that end we plan to focus more energy on these items, working diligently with certified organic growers in order to meet the pent-up demand that we currently see.
Thank you for your patience as we get back into the swing of spring.