“We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.” 
—Konrad Adenauer

plums on branch - Illustration by Helen Krayenhoff

Witnessing the events of the past four months has made me aware I mustn’t take anything for granted. As a citizen of a country that is trying to come to grips with a history of racial injustice, I try to not be complacent. Every day I ask myself what I can do to make a lasting difference. Protesting unwarranted use of force by police against black Americans, standing up and calling out civil rights abuses, and of course voting, are all-important actions. 

The lead-in to all of this unrest was a global pandemic that required changes to our daily routines and caused anxiety levels previously unheard-of among the general population. Lucky for us, gardens provide a respite from much of this insanity, a chance for contemplation, and an opportunity to spend quality time at home while providing food and beauty. We at Berkeley Hort are adapting, and we want to thank you for your patience as availability of plants, seeds, and supplies starts to get back to normal.

Some of the changes that we have had to make will be permanent. Examples are, an increased awareness of cleanliness and sanitary working conditions, and a limit to common-space sharing (on busy days we will have sentries monitoring the number of shoppers in our greenhouse and indoor areas). Other changes that we had to adopt will hopefully be lifted as we enter the final phases of the COVID-19 shutdown. It is my dream that by the end of this year we will be able to offer special orders, merchandise holds, outgoing deliveries, casual shopping, garden seating, and group (especially kids) visitors. Oh…and dogs.

Most of our staff came back to work as things began to open up, but some employees’ health and home situations kept them from returning to their previous position. Since springtime we have added some new faces to our staff, for you to meet during your next nursery visit. Haley, oversees our Pottery & Containers department. Tala, leads us into Bulb season. And Amy is our exuberant Gate Greeter & Stock Labeling Clerk. 

These are extremely unsettled times, and dark clouds will loom until after November 3. Mark that date on your calendar. You know what to do. In the meantime smell those Geraniums, and pick those fruits!

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