Garden retailers are essential

As our country, our provinces, communities and businesses react to the spread of COVID-19, High Mountain Farm commends the efforts of local, provincial and federal governments to mitigate the impact and strive to keep the public safe and healthy.

The discussion of how to best ensure the public health has included the possibility of asking “non-essential” retail operations to shut their doors for a period of time, with the intent of minimizing exposure to the virus.

High Mountain Farm is fully in support of sensible steps public health officials may deem necessary to combat COVID-19.  At the same, we urge public officials at all levels of government to consider garden retailers among those retail operations determined to be “essential” and allow these business owners the option to stay open as a public service.

Consumer horticulture benefits the health and happiness of every citizen and every community in Canada.

Canadians are resilient and resourceful in the face of adversity provided the opportunity to produce their own food and manage any shortage in the supply chain. Millions of Canadians engage in food production at home, and more are sure to follow as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds. 

With thousands of garden retailers serving communities across North America, these stores provide much-needed services. Whether helping Canadian’s  produce home-grown fruits and vegetables, as Canadian’s did during WWII as Victory Gardens, as a mental and physical health relief or providing wholesome activities for children, garden centres offer products and support that individuals and communities can utilize during these stressful times. 

Many of the products carried by garden retailers are agricultural, like seeds and edible plants. Others are necessary tools and supplies. Together they are essential to maintaining a healthy living environment. In many communities, the garden retailer may be the only outlet where consumers have access to essential supplies for growing, gardening, maintaining or repairing their residences. 

Because of these considerations, High Mountain Farm urges local, provincial, and federal policymakers to consider garden retailers among those operations determined to be “essential” retail outlets that can exercise the option to remain open to support their communities during these trying times.

High Mountain Farm also urges all business owners to look to guidelines of the BCCDC and federal and local health authorities and to use the utmost care and caution when considering how to proceed with operations.

Axel Hvidberg
High Mountain Farm


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