Michigan Governor says no to greenhouse plant sales in coronavirus order
Michigan’s Farm Bureau wants Governor Gretchen Whitmer to classify retail garden centers as essential infrastructure under the state’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order. Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski sent a formal request to Whitmer saying garden centers and greenhouses across the state are brimming with nursery stock, flowers and vegetable plants that can be handled with curbside delivery during the coronavirus pandemic.
Leaders in Michigan’s greenhouse industry say they’re devastated, and that Michigan is one of only two states where the greenhouse sector is deemed unessential in their coronavirus restrictions. Governor Whitmer’s revised Stay Home, Stay Safe order would not allow retail sales of plants until at least April 30th.
Farm Bureau horticulture specialist Audrey Sebolt says many people turn to gardening to cope with stress, and there has been a large increase in vegetable plant sales in southern states since the coronavirus outbreak. She expects sales would increase in Michigan too if sales were allowed. Sebolt says without greenhouse sales, it will mean a complete loss and an entire year without income for owners and employees.
Michigan Farm Bureau has issued a call to action for members and agricultural stakeholders, asking Governor Whitmer to issue a clarification to her executive order deeming the retail sale of plants as essential infrastructure. To act, Farm Bureau says people can text the phrase MIGREEN to the number 52886 or use their special website to message lawmakers.