Current COVID protocol

During 2020 we were able to continue to garden by adhering to critical guidelines designed to keep us safe. 2021 will begin with continuing these steps.

The first step is your decision and it’s a critical one.  There are several good reasons for not coming to the garden during this time:

  1. If you are sick or even feeling a little unwell, please do not come! Even if you think it’s allergies, or any of a laundry list of other possibilities, do not come!  If you have been exposed to anyone who is sick, please do not come.
  2. If you or anyone in your household have any underlying health conditions or concerns that would put you at greater risk, please consider whether it’s wise to come.
  3. If you don’t feel comfortable with the level of risk that working at the garden might bring, we understand, please do not come.
  4. If you do test positive for COVID and have been at the garden in the previous two weeks, please notify Anne at 919-616-6659 as soon as possible.

It’s important for us to remember that although we may want the garden to remain open for our mental health in these challenging times, the only thing that is truly essential about what we do is that we provide thousands of pounds of fresh, organic produce to our neighbors who are in greater need now than they may have ever been.  We all know that this is causing the worst hardships for the people that can least afford it.  As such, I would suggest we all consider sending the majority of our produce to the food banks and even continue to bring canned and dry goods to send along when we can.

Here are our COVID guidelines we will continue to follow to keep each other safe:

  • The outdoor gathering limit is currently 50 so we will not need to sign up to come to garden.
  • We have an electronic system of tracking who is working at the garden at what times.  That will allow us to notify you if someone who was working at the same time you were there becomes ill.  I pray this will never be necessary, but it is a reasonable precaution.  The system is simple and a garden leader will walk you through it when you arrive.  You will need to check in when you arrive and check out when you leave. If you do not have a smart phone, anyone who does can check you in/out.
  • Garden tasks will be planned so that we can maintain the social distancing requirement of a minimum of 6 feet.  Please be aware of your surroundings and comply with this at all times.  There will be a sign on the shed to remind you that only ONE person can be inside at a time.  Please wait a reasonable distance away until your turn to enter.
  • Gardeners will be required to wash their hands with soap and water at the rain barrels at the back of the shed when they arrive.
  • You MUST bring your own gloves, wear them while gardening and take them home and wash them when you leave.  The box of gloves at the garden has been removed.
  • Please do not share tools with anyone.  If you use a tool, lean it against the fence near the picnic tables or put hand tools in the bin on the picnic table.  They will be sprayed with bleach spray, allowed to dry and put away at the end of garden.
  • If you come to the garden during a time other than official workdays to dump your compost, weed, water, pick flowers or herbs, please abide by all of these rules.
  • The picnic tables at the garden may only used by individuals or those from a single household.  We do not have the ability to sanitize bare wood very well, so please use the tables with caution.  You are welcome to bring your own chair if you feel more comfortable and need to rest while you’re at garden.

I recognize that working together in a community garden could be challenging under these extraordinary circumstances, but it could also be more important now than it ever has been. I hope that you agree and will continue to support the mission of the garden in whatever way you feel comfortable. Please abide by the measures outlined above so we can continue to provide for those who need it.

If you have any questions, concerns, just want to talk through any of these guidelines, or have additional ideas for how we can maintain the safest garden possible, please feel free to contact me at anneh21@gmail.com or by phone/text at 919-616-6659 during the day or up to 10:00pm any evening.