Updated May 3, 2020.
Nobody enjoys these uncertain times. Questions abound about the potential spread of the coronavirus. But our plants still need care and attention and we continue to plant and nurture all of our crops.
We appreciate the value of plants and gardening in these stressful times. The stress reduction effect of plants has been proven over and over again. The security and satisfaction of growing your own food is second to none. As such, our greenhouses are still in operation with a minimal crew to continue to grow and maintain our plants. To reduce the risk of spread, we will not be allowing walk-in customers in our greenhouses.
Our new online store is now available at:
It will take us time to populate our store with all the various plants we grow, but rest assured we are working as fast as we can to make everything available. Once your order is ready, you will be contacted for pickup. Although our goal is to provide a 24-hour turn-around, the volume of orders being received is creating delays of up to 3-4 days. We continue to modify our internal processes to improve our turn-around times.
We care about our plants and have many processes in place within our greenhouse primarily to maintain the health and quality of our plants, but that also helps maintain the safety of all of us working with the plants and our customers. Our irrigation water is continuously charged with copper ions as a disinfectant to prevent various plant pathogens and the copper ions have a strong and lingering disinfection effect on viruses. In addition to our water disinfection, we also regularly disinfect our entire greenhouse with peroxide/peracetic acid. All these steps have been in place prior to the discovery of coronavirus and we're confident these sanitation methods ensure healthy and safe plants and people who work with the plants.
We realize that many people want nothing more than to browse through the garden centre, looking at flowers and selecting their plants of choice. However, we also know that plant tags, pots, and trays with plants in them cannot be disinfected and sanitized sufficiently when the general public is moving through the facility. This introduces us to a moral dilemma where there is a known potential vector for virus spread beyond what is found in more controlled indoor environments.
We're also not a buy-and-sell garden centre. We're a farm producer. We produce the flowers for your garden, but we also produce plants and vegetable starts for other farms, as well as our own field-grown food crops. Allowing customers into our facility is akin to allowing people to interact with the crops of other farms. The detection of any virus in our facility could very well result in the loss of many crops since we operate with a very small and tight crew of people.
These unique circumstances require alternate approaches to the distribution of our products and plants and often results in making compromises. Opening to the general public with strict protocols to allow walk-in traffic but controlling flow and occupancy is one option. But we're growers. We're plant people. We're not ushers. We're not security guards. We have created our online store where we can continue to grow and maintain our plants in our greenhouses where we have utmost control and minimal personal interaction and delivering plants directly from their ideal growing condition to you. It may not be as tactile when placing your order, but you ultimately have a better plant.
Our priorities have always been the health and quality of our plants, and equally the health, safety, and happiness of all our team. We have had much deliberation and discussions together about the subject. As such, we have decided, for the foreseeable future, to remain closed to walk-in customers even if government restrictions are lifted. By doing so we can be certain the crops we're growing for our farm and other farms are secure and can be delivered without risk. Our entire team remains safe, healthy, happy, and worry-free. In the end, we can all sleep well at night knowing that we're not potentially enabling the spread of the coronavirus or putting anybody at undue risk. We will not put the risk of any potential financial loss of remaining closed over and above the health of our staff and our community in general.
Such is the compromise we have chosen and we sincerely hope you understand our decision and continue to support us by ordering your plants online.
Wishing everybody good health.
Peter & Sue Rofner