Previously closed community gardens, like Mountain View Community Garden, will reopen after a provincial announcement. Photo by Marc Kitteringham - Campbell River Mirror

Community Gardens deemed essential service

Other food production and distribution also included

In a reversal of a Greenways Trust decision earlier this week, the provincial government has declared community gardens and other food production services to be essential to the functioning of society, and that they must remain open provided they can ensure the safety of people using them.

The Mirror had previously reported on the decision by Greenways to close its two gardens in Campbell River. However, during an announcement on Thursday morning, the province included all food production and distribution businesses, including those run by volunteers, on a list of essential services. The list also includes things like farmers markets, subsistence agriculture as well as more industrial forms of agriculture.

“That means that from our side we have to set up measures having water in place to wash hands, providing gloves, disposable towels and soap and stuff so that we can supply people with the safety measures that they can use their garden without being in danger of catching the virus,” said Greenways Trust spokesperson Lydia Stratemann.

Stratemann said that it would take some time for Greenways to be able to ensure the safety of their gardeners, but that since it is only March, the demand will not be there until later in the year. Greenways will be coordinating with city operations workers to ensure a water supply can reach the gardens, and they will be working on making sure proper safety measures can be in place.

“There is no running water at this point, basically we need to fix that first, put up sinks, buy all the essentials that were listed earlier,” she said. “Even getting hand sanitizer will be a challenge, but that’s a good problem to have.”

Gardening is more than just about growing flowers and food. Stratemann explained that many of the responses she had received about the initial closure were of disappointment.

“It’s something that is really really close to people’s hearts. It’s a kind of therapy I feel,” She said. “It’s people’s happy place and we have to take that very seriously.”

She is not expecting many flowers this year in the plots, however. The provincial government’s announcement is strictly about food production and ensuring the food security of communities around the province.

“I know so many people who are using the chance to tackle their gardens,” Stratemann said. “There are so many people who are using this extra time to build garden beds. We’re on an island, and who knows what can happen. It is a good thing to know how to grow food and dig into it, learn and have some food additionally to what we buy in the stores.”

Two other community gardening locations in Campbell River are not run by Greenways Trust. The garden in Campbellton has posted on Facebook reminding people to stay safe while gardening. The Comox Strathcona Garden Education Centre continues to be closed until further notice, according to their website.

Other essential services include health care, law enforcement and public safety, vulnerable population service providers, infrastructure service providers, transportation and infrastructure, sanitation, communications and IT, and non-health essential service providers. A detailed list of industries can be found on the B.C. government website.

RELATED: Campbell River Community Gardens closed

B.C. bans ‘shameful black market’ of food, medical supplies; limits buying quantities



marc.kitteringham@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CommunitygardeningNews

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Search for missing hiker suspended once again

Search for Laurence Philippsen was revived over the weekend after new information was received

NIC practical nursing students hone skills on pandemic’s front line

‘It also has become clear that this is my thing,’ – NIC practical nursing student Breanna Patterson

Abuse rarely stops without intervention – RCMP

The Campbell River RCMP responded to 48 reports related to domestic violence… Continue reading

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

North Island College announces 2020 graduation award winners

North Island College has announced the award recipients for the 2020 Graduation… Continue reading

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Port Alberni will have a salmon derby on Labour Day after all

Alberni Valley Tyee Club reveals ‘socially distanced’ derby only for Labour Day 2020

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

Most Read