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.

  • This is an important time of year for us home farmers and market gardeners. Having access to seed, soil, plant material all necessary. Plus I full support those who are interested in starting a back yard garden and why are marijuana growers deemed essential?

  • How can they lock down vegetable plants and seeds when our US Gov classifies them as food. These items can be purchased with food stamps.

  • To restrict greenhouse sales would be really unkind to people that are grassroots workers in this country. The small reduction in shopping and to the spread of the virus would not warrant destroying an entire city industry.
    Also, think about the loss of fresh produce to families and community gardeners. Home grown food has always been a way for lower income families to obtain healthy food. And for everyone,Summer is a time for us to increase our intake of fresh fruits and vegetables and boost immunity.

    • Which will ripen long after those who are tacking the disease are saying that it will be beaten. I’ll be heading out later to see what Lowes and Home Depot have available.

  • I support the Goveror’s decision to keep greenhouses nonessential at this time. Her decision demonstrates an effort to keep Michigan residents safe and healthy. Greenhouse workers and all laborers in this business deserve to be safe and out of harms way – COVID-19. Thank you, Governor Whitmer.

  • This is crazy. Everyone is shut up in their homes and now you’re saying I cant plant a garden. With the economy in such a bad place people are going to have to take care of themselves and their family’s. Gardens are a good activity and must needed food. Just restrict amount of people shopping at a time but dont take our personal rights away from us. I’m planting a garden no matter what.

  • Yes. Gardening is a primary way that people connect to nature and that is a healing transaction. But also, we need food. Seeds produce food. Plants produce pollen, food and propagation for our vital pollinators and other insects. This is insanity. If this women is reelected it will indicate the state of Michigan has lost its mind.

  • vegtables are essential… represents food security during scarcity. it is good for mental health as well. release the veggies and the seeds!!!!!!

  • Essential worker here, I agree 100%…. so do the millions of people that enjoy this state’s wilderness, public lands for hiking, walking their dogs, camping, sledding, fishing, o r v ing, hunting…. OF ALL KINDS, biking, mushrooming, bird watching, photography, taking their kids on a adventure or just taking them hunting and fishing when it’s what they want to do if they can’t spend time with their friends. This order has cost me and my family money and food on the table when times are hard. We have licenses for private land, that we own in northern michigan. We won’t visit public places at all for anything and we will bring enough food for the duration of our visit to our own property. I wish that the not so great governor gretchen whitmer would tell my broken hearted 12 year old daughter who just got her first turkey license. That her and her father cannot go to there OWN property and hunt for turkeys this year. Thanks puppet gretchen, you don’t care for the future of michigans conservation but only your agenda. Dont worry, I’ll tell my daughter. Worry about your votes. I have connections to the local and state wide news and media. Along with constant contact with hospital workers. My words will spread and That’s honesty speaking, it’s obvious that you don’t realize how many votes that the sportsman of michigan make up.

  • Have we the people lost our rights for something that will help fight the pandemic with heathlier food to build up your immune system to fight off sickness.
    Gardening will provide “Fresh Air” “Sunshine Exposure” and “Exercise” to help heal the body from sickness.
    There should be more gardening done during these times of pandemics.
    The governor should reconsider.

    • Actually, the experts say there is no correlation between sunshine, fresh air, or exercise to fighting this virus. Since it’s airborne, being outdoors can cause others who might be behind you to become I’ll, as it lingers not only on items but also hangs in the air.

      • What experts are you referring to? Could you give me some sources? Just curious. Let people use the same social distancing directives we use at the grocery stores. If we cannot grown fresh veggies etc. that eliminates healthy eating for so many. As many have said above, it is also good for mental health.

        I have also seen experts state it does not live outside in the sunshine or fresh air.

  • It seems extremely illogical for the governor to decide that we can’t buy plants to grow our own food at home but we can go to the grocery store and buy processed food that’s been touched by countless people

  • This is what a tyrant looks like people the chosen one has decided she knows best for you!
    You need to rely on government to tell you how to live because you are not smart enough to think for yourself but governor Whitmire knows best , I bet she even spent Easter with her family!!!.
    We need to let her know she works for us and we are not her serfs, we should be able to buy plants and seeds for our garden’s so we can garden and get outside and enjoy the sunshine.

  • Plant sales are not only flowers but vegetables grown to feed our families throughout the coming year. Don’t take our food source away from us.

  • I think Governor Whitmer should rescind the order on gardening centers not being essentials. Many of us plant gardens and grow food that we use all summer. Without this, we will not be able to save. We are already short of money and to not e able to plant a garden will make it worse.

    It can be managed like the grocery stores are doing-masks and gloves required, and only so many at a time.

    Spring and summer is the time that nurseries and greenhouses make all their money for the year. If they are closed, they can not make it up later on. You can not plant a garden in August.

    With all the tress, people have to have something they can d. And gardening is a solitary activity–and easy to stay a safe distance away.

    It would be easy to place an order for what you want, and then deliver curbside service–like grocery stores are currently doing.

  • This order is going to make people drive to other states to buy gardening supplies. That will benefit the other states, and hurt Michigan. That is going to make people recent Governor Whitmer

  • We need to stop the socialist left from destroying our state and nation. They are using this pandemic as an excuse for taking over the country and bringing financial ruin to all. They WANT a depression to happen.

  • Are you seriously this narrow-minded? Food is pretty essential, especially for vegans and balanced eaters. Think about it…are greenhouse workers not MORE prone to social distancing at work than… say those essential liquor store employees? Do you plan to live the rest of the YEAR with NO produce to buy at the store? Obviously you don’t understand that one is connected to the other. If you did, then you wouldn’t be making this uneducated noise. Ignorace is NOT bliss, “Anonymous.” It is self-destructive in a crisis.

  • Are you seriously this narrow-minded? Food is pretty essential, especially for vegans and balanced eaters. Think about it…are greenhouse workers not MORE prone to social distancing at work than… say those essential liquor store employees? Do you plan to live the rest of the YEAR with NO produce to buy at the store? Obviously you don’t understand that one is connected to the other. If you did, then you wouldn’t be making this uneducated noise. Ignorace is NOT bliss, “Anonymous.” It is self-destructive in a crisis.

  • They’re doing their best to crash the economy as far as it will go in order for Trump to be beaten by Biden/Whitmer. At least that’s their hope. They really don’t care how many people they hurt.

  • I am reading about this since I heard it on the radio this evening. Once I got home I decided to look it up. I can not find the “executive order” from the Governor of Michigan that says that food (including vegetables) is not allowed to be farmed, produced, or sold. Specifically I was reading executive order 2020-42. Can anyone point me to the EO that prohibits food plant sales?
    I can understand that non-edible plants (flowers and non-edible ornamental plants) however they are grown being considered “non-essential.” I can not understand human or livestock edible plants being prohibited in any way.

  • Where do I send the bill for being forced to buy veggies that I could grow in my balcony garden? I save over 500 bucks a year from growing herbs, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and microgreens. I don’t like buying seeds online, but I do most of the time. I can’t buy fertilizer, soil, and other items online and have it delivered. I do have a few seeds from yesteryear.

  • I’m so sorry Michigan, your Governor is a demon. Not only is gardening good exercise, it’s enjoyable and good for state of mind. Organic food is essential for healthy nourishment. There is something wrong with someone who would deny you to grow your food or have a simple pleasure, but allow you to buy booze and weed. Wow. I feel so sorry for the Michigan residents. Band together people.

  • When the Government tells you you cannot feed yourself and prepare for what your deem to be a coming issue, it’s time to tear this entire system apart.

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