COVID-19 and the 2021 Greenhouse Season
Thanks for checking in! As I write this (April 8th), the province has entered the start of another "Stay at Home" order, with greenhouses allowed to stay open at 25% capacity. Since our greenhouse sales generally start mid May (about 6 weeks away), it seems fruitless to speculate on where we'll be then. However, here's what we anticipate AT THIS POINT:
April 8th, 2021,
Hi friends and farm-ily,
As promised, some more details about our upcoming greenhouse season. We've been getting A LOT of questions on our social media, through email and through phone the last few days, and since my hands are generally covered in soil these days, it's been hard to keep up with them.
We anticipate that we will be opening for IN-PERSON shopping at our farm for our Spring Sales. By mid May when the sales start, we are primarily set up outside, with only some of our more tender plants still living in the greenhouse (Basil. It’s always basil…..). Between our generous outdoor space, mask wearing, and the myriad other protocols developed by people smarter than us, we anticipate that we can offer in person shopping. We WILL be asking that everyone wear masks (exceptions for medical reasons and small children), even outdoors. We'll be wearing them too, guys! We ask people to remember that this is also our home, and it feels extra scary to be opening it up after 14 months of isolation (truly almost no one has been in our house in that time -- propitious timing since my housekeeping standards have necessarily had to slide/plummet).
There may be lines. We don't know. 🤷♀️. This is new to us as well. We investigated the possibility of booking appointments, but it's beyond our very limited (time and technological) capabilities at this time. I also feel strongly that it leaves our many of our older customers behind, customers who are less computer savvy and have been some of my biggest supporters from the start. If there's a way to let people know that lines are especially long or short, we'll do that. We can also offer a lovely bucolic view while you're waiting, and the Handsome Goat Farmer has fortuitously already spread his manure, so you won't need to worry about our "dairy-air." (Fair warning though: The Future Farmer loves a captive audience and she's very motivated right now to earn money to purchase a bunny. The HGF was chagrined to learn last night that ours is not, in fact, a REAL farm, because we don't have bunnies).
We will NOT be open 7 days a week. Our sale days have ALWAYS been Friday-Sunday during the four weekends that we open (plus Victoria Day Monday), and again, that's all we're capable of offering at this time. Greenhouse season wars with our busiest planting time of the year in the field, and April to July feel like having two equally demanding children screaming at you constantly. We are a small team, and we do an outsized amount of work, but we cannot do it all. I've tried that and it always ends in disaster for me personally. Our sale dates are on the photo, so mark your calendars!
Unfortunately, we won't be able to set aside things for pickup. See aforementioned limited capacities. We get it. This is different than other years. But we are dealing with unprecedented changes with our suppliers as well, and we cannot guarantee anything.
We ARE accepting custom planter orders, so if you’d like your hanging baskets or planters custom planted, send us an email at email@example.com to arrange contactless dropoff. Planters can be picked up at any of our sale days.
Speaking of email, I try to clear emails once a day and texts in the 5 minutes after I drop off the Future Farmer at school and finish my coffee in the parking lot. The best way to reach us really is email, but again, we appreciate your patience as we try to keep up with questions. Also a Public Service Announcement on behalf of every small business owner without a dedicated customer service department: people who spend a few minutes on our website (www.ruralrootsnursery.ca) or scanning social media posts to see if we’ve already answered their question before reaching out are GOLDEN! You are our stars and we sing your praises!
Last but not least, there is still AT LEAST FIVE WEEKS before gardening season kicks off in earnest! I know this unusually pleasant spring has us all extra anxious after the long and brutal slog that was last winter, but the weather is nowhere near ready for tomatoes and hanging baskets and marigolds. You’ll notice our first weekend this year is May 14th-16th. In my opinion that is STILL too early to count on safe planting weather, but we understand that people are starving for colour and they absolutely deserve to enjoy flowers and plan stellar veggie gardens after this latest round of lockdowns. (You’ll thank us when you aren’t hauling plants in and out of your front entrance for a month). And please remember that there are very real humans behind your local businesses. They are incredible, they’ve been weathering these ups and downs like champs, and they deserve your compassion. (Thank you for coming to my - CAPS LOCK and Bracket filled - TED talk).
We know that we have the most supportive customers around, and rest assured, we're working flat out with the goal that you won't notice a difference in our offerings this year. We'll try to keep you all updated in a timely manner. Check back soon, or follow us on social media for the details.
- Thank you,
Heidi and crew.
It was working in a greenhouse during summers while in university that I first discovered my love of growing and tending flowers. Although our setup is not what you might call fancy (we use a sauna as a germination chamber and two basic hoophouses assembled by family and friends), we manage to grow a startlingly wide array of plants: annuals, perennials, vegetable and herb transplants, as well as hanging baskets and planters. We start many of our plants from seed or from small "plugs" which we are lucky enough to be able to source from Ontario growers within an hour or so of us. We also bring in a carefully curated selection of annuals, perennials and shrubs from Ontario growers, in order to increase what we can offer you, and because we don't have the space of setup to grow every single plant that we'd like to (trust me, we've tried!).
Spring Sale Days on the Farm
Every spring we get excited to throw open our (figurative) farm doors to welcome old and new customers to our Spring Sales on the farm. We host four (long) weekends of sales starting Victoria Day weekend, where we invite you to wander our outdoor and indoor displays, soak in the colours and hopefully discover some new treasures.
Our Sale weekends for 2021 are:
Friday May 14th to Sunday, May 16th (Weather Dependent)
Friday, May 21st to Monday, May 24th
Friday, May 28th to Sunday, May 30th
Friday June 4th to Sunday, June 6th
*Note: In person Shopping will depend on provincial and health unit restrictions, and we will be following all mandated and suggested guidelines.
What We Offer:
Annuals: From Ageratum to Zinnias, we grow plants for bedding, containers, and cutting gardens.
Vegetable Transplants: From Arugula to Zucchini, including over 20 kinds of peppers, 25 varieties of tomatoes and our favourite herbs.
Perennials: From Alchemilla to Yarrow (Almost "Z")
A selection of our favourite and most rewarding Shrubs like hydrangeas, easy care roses, lilacs and peonies.
Fruit Shrubs (raspberries, blueberries, currants, elderberries and more) and 4-in-1 Fruit Trees
Hundreds of healthy and unique hanging baskets, planters, window boxes and special suprises.
During the season, we'll bring a selection of our transplants to the Stayner Farmers' Market on Thursdays from 5-8:30pm.
We offer fall sales of mums and mixed fall planters in September and October. And we offer custom Winter Planters for pickup or delivery in November and December.
We also take custom orders! We will carefully select proper plants, plant and tend your hanging baskets, window boxes or containers for you. They'll grow in our greenhouse until you're ready to bring them home. If you're interested in this service, contact us to arrange a time to drop off your containers - the earlier, the better!
The Greenhouse is now CLOSED. See you again in a few months for our Spring Sale Days on the farm.