Governor Orders Closure Of Gardening Centers At Large Stores During Lockdown

Sandy Malone

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer closed down garden centers as part of long list of additional anti-COVID-19 measures.

CORRECTION: Our information source, Michigan Public Radio, claimed that there was a ban on the sale of fruit and vegetable plants. They have since issued a correction that retail outlets are interpreting her order to be a ban on the sale of those products. Retailers are interpreting the order to close gardening centers to include restrictions on the sale of seeds, and have stopped selling seeds. We have updated the article to reflect this is the interpretation of retailers.

Lansing, MI – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer set off another firestorm of criticism after she extended the state’s stay-at-home order to May 1, and required stores larger than 50,000 square feet must close their gardening centers. Retailers are interpreting the order to restrict sales of plant and seed sales as well.

Whitmer issued the order on April 9 and immediately faced backlash from thousands of garden centers and the gardeners who use them, Michigan Public Radio reported.

According to Michigan Public Radio, retailers interpret the order to mean that residents may only purchase groceries and fuel and garden centers have been ordered to close temporarily and farmers markets must stop selling seedlings.

“Currently there is a ban on all plant sales at the market. So, that is a big portion of our May market and so we might have to limit particular vendors at that time,” a spokesman for Grand Rapids’ Fulton Street Market told Michigan Public Radio.

Garden centers have said the order makes no sense because they can do contactless sales and growing vegetables at home actually reduces a person’s exposure.

“[I] just want us to be able to do curbside pickup and help our local customers to be able to do their own gardening and put the money back in the local economy,” garden center employee Callie Gafner told Michigan Public Radio.

“If you’re growing them yourself, you're reducing the contact between people because you're not going anywhere,” Gafner added. “You're going out in your own garden and picking them up rather than going into the store and coming into contact with how many people.”

Michigan Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski has sent a letter to the governor “ask for a reconsideration of retail garden centers to be included as essential infrastructure workers.”

Michigan Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, a Republican, said Whitmer’s latest order was the "wrong call" and said it was "bad for Michigan families," WZZM reported.

"Instead of essential vs non-essential, we should think safe vs unsafe," Chatfield tweeted, and specifically listed lawn care, construction, motorized boating, realtors, and buying seeds and gardening supplies.

"All these are safe. But the Governor says no. We can ensure safety & be reasonable. Let’s do both," Chatfield posted, according to WZZM.

GOP Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey was also very critical of Whitmer’s decision, WZZM reported.

“The Senate Republicans believe a strategic application of 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' is appropriate going forward,” Shirkey said in a statement. “Individuals living in regions of the state that are experiencing little to no growth in infection rates should be able to return to their jobs to support their families if proper safety protocols are put in place.”

U.S. Representative Josh Amash (I-Michigan) called on Whitmer to use better judgement, WZZM reported.

“The governor needs to allow communities and businesses to establish safety procedures based on actual conditions. Not every place has the same risks, and it’s not good governance, good health science, or good economics to pretend they do,” Amash tweeted on Saturday.

Whitmer responded to the criticism on Saturday but didn’t back down, WZZM reported.

"We are living in a difficult time, & the unknown is scary,” Whitmer tweeted. ”But I do know that we must remain steady. We can’t allow fear or panic to guide us. The lives of Michiganders are at stake. We must stay the course to save lives.”

"It's important to remember that we are all in this together,” the governor continued. “That creating all sorts of exceptions for what is going to last for three more weeks - is what this stay at home order is. Every exception we make makes it porous and less likely to be successful.”

"We know that these tactics work,” she added, according to WZZM.

Michigan has 24,638 positive cases of coronavirus as of Monday, with 1,487 fatalities, according to Bing’s COVID-19 Tracker.

The state is third in the country behind New York and New Jersey for number of coronavirus cases; however, 78 percent of Michigan’s cases are restricted to a three-county region around Detroit, WZZM reported.

Comments (58)
No. 1-22
Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Unconstitutional.

Betcha you can still buy liquor and smokes.

Bascher_76
Bascher_76

MI resident here... you sure can... and lottery tickets... you can't fish or boat... but kayaks and canoes are perfectly fine....

007karley
007karley

Wow. Just wow. She is an idiot.

Fayedra12
Fayedra12

You can buy seeds online

MikeWD
MikeWD

The seeds of discontent.....

SPD33
SPD33

I find it interesting that the left always tell us that if we just elect more women to public office everything will get better and yet it is this dolt and the female governor of Rhode Island that have been the quickest to violate people's constitutional rights.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

This woman is incompetent.

Tucker Carlson is reporting tonight that she:

  • recently claimed that her hospitals would be overwhelmed. They are not, even in Detroit.
  • banned all gatherings everywhere, for any reason, of any size, even in private homes, as if she thinks she has the authority to do that.
  • banned travel between two homes, for people that own two or more
  • she closed most stores, and bans items that she deems non-essential

In her own words on video, she bans "certain areas of stores, like flooring, carpet, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries, or paint. If you are not buying food or medicine, or other essential items, you should not be going to the store."

If y'all don't see this as tyranny, I cannot relate. She is a Fascist, and has no idea how to lead, other than "do something" with her overwhelming unconstitutional authority she has recently been endowed with, because, fake pandemic.

Fundamental liberties guaranteed to all Americans are not subject to the whims of a governor or mayor.

Sorry, but your fake pandemic is over.

Y'all
Y'all

Is this governor dumber than a box of rocked? I say yes!

Turtle6988
Turtle6988

My comment was deleted. Its FAKE NEWS. I live in Michigan I can buy whatever I want. You either order online and do curbside pickup. Or you go to a smaller store. I can walk into an ACE Hardware and buy seeds and other gardening needs. Even an American Flag. But hey I guess someone who doesn't live in the state of Michigan knows more than me.

javaguy
javaguy

I think she should stop using her computer before she catches . nasty computer virus!!!!!!!

ShadowGryphon
ShadowGryphon

What a blithering idiot!
She's a Democrat... so there's that.

Gramercy
Gramercy

Garden growing instill sanity at this time in our lives when upheaval and insecurity flourish. ridiculous banning of an anti-toxin for the pandemic toxin pervading our lives.

BAH330
BAH330

I live in Michigan. She’s a piece of 💩

Schick56
Schick56

Idiot, 💩head, 😠

magnumforc
magnumforc

Looks like her brain went to seed...or poop as others noted.

SPD33
SPD33

Well folks Sleepy Joe is seriously looking at her as his running mate. If Biden gets elected you can bet the powers that be in the Democratic Party will Amendment 25 Joe for dementia and half-Whitmer will be POTUS.

DRTice
DRTice

Time to get her out of office. This is not what a caring governor would do to the people of our state.

LEO-Retired
LEO-Retired

Have the lunatics finally taken control of the asylum, or is it just now becoming apparent?

debluvzcats
debluvzcats

What is wrong with this crazy woman? Everything she's doing is plain downright stupid. 😡

JohDia01
JohDia01

What a moron!

portManaT13
portManaT13

That is the severest case of cranial rectitis I have ever seen. That woman is a clear and present danger to peaceful progress of civil society in MI. She needs to be GONE -- YESTERDAY!!!

lakeboi
lakeboi

Wouldn't it be prudent for each of us to read the parameters of Michigan restrictions before making assumptions this article is even true? https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705-522626--,00.html


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