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CNN in the time of covid-19

We hope that you and yours are healthy and coping well with the stress surrounding the ongoing disease epidemic. We have been following the advice of Governor Cuomo and reducing our interactions with other people as much as possible.

What does this mean for the nursery? For most of our existence our Spring opening occurred either the 2nd or 3rd weekend in April. This winter, as you probably know, has been the warmest winter ever and it looked for quite some time that we would be opening the nursery the last weekend in March. Winter has made a bit of a comeback however and we probably wouldn’t be opening until the first weekend in April – if, of course, the covid-19 disease epidemic had not ensued. Because cases of the virus are still exponentially increasing, we are delaying our opening for an indeterminate amount of time in order to help reduce the rate of spread of the virus.

We will be posting updates to our status on this site, on Facebook, and on our main website, catskillnativenursery.com. My thought is that we will not open to walk-in trade until the virus has begun to decline in its rate of spread. Certainly we do not feel it is appropriate to expose our workers and our customers to the possibility of exposure to the virus when the virus is still increasing exponentially in our population and the chances of transmission are higher.

We have thought about a number of options to still enable our customers to obtain plants from us. Most involve reducing the number of people coming into the nursery at one time or enforcing social distancing recommendations. We believe this would be an insufficient strategy for reducing transmission of the virus to the low levels that are necessary to “squash the bug.”

We have decided instead to do something we long thought virtually impossible. Getting our inventory onto a website – and not only having a darn close-to-live inventory listing, but also to allow you to order plants and pay for your order on-line. But only for curbside pickup at the nursery – no shipping whatsoever. We may be able to deliver some orders for customers who live close to the nursery and the order is either a large volume of plants or involves large trees. Please do not expect us to deliver small orders that you could easily pickup in your own vehicle – we do not have enough employees to be delivering small orders of plants all over Ulster County.

We have chosen to set up our “Plant Shop” on a completely different website from our main site. If you are shopping for Botanical Prints or Gift Certificates you can still purchase those at our main site catskillnativenursery.com. This site is solely for purchasing plants.

We have no idea whether we will be able to pull this off or not. There will be numerous glitches I’m sure. So please bear with us as we try to get on-line ordering up and running. We may abandon the idea shortly after launch if it becomes obvious that the process is simply intractable.

We do not know how long it will take for us to pull your order and make it available to you. As we go along in the process we’ll have a better idea of how long it will take and can advise accordingly. Please do not place an order, then immediately hop in your vehicle to come to the nursery to pick it up. Please wait until we have contacted you that your order is ready for pickup.

You will need to come to the nursery to pickup your order. We will place it in our upper parking area with your name on a label. You will be responsible for loading the order. We will not be able to assist. While picking up the order you may be tempted to come into the nursery to ask a question – we ask you to refrain from doing so. You may decide that a plant you have ordered is not one you want. We ask that you leave the plant with us and contact us about a refund. Do not enter the nursery to ask for a refund. You may get a plant home and decide you do not want it. Please do not return it to the nursery. Hold on to it until later in the season. We will be happy to issue a refund or credit for the plant but want to minimize transferral of plants back and forth. While loading, you may spy another plant or a pot that you want to purchase that you forgot to order. Please do not come into the nursery to try to purchase the item. You will need to return home and place another order.

I’m sure we will be adding other “rules and regulations” as we proceed. These are trying times but by respecting each other and following best procedures for reducing the spread of the virus we will hopefully get through the epidemic with less risk than if we simply carried on with business as usual.

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