Keeping Community Agriculture Sites Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Rachel Brunner and Kayla Elliott, Common Earth Gardens
Collecting Information and Resources
During the midst of so much uncertainty, lost wages, and closures, food production and availability has been a worry on many people’s minds. That’s why continued productivity of community gardens is so important during the COVID-19 pandemic. To make sure we had the most accurate information to make decisions from the beginning, Common Earth Gardens and Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service looked to our local and state government for specific recommendations on safety and protection for community gardens in the Louisville area. Additionally, letters describing the importance we see in community gardens were sent to Louisville Metro Council members. In these letters, we asked them to support community agriculture sites as essential activity, like grocery stores.
Health and Safety at Community Agriculture Sites
Based on public health recommendations, we continue to keep bar soap and cleaning supplies stocked in all gardens so that gardeners have easy access to wash their hands and tools. We recommend that gardeners bring their own gloves and tools to the sites, stay at least six feet apart from one another, and stay home if they are feeling unwell.
Continuing Communication with Growers while Social Distancing
To make safety and health a first priority while gardeners begin planting for the season, Common Earth Gardens and Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service compiled resources in the languages spoken at community agriculture sites from various sources, like local, state, and federal government. We have made phone calls to remind gardeners that we’re available to answer questions and will resume meetings and plot sign ups when gatherings do not present risk. This is an important time to stay connected with each other and promote correct information. Together, we’ll make it through!
Louisville Multilingual Resources: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/health-wellness/covid-19-international-language-handouts
Here are some examples of what we’ve posted in the community agriculture sites we support (clicking on the image will take you to the website where it was found):