Community Gardens – COVID-19
A community garden utilizes either individual or shared plots on private or public land where community members can access to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. Planting, growing and cultivating fruits and vegetables is part of the food supply chain for many individuals, families and communities.
The purpose of this information sheet is to provide guidance for the safe use of community gardens to prevent the spread of COVID-19 . Until further notice, community garden use is to be limited to essential service only – namely growing produce.
Preventing the Spread of Infection
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
- Do not visit the garden if you are ill.
- Cough and sneeze into your sleeve and not your hands.
- Limit time and maintain physical distancing during interactions at the garden.
- Postpone any community events or tours.
- Seating may be provided if physical distancing can be achieved.
- Except when the garden is closed, gates are to be left open at all times to prevent unnecessary handling/touching.
- Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols are required for common touch surfaces (knobs, padlocks, water spigots, gates, hand washing/sanitizer stations, tools, etc.).
- Maintain physical distancing (2 meters/6 feet) between each person at all times.
- Consider staggering the use of garden plots. For example, users of even numbered plots can visit on even numbered days and users of odd numbered plots can visit on odd numbered days.
Wash Your Hands
- Wash hands before entering and leaving the garden and after any possibility of contamination.
- A hand washing station is to be available for use at all times. This station must be properly stocked with running water, liquid hand soap, single-use disposable paper towel and a garbage can.
- Each gardener should bring their own tools to reduce the risk of surface transmission.
- Tools should be taken home at the end of each day.
- If communal tools are used, they MUST be cleaned and sanitized before and after each use.
- A sanitizer effective against COVID-19 must be available at proper strength for use at all times. Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are effective against COVID-19.
- Signs are to be posted to advise gardeners when and how to use the sanitizer.
- Use sanitizing wipes to wipe the hose handle and the on/off valve before and after each use. Sanitizing wipes will be provided at the grow site.
- Wash hands after using the watering system.
- Consider reducing how often you use the hose – let the rain do the work for you.