We’re happy to report that Native Here reopened to the public on June 13. Out of concern for the safety and well-being of our customers and volunteers, at present we are only accepting online orders for curbside pickup. Although we regret that we weren’t able to serve our customers this past spring, our temporary closure due to coronavirus precautions did give us time to do a lot of projects at the nursery so we can serve customers better in the future.
Foremost among these projects was building a brand new, up-to-date website that supports online ordering, an investment not only in the present, but also the future. We were extremely fortunate that three data professionals from our volunteer community stepped forward to build this site for us. Jemima designed and built the website itself, Per did all the data preparation and cleaning and became the project leader, and Kate extracted the data from our “plant cards,” which have been on display in the nursery for many years. The plant cards provide photographs and information on individual species and were developed by Janice over the past 20 years or so. Many other nursery volunteers helped gather data and wrote new material for the website (an ongoing effort): Barbara, Beth, Ruth Ann, Arleen, Margaret, Jean, Meg, and Lesley. John answered the questions no one else could. I hope I didn’t leave anyone out! We invite you to visit our new website at our familiar address, nativeherenursery.org.
To support our new website, we needed to take an accurate inventory of the growing areas, where we keep new plants that are not yet ready to sell. This was made much easier because no plants were being moved in response to sales, but it was still a major project that took a month to complete. Next we updated the inventory of the sales area; that inventory was already in good shape and only took a couple of days, again made easier because no plants moved.
Now that summer is here, we’re looking for more volunteers to help with nursery tasks. The health of our volunteers is very important to us, and we have developed ways to work safely at the nursery. We especially need volunteers to help with watering during the dry season. Also, we would love to have an additional volunteer to help our regular crew sterilize soil during the next two to three months, when the demand for soil is heaviest. Neither of these tasks requires plant knowledge; we’ll show you what needs to be done. If you would like to help, you can find more details and contact information on the Volunteer Opportunities page of the Native Here Nursery website.
There are many intangible rewards for volunteering at Native Here Nursery, and some tangible ones too. Annual spring wildflowers usually sell quickly at the nursery. This spring, when the shutdown made it impossible to sell our crop of annuals, Native Here Nursery co-founder John Danielsen gave them away to the volunteers and covered the cost. They have been very popular and much appreciated.
— Lesley Hunt, Native Here Nursery Committee