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Keeping Our Communities Safe and Well

By Sara Venn

Whilst the last thing we want to do is panic everyone, we thought it would be a good measure to publish some thoughts that will, we hope, keep all community gardeners as safe as possible over the coming weeks and months.

First to remember is that COVID19, whilst spread by air borne molecules, lasts longest on surfaces. So the best advice is to wash hands often and try to avoid touching your face with your hands. However, it also means keeping surfaces clean and with that we would like to suggest keeping shared tools disinfected after work parties, and perhaps suggesting folk bring their own hand tools along to work parties if that is possible for your group. We would also suggest asking people to either bring their own gloves, or giving out gloves and making people responsible for them, asking them to wash them for themselves and not share them.

Whilst we all love a cuppa at our work parties, it seems prudent to ask people to being their own cup or mug along over the next weeks and months so that everyone can be assured of the cleanliness of the vessel they are drinking from.

It’s fair to say that at Incredible Edible groups we are really all huggers, but ensuring that we touch elbows or do the funny foot dance seems more appropriate at the moment and actually is funny and makes folk laugh!! But this leads onto the most important thing-if people feel unwell encouraging them to stay at home is the wisest thing to do. Whilst they may feel they are letting the group down, in fact what we all need to now think is, what effect might I have on the families of the people I will be mixing with? Most of us know someone who has extra risk posed by coronavirus and so it’s vital we think of others and are mindful of the effects we could have.

Whilst this might sound all doom and gloom, and acknowledging that timing wise this is problematic, just at the point we are all raring to get growing, there are lots of things we can all do if we do end up in isolation. Those with websites or blogs can share the stories of their groups, download photos and stories to social media and keep communications high, both internally and externally. You all know we love to share stories so remember to tag us in them on social media and we’ll share away!

But of course we can also get growing. Sowing seeds, propagating cuttings etc can carry on only in our back yards and gardens, but at least we’ll be ready to plant out substantial plants once we can!! It’s not ideal but it’s a way to move forwards in difficult times.

Acting with kindness is the most responsible thing we can do in the next weeks and months. We’ll update with any further thoughts or advice that comes to us, so keep your eyes peeled on this space and stay safe.