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NM nurseries can stay open for curbside delivery

Dave Banchich waters plants in the native section of Osuna Nursery on March 20. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is allowing nurseries to stay open via curbside or delivery service. (ROBERTO E. ROSALES/JOURNAL)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After some confusion surrounding the operation of plant nurseries that prompted some temporary closures, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office has made it clear: nurseries selling live plants are allowed to stay open, but only through curbside or delivery service.

Nurseries must also continue to take social distancing precautions and abide by the mass gathering rule that prohibits five or more people gathering in a room or in an outdoor space where they can’t be at least six feet from each other, according to Governor’s Office spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett.

Nurseries had been temporarily closed following an now-amended April 11 public health order classifying those businesses as non-essential.

“It’s way more labor intensive to do business this way,” said Glenda Mostek, executive director of the Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association.

Mostek, whose organization represents 13 nurseries in New Mexico, said nurseries have been busy and having to field many phone calls to process orders.

“Everyone’s having to adjust but they are glad to be open and to help everyone get out there to plant something,” she said.

Osuna Nursery at 501 Osuna NE has been closed to in-person shopping since April 11, when New Mexico State Police stopped by to inform staff of the updated order, marketing director Shannon Cody said.

“While we are carefully following state orders and following CDC guidelines, we are still pushing for a chance to reopen for in-store shopping,” Cody said.

For now, many local nurseries are offering curbside and delivery services. Most nurseries are accepting orders online or over the phone.

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