By Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, Fellow PRSA
Photos: Good Earth Plant Company
April 16, 2020 (San Diego) -- As a result of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on San Diego County’s wholesale ornamental plant and flower nursuries, tens of thousands of dollars of indoor plants remaining unsold to clients were destined for the landfill.
Instead, the plants are being donated as a small thank you to the frontline healthcare staff at San Diego area hospitals.
Jim Mumford, owner and president of Good Earth Plant Company, arranged the donations from Olive Hill Greenhouses, Leucadia Nursery, and FlorAbunda Nursery. All were eager to participate. The three businesses have donated $35,000 worth of plants to date. Other nurseries are expected to participate in the ongoing project, operating under the hashtag #StayPlanted.
The single largest donation to date took place on Wednesday, April 15 at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, facilitated by the Grossmont Healthcare District. Five hundred and fifty plants including bromeliads, kalanchoes, and ferns were distributed to appreciative employees. Several said they had never owned or cared for an indoor plant.
“We love the enthusiastic reaction and the thankful smiles on tired faces,” said Mumford. All are in the “bulletproof” indoor plant category, so our new plant parents need to give them a minimum of TLC to keep their plants healthy. In return, their plants will put healthy oxygen and humidity into their indoor air, while scrubbing it of carbon dioxide and unhealthy toxins from plastics and synthetic materials.”
Mumford and several employee volunteers are delivering the plants during staff shift changes, encouraging employees to pick out their plants and carry them to their cars as they leave after a long day.
“So far in our first week, we have delivered and donated more than $35,000 worth of plants and prevented the negative environmental impact from dumping them. We intend to keep going until we have rescued and re-homed as many spring season plants as possible,” said Mumford.
“We are committed to keeping people healthy in our own way, and using the opportunityto say thank you to our frontline workers in this fight. At the same time, I get to spread the word about the many benefits of plants and their ability to improve our physical, mental, and emotional health. Every little bit helps right now. And you don’t have to worry about social distancing with your plants,” added Mumford.