Shopping entry times
Why are there shopping signups this year?
Because the plant sale is at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, it’s classified as an event, and we have to follow many state health guidelines for events — for example limiting capacity and requiring contact-tracing.
We tried to convince the state we were more like a retail operation, but haven’t been able to change the way they look at a sale that takes place at the Fairgrounds.
How else has the pandemic affected the plant sale this year?
Many of our long-time shoppers know this already, but others may not: the Friends School Plant Sale is run almost entirely by volunteers, including all of the planning that takes place throughout the year.
This group of volunteers started trying to figure out how to have a pandemic-proof sale back in June 2020, when no one had any idea what would be happening in spring 2021. Could we even have a sale at all?
There have been (and continue to be) many difficult choices to make in these not-normal times. We decided to hold the sale outdoors but — even though the space is enormous — we have been allowed a much smaller number of shoppers than our usual. Over the last year we have had to reinvent, without good information, almost everything at the sale because of pandemic precautions.
Like you, we would rather be having our regular sale. We wish everyone could come and shop with their friends and family, too.
We all look forward to a 2022 plant sale that's back to normal and better than ever!