Michigan Governor Deems Gardening Supplies — Including Fruit And Vegetable Seeds — ‘Non-Essential’

REUTERS/Jeff Kowalsky

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s latest executive order deems a number of home-improvement and gardening items — including fruit and vegetable seeds — “non-essential.”

In addition to enforcing social distancing measures and limiting the number of people in the stores that were allowed to remain open — in order to slow the spread of coronavirus — Whitmer’s April 9 order also gave explicit instructions with regard to items that could not be sold as they were considered “non-essential.”

Close areas of the store—by cordoning them off, placing signs in aisles, posting prominent signs, removing goods from shelves, or other appropriate means—that are dedicated to the following classes of goods:

  • Carpet or flooring.
  • Furniture.
  • Garden centers and plant nurseries.
  • Paint.

The restriction on gardening supplies struck a nerve, which came just as the weather was beginning to warm to the proper temperatures for most early planting. (RELATED: Gretchen Whitmer Trolls Trump With ‘That Woman From Michigan’ Shirt)

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey pointed out that Michiganders could still legally buy marijuana while they were effectively being barred from planting home gardens. “In Michigan today you can buy weed but not seeds,” he said.

A few of the other items cordoned off in larger retail stores pursuant to Whitmer’s order raised eyebrows as well.

Whitmer signed one of the most aggressive “stay-at-home” orders Friday. In addition to banning all public gatherings of any size, the new order — which took effect Saturday — barred residents from traveling between homes even if they owned both properties.

The Michigan governor is reportedly on former Vice President Joe Biden’s short list to be tapped as his vice presidential nominee.