COVID-19 shaping operations at local greenhouse

OREGON, Ohio (WTVG) - The COVID-19 outbreak is forcing businesses everywhere to change how they connect their product with customers.

For the first time, ever Bench Farms is encouraging an online ordering process.

"We always open up April 1, which is April Fool's Day, and this year it's really a joke on us because some of us who are older and not so much tech-knowledgeable need to quickly jump in," Cindy Bench, co-owner of Bench Farms, said.

With the help of her family, she's starting an online ordering form.

"Customers can be able to order and pay for the product online," Bench said. "They have to give us 24 hours, but within 24 hours they can order, and we can deliver it to their car, and they can go home and garden.

"Gardening is so important for all this right now, not only for our bodily needs but for our soul and hearts."

And she said that gardening is important, so her business is essential.

"All of us need to eat, I don't know any of us that don't. Some of us eat too much," Bench said. "We have all the seeds that are needed right now. It's early in the season, but many of the plants need to go in the ground soon. So if we wait until all this blows over, which may not be until the middle of summer, you will not have a garden, and then the food insecurity becomes even greater."

The greenhouse will be open to visitors who can come in, but a few differences are in place now. They have a hand-washing station before you even enter the greenhouse, and if you want to come in and shop, you'll have to call and make an appointment. You can call 419-836-0507 for an appointment to come in and shop, or visit the Bench Farms website to place an order for pickup.