Growing a greener audience - East Valley Tribune: Living Green

Growing a greener audience

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Posted: Wednesday, June 2, 2010 4:45 am

There's a new greener-gardening show in town that features the latest trends in eco-friendly living. Distributed by American Public Television and presented by Blue Ridge PBS, "Growing A Greener World" made its debut this month on many public-television stations. That's particularly exciting to me since I'm the executive producer and host.

Co-host Patti Moreno -- a/k/a "Garden Girl," known for her expertise in urban sustainable living and her online videos -- and I travel the country to tell how people, places and organizations are using the garden and eco-friendly practices to promote environmental stewardship. We show viewers how they can apply these same principles to make a difference in their own backyard. Each episode covers sustainable-gardening practices and features a cooking segment by chef Nathan Lyon (host of Discovery Health's "A Lyon in the Kitchen") on how to use fresh-from-the-garden fruits, vegetables and herbs to stretch the menu in simple but delicious ways.

With a long history and passion for green gardening, I was inspired to create this series because I understand what information gardeners need to know to create eco-friendly environments. And with my experience as a TV-gardening-show host, I know what gardeners and those interested in sustainable living want and need to see that hasn't been presented before. So with that in mind, I created this series to appeal to viewers of all ages with compelling stories, hands-on segments and beautiful visuals. My hope is that you'll feel right at home with us in the places we feature, that you'll follow up and learn more online, and that you'll be inspired to live a little greener.

Yet beyond the traditional gardener, I believe the future of ensuring a sustainable environment through gardening is in the hands of a new generation of eco-conscious, tech-savvy men and women. For my team, a key focus in connecting the garden with sustainability to this audience is through social media. So we make every episode available through our website,, along with related articles, links and downloadable videos and podcasts that anyone can access anytime. And social-networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter offer even greater access to me and everyone else connected to our show.

According to National Gardening Association estimates in 2009, 7 million people grew some of their food for the first time. In addition, there are a lot more that grow vegetables but don't know how to prepare healthful dishes with them. Helping to show how to stretch the menu and expand the dollar by growing and preparing your own food with ingredients fresh from the garden is a key component of every episode, along with periodic demonstrations of how to preserve fruits and vegetables through canning and other techniques.

With our first 26 episodes almost complete, we're already working on season two. However, we need your help to further our distribution across the country. If you don't yet receive "Growing a Greener World" through your local public television station, please contact station officials and urge them to carry this timely and groundbreaking series.

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