When Jason Brown walked away from a multi-million dollar NFL contract to be a farmer, he didn’t even know how to farm. Yet, two things were certain. He would learn to farm, and as he did, he’d give away the first fruits of every harvest to those in need.
As we began to prepare for season 11 earlier this year, it became clear that we wouldn’t get to travel to visit all the guests we had on our filming schedule for 2020. For that reason, we knew we’d have to revisit some episodes from past seasons.
It was also clear that people everywhere needed some good news and inspiration in the midst of all that 2020 has thrown our way. So we chose the story of Jason Brown and First Fruits Farm as an encore episode for this season.
Joe and the crew visited First Fruits Farm in Louisburg, North Carolina to tell Jason Brown’s story. That episode originally aired in season 9 and was not only nominated for an Emmy Award but was also our most popular episode that year.
We hope you enjoy this story of incredible courage and faith in a time when we could all use some inspiration and a positive story about giving back and doing good for the world.
For more information about Jason’s story, be sure to visit the show notes for the original airing.
Links & Resources
Growing a Greener World Episode 908 – Trading Cleats for Beets: From Football to Farming for Jason Brown
Growing a Greener World YouTube Episode 1104 – Episode 1104: Growing to Give – The Story of First Fruits Farm and Wise Farmer Brown
Growing a Greener World Newsletter sign-up
The Online Gardening Academy and Master Seed Starting Notification Signup
The joe gardener Amazon Storefront
The joe gardener Show podcast – Apple Podcasts Preview Page for the entire catalog of Joe’s episodes and reviews
*Disclosure: Some product links in this guide are affiliate links, which means we would get a commission if you purchase. However, none of the prices of these resources have been increased to compensate us. None of the items included in this list have any bearing on any compensation being an influencing factor on their inclusion here. The selection of all items featured in this post and podcast were based solely on merit and in no way influenced by any affiliate or financial incentive, or contractual relationship. At the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has professional relationships with the following companies who may have products included in this post and podcast: Rain Bird, Corona Tools, Milorganite, Soil3, Exmark, and Park Seed. These companies are either Brand Partners of joegardener.com and/or advertise on our website. However, we receive no additional compensation from the sales or promotion of their product through this guide. The inclusion of any products mentioned within this post is entirely independent and exclusive of any relationship.
Ro Wel says
Jason Brown – First Fruits is awesome! Love what you’re doing locally in NC!
There is so much US farmland that lays fallow and not grazed to inflate food prices for commercial farm viability. Farm subsidies and government-subsidized crop insurance induce commercial farmers not to over-produce, and what they do produce is mostly nutritionally-meager corn, soy, and wheat. Pretty sure the US farming industry could single-handedly end world-wide hunger while maintaining water conservation and preservation efforts by following the First Fruits principal. But it would require a completely different approach to revamp domestic policies regarding the “farm problem.” Also, international trade policies would need to be adjusted not to crash other country’s food-producing economies. A good article on the “farm problem” is found at: https://modernfarmer.com/2019/01/congress-finally-passed-a-new-farm-bill-and-it-continues-to-pay-homage-to-the-cult-of-corn-and-soy/
Please use your influence and outreach to draw attention to the need for meaningful national Farm Bill reform. God bless your ministry!
Donna Battiste says
God Bless such an obedient and self sacrificing man helping so many. Inspiring and motivating story. Thank you PBS for sharing his story.
James Scott says
My wife and I just found GGW on our PBS station in Houston (we live 30mi north of the city) a few weeks ago and saw this episode about Jason’s amazing story only yesterday (although I now see it was originally broadcast a couple of years back) . We found the open discussion of his faith to be extremely uplifting and only served to make us greater fans of your program. Thank you so much for some much-needed inspiration.
As to your program in general, we’ve always enjoyed little projects in the yard, and had been active with a few large planter boxes for the last five years or so that are now in need replacing. We’re looking through back episodes to get some better ideas.
Since we are getting closer to retirement age, I may have to watch Jason’s episode a few dozen more times to step out on our faith to perhaps start a farm of our own – albeit a much smaller scale.
This is my absolute favorite episode. What a testimony for the one true God and His servant. Such an inspiration to all that want to serve and use the soil to do so. Thanks for allowing God to inspire through His faithful.
Sheila in SF says
A wonderful program about Jason Brown. May he continue with a successful farming life. Thanks for bringing people like Jason to our attention.
Enjoy your program very much.
We live in the adjoining county to Jason. So very proud of his work, and calling. Thanks for featuring him.