Wow, what a ride! In September, we officially wrapped the first season of our national public television series, Growing a Greener World. We traveled the country, covering 18 states and 38 cities to tell stories of people, places and organizations doing great things for the planet with an emphasis on gardening, all in less than nine months!
Just the fact that we went from an idea to a hit national series in a matter of months is something I often fail to consider when I think about all the amazing things we’ve accomplished in such a short time. But one thing I never have trouble remembering is that without the help of our generous underwriters: Burpee Home Gardens, Fiskars, Liquid Fence and Subaru, we never would have been able to tell these inspirational stories to a national audience in such a compelling and visual way. Thankfully, they caught the vision too. With not much more than an idea, they stepped up to the plate with the funds we needed to covert these stories into episodes that viewers across the country could watch on-air and online any time.
To say we worked hard would be a major understatement. Our superstar crew maintained a herculean pace to stay on top of our hectic schedule. Every episode required extensive preparation, from the countless emails and phone conversations to identify just the right location and guest hosts, to the mind numbing logistics required to get our crew to the right place on time for the always tight schedule, and then to make sure we pulled off our objectives while there in the short time allotted (which was never enough!). The fact that our crew converged on each location from at least four separate cities added to the challenge.
Considering we were in our fist year of production and with ongoing logistical challenges, there were many opportunities for things to screw up. We didn’t. Adding to the challenge, this was an outdoor series, which required serious cooperation from Mother Nature. She pulled through big time. Other than often being too cold or hot for much of the season, we only had two setbacks right at the end of the season that required some last minute rescheduling—not bad, all things considered.
As I reflect back on all the places we’ve been, the many people we’ve met and the stories we’ve been able to share, I feel very, very blessed. The year was a blur and I often contemplate which episodes of all 26 were amongst my favorite. Considering the great lineup we put together, it’s a struggle narrowing them down. Even as I attempt to list the standouts now, I cannot. They all carry special memories and each story is important to me. And although we get many words of praise from our family, friends and fans, I still wonder about the random person out there. Are they being touched by our stories and vision; and if so, how? The demands and challenges of producing a fast-paced national show, keeps us running so hard, we don’t often get the chance to enjoy the fruits of our labor. But thankfully, we do get that confirmation every so often and we’re reminded that our efforts really are touching lives and communities in a meaningful way! A recent email affirming that came at just the right time:
Dear Joe. I am writing on behalf of our new organization. Friends of Matter Park Gardens. We are a grass roots group with enthusiasm but no monies. We live in a poor town that lost almost all our industry. But again we are fighting back as a community. Your show brings tears to my eyes. It brings the best of America out. Through your show we are planning many projects because of what you do. Making our city, county a better safer place. You guys are the best. As a master gardener it gives me hope and great pleasure to watch our volunteers growing. Thank you again.
We’re so excited for season two. With such a great debut season, our biggest challenge will be to raise the bar even higher. Experience is the best teacher and with a team like ours in place, all I can say is look out world! Team GGW is coming to make it greener!
P.S. We just released a summary video of the making of the first season. It’s a great recap of the year and you can watch it here. Although I can’t share with you my favorite show, I can bring you along for my most memorable moment of the season. From the link below, it’s the small video screen in the right column of the page. You’ll know it when you see it! Watch it now.