I Don't Have a Garden, but I Watch One on TV

Gardening Experts – Wanna be a Video Star?

by Susan Harris
I recently surveyed video how-to sites – About, Expert Village andVideographer View-Do – and concluded that at least their gardening content is pretty bad.  (And how about the name View-Do itself?  Ick!) The UK’s Videojug has more professionally made gardening videos but I found them so dang unfamiliar – dare I say foreign? – that I wondered whether gardening information is really exportable.  The more local the better, I say.   

So remember when I told the story of taping a gardening video and feeling so relieved when it was over?  Well, the next thing I heard from the video company was: Can you do a few more?  Just clear my schedule for the next couple of months?  Not gonna happen.  So I volunteered instead to be their gardening editor – choosing the topics and finding the experts.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?  After seeing the quality of the videos and meeting the gang at Knowlera Media I was psyched to use their production staff and marketing campaign to provide some much-needed high-quality, free instruction in ecogardening.  Think composting, mulching, pruning, organic lawn care, the growing of food, and dozens of other worthy subjects.  So gang, I need your help.

WHAT TOPICS?
What information does the public need, anyway?  So far, we have experts for tree care, pruning, orchids, planting a container garden, composting, and sustainable gardening, all for temperate climates.  But all of North America is the target audience, so we need videos about growing tropicals in South Florida, xeriscaping in New Mexico, and cold climate gardening.  Send me your ideas via email or in a comment.

ARE YOU AN EXPERT?  KNOW OF AN EXPERT?
I’m convassing lots of experts in my area – at a nonprofit tree group, local nurseries, Master Gardener programs, public gardens, and a design/install guy I know is great at teaching design.  We’re thrilled that Casey Trees is already on board, and hoping that Paul Tukey will do one as part of the Safe Lawns campaign.  Kathy Jentz, how about it?

The Pitch:  Using thJamese free services of professional video-makers and distributors, nursery horticulturists garner publicity for their employer, gardening professionals attract new customers, garden writers get more speaking engagements, and people in the business of educating the public acquire a tool to do just that.  Each video has a link to your Bio just above the viewing screen, which bio contains links to your services and products.  Videos will be seen by the public on the heavily promoted site itself, called Monkeysee.com, and on the sites of their experts, putting them to a variety of purposes.  For example, gardeners in my area will be able to watch all the videos on the DC Urban Gardener website.  The business model here is all win-win. Martha_2

And no, experts don’t have to look like Martha Stewart or even Martha Wannabees (as I’ve been called, depending on my hairstyle) or like Paul James, much less Matt James, the hot young City Gardener.  They just need to have a bit of personality.  Energy, humor and passion are big plusses, too. 

Here’s the link to a demonstration video.  They’re still a bit dark and will be lightened for easier viewing but I hope you can still see the quality that wowed me when I visited their production facility.  Will the quality rival that of the domestic diva herself?  We can aspire.

NOT IN THE DC AREA?  EVEN BETTER
Completely missing from our current line-up are experts from unique growing regions like California, Texas, South Florida and the Frigid North – you know who you are and we need you.  For an extra resume-booster, how about volunteering to be, say, the Texas gardening editor?  No lie; we need regional editors to recommend topics and experts to meet the needs of gardeners in their area.  Videographers near you will be hired.

TOO BUSY YOURSELF?  SEND ME NAMES
In a comment or via email. Thanks!

Posted by on June 26, 2007 at 3:03 am, in the category I Don't Have a Garden, but I Watch One on TV.
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8 Responses to “Gardening Experts – Wanna be a Video Star?”

  1. I helped organize a Brooklyn blogger meeting this past Sunday. One of those attending did an audio interview with me at the event.

    http://meanderthal.typepad.com/dope/2007/06/podcast-brookly.html

    I think it’s my first media appearance as a gardening “expert”.

  2. Eliz says:

    I–who can’t tell a big ugly weed from a desirable perennial–have also given public advice on garden. Shudder.

    However, I do recommend Sally Cunningham from our area, That is, if you’re daring to call us the frozen North, which you probably are.

    She works at Lockwoods and has a radio show here and writes for the paper. She’s pretty good. Lockwoods is the best nursery EVER.

  3. bright says:

    that’s an excellent idea! my only suggestion is, with the wealth of gardening bloggers who seem to have cats… why can i only find info on dog composters? until recently it was ok to flush our litter down the toilet, but now i’m at a loss. i am trying to get something together in my own yard, but i’d love to see someone try to thoroughly uh, digest the subject!
    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2005/9/26/104828/489

  4. Hm, I’m definitely game to try it – not camera-shy at all ;-) Would like to pick a subject that conveys well on camera andthat we don’t see a ton of already on TV (i.e. planting a container of annuals) – I’ll stew on it over the weekend and get back to you directly Susan.

  5. chuck b. says:

    You should get in touch with this Ciscoe Morris dude in Seattle.

    He’s awesome!

    http://midbeaconhill.blogspot.com/search?q=ciscoe+morris

  6. chuck b. says:

    And in San Francisco, there’s Pam Peirce.

    http://goldengategarden.typepad.com/

  7. Susan Harris says:

    Thanks, everybody, for some great names and personal offers, both here and via email. I also posted about it to the Garden Writers listserv and now I’m inundated with offers to step up to the camera. Cool!

  8. Monica Milla says:

    I’d be interested in editing a Midwest section and/or being a video expert on winter seed sowing or gardening for cats (yes, cats).

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