Unusually Clever People

Patti Moreno, TV Garden Girl

by Susan
Readers, meet Patti Moreno.  You can visit her site for videos about urban sustainable living, with titles like "How to Create a Sustainable Urban Garden" and "How to Have an Eco-Friendly Christmas" and lots more coming soon.  Okay, now heeeere’s Patti!

So now I don’t have to tell you how sexy and adorable she is, even to a female of the hetero persuasion.  (Tracy wasn’t really our type, anyway.  We like ’em earthy and real!)

Patti’s big news recently is about being chosen as the new host of Farmer’s Almanac TV, a 30-minute show on 90 percent of PBS stations nationwide (but not in DC or Baltimore – crap!).  Her episodes will start to appear next April (and maybe someday on their website?) but I already know that hiring Patti is a smart move by the folks at Farmer’s Almanac because the name screams old-fashioned and everything about Patti is young and hip.  So she’s just what they need, and a far better choice than the spokesmodel types favored by HGTV.  There’s more about Patti on their site, though for the really interesting stuff about her, keep reading right here.

Patti_2
The road to stardom

Patti kindly submitted to a phone interview for this profile, probably assuming I wanted to talk about urban sustainability and any number of serious subjects.  Nope, I wanted to know how she got to be TV Garden Girl.  So I pried and learned that she left NYC to study broadcasting and film at Boston University, which led (somehow) to establishing FilmShack, a "mom and pop film production company," with her husband Robert Patton-Spruill.  Company offices are in the renovated former home of filmmaker Henry Hampton, which is right on the grounds of their Roxbury (downtown Boston) home.  How cool is that?

Oh, but it gets cooler.  One of their recent productions, Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome, was previewed recently at the American Film Institute and won a rave review from Variety.  Googling their names unearthed more envy-inducing mentions than I really cared to read.

Next I honed in on the question: How did she get that gig with Farmer’s Almanac?  Answer: She made a 5-minute demo tape, circulated it among her contacts, and the folks at Farmer’s AlmanaPattigoatc stumbled upon it in their search for a new host.  (Not surprisingly, since that demo’s now been viewed 58,000 times, but how the heck did that happen?  I bet only insiders know the answer to that one.) 

What she’s passionate about
When I wasn’t cross-examining Patti about her career she kept returning to what she really wanted to talk about – her apple orchard, her raised veggie beds, the joys of raising livestock (like the goat shown here), her heroes Elliot Coleman and Andy Lee (author of Chicken Tractor), and assuring me that she’s NOT preaching eco-perfection.  Oh, and she’s no fan of lawns and has a video coming out soon about replacing them with edible landscapes, which we’ll be sure to post right here because it’s one of our favorite topics, too.

And hey, HGTV, here’s a thought.  Have you tried increasing the viewership of your gardening shows by using real gardeners as hosts?  Radical notion, I know.

Posted by on December 8, 2007 at 4:27 am, in the category Unusually Clever People.
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5 responses to “Patti Moreno, TV Garden Girl”

  1. layanee says:

    Hmmmm. Didn’t I see Patti in a video made by a Boston University professor on backyard urban/sustainable gardening? It was a great video and I thought someone at Rant pointed that one out to all of us? I will have to check on that but perhaps you remember it? I like her style! I also am a big fan of Eliot Coleman! Check out his website and just look at the great farm!

  2. layanee says:

    Sorry, duh, it is right there in your blog. I have to read more carefully! Thanks, I wanted to view that one again!

  3. I love the fact that Patti points out that gardening helped her lose weight. Gardening is amazing exercise, and nobody talks about it! I garden aerobically, and then, just to control that uncontrollable middle-aged spread, I run a little in those sad winter months when gardening is not possible. The interesting thing to me is that in the last few weeks, I’ve just been able to pick right up where I left off on the running front last April, with no effort, no soreness, no gearing up necessary. I’m clearly in reasonable shape, thanks to the yard.

  4. Patti Moreno says:

    The motto has always been “Work in not Out” Hope you all like the beginning of my website!

  5. Patti’s videos are a delight to watch and she is very informative. We’ve posted her links on our blog so our readers can learn more about sustainable living. As for HGTV, I agree completely. Perhaps if they would spend a little less time making program about selling, fixing and flipping houses, they could focus on the “G” in their name for a change.

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