Two New Shows Explore Hidden Orchards, Local Food Sources and Living Off the Land

Photo courtesy of Su-Mei Yu

Attention, residents of San Diego County: Two new series, premiering tonight on KPBS, will give you a whole new appreciation for our fertile terrain.

A Growing Passion airs at 8:30 PM and is followed by Savor San Diego With Su-Mei Yu, airing at 9:30 PM. (But check your local listings, especially for repeats.)

Hosted by garden designer, botanist and author Nan Sterman, A Growing Passion explores gardening, agriculture and horticulture in its many forms. The six episodes will include visits to a bonsai sensei, a protea ranch and a hydroponic greenhouse mobbed with colorful gerberas.

“This may sound hokey,” Sterman tells us by email, “but I truly believe that my mission in life is to help people connect with their ‘inner gardeners.’  I’ve been addicted to growing since I was a small child. In fact, one of my earliest memories is of standing in the tomato patch that my grandfather planted behind our garage every spring. That musty smell of tomato plants is part of that memory, along with the delight of pulling a ripe red fruit off the vine and biting into it. From then, I started growing my own vegetables, herbs, and basically anything else I could get my hands on.”

In each episode, Sterman also provides tutorials; for example, on seed starting and planting in pots. (See the preview below.)

How to Start Seeds from Gerdes Creative on Vimeo.

Savor San Diego is hosted by Su-Mei Yu, chef, restaurateur and owner of culinary landmark Saffron; Yu’s credits include the Today Show and the New York Times. Over six episodes, Yu guides us to an organic tofu maker, the tangerine orchards of Jamul, community gardens, and a grove that produces the glorious “Green Goddess” avocado oil (below). Yu also demonstrates how to make a dish with ingredients sourced in each episode.

Tom yum soup from scratch? Sign us up and set the DVR.

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Savor San Diego – KPBS Promo from FortyOneTwenty on Vimeo.