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   A Memorial University of Newfoundland Publication

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March 31, 2005
 Frontpage

 

New television program gives regional perspective
Homegrown gardening advice


A new television program, hosted by Memorial’s own Dr. Wilf Nicholls, will bring even more gardening know-how to the people of this province. Homegrown, which airs on Sundays at 3 p.m. on NTV, has been a big hit since it started just a couple of months ago.
What began as an idea with Cle Newhook, executive director, Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador, producer Bill Coultas and Botanical Gardens director Wilf Nicholls, has turned into an educational foray into the local agri-food and agriculture industry.
“Gardening and horticulture is probably the fastest growing sector of the agri-foods industry,” said Dr. Nicholls. “Ornamental crops exceed the farm gate value of wheat or canola making them the most valuable crop in Canada – a fact that very few people realize.”

Each episode of Homegrown features someone from Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador talking about the local agri-foods business, a focus on an aspect of gardening, and a bug of the week from Peggy Dixon from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on Brookfield Road. There is also a regular feature called the Garden Patch which provides information on vegetable gardening with Tim Murray and Debbie Preston of Murray’s Garden in Portugal Cove. Funding for the show came from the Agriculture Policy Framework (APF), Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador, Film Development Corporation and NTV.

“We make sure that the information we give is correct and relevant so that it provides good practical information. It is useful to people just getting started or who have been gardening for years,” added Dr. Nicholls.

Plans are already underway to continue the show once this season runs out. The crew would like to travel to Labrador and talk about plant nutrition, fertilizers, organics and pruning.
This week’s show to air on Sunday, April 3, will feature landscape design with Pam Pippy and a visit to Dave Carew’s rock landscaping shop in Portugal Cove. Peggy Dixon will talk about cinch bugs, those pesky creatures that turn the grass brown.
“We hope the show sharpens peoples’ interest in gardening and their interest in the horticulture industry of Newfoundland and Labrador. We do too much importation right now, but hopefully through R&D we can start to produce our own and get into home-based production and export.”