Great Program on PBS this Weekend Plus Addtnl Airings

natgreeneveg(6)October 29, 2009

1) Botany of Desire (PBS)

Friday, October 30, 2:00-4:00 pm

Monday, November 2, 3:00-5:00 am

Featuring Michael Pollan and based on his best-selling book, this special takes viewers on an eye-opening exploration of the human relationship with the plant world -- seen from the plants' point of view. Narrated by Frances McDormand, the program shows how four familiar species -- the apple, the tulip, marijuana and the potato -- evolved to satisfy our yearnings for sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control.

Michael Pollan is the author of The Botany of Desire, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, and The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, which was named one of the 10 best books of 2006 by The New York Times and The Washington Post. It won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, and the James Beard Award for Best Food Writing and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Pollan is also the author of A Place of My Own and Second Nature.

A contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, Pollan is the recipient of numerous journalistic awards, including the James Beard Award for Best Magazine Series in 2003 and the Reuters-I.U.C.N. 2000 Global Award for Environmental Journalism. His articles have been anthologized in Best American Science Writing, Best American Essays and The Norton Book of Nature Writing. Pollan servedfor many years as executive editor of Harper's Magazine and is now the Knight Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at UC Berkeley.

The website (link provided above) includes behind the scenes, downloadable transcript, lesson plans, and excellent resources.

I always record a show if I can't be there to see it live.

2) Special: Michael Pollan - Deep Agriculture (LINK TV)

Saturday, October 31 at 11:30 pm

Sunday November 1 at 3:30 am, 1:00 pm, and 8:00 pm

Category: Documentaries

Regions: North America

Topics: Environment, Health

This Link TV special brings you celebrated author Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food) as he takes on the industrialization of the U.S. food system, and proposes dramatic solutions to America's addiction to mechanized agriculture and processed foods. This national obsession has spawned a health care crisis, straining our medical system with epidemics of obesity and preventable illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. And it's not only our health that's suffering: the well-being of our planet is at risk from the massive amounts of oil, coal, and natural gas needed to produce, distribute, and refrigerate our food. "When we eat from the modern industrial food system," Pollan says, "we are eating fossil fuel and spewing greenhouse gas."

But Pollan doesn't just sound the alarm -- he provides us with real alternatives and answers. The movement for a healthier, safer, and more environmentally-friendly food supply, spurred on by Pollan's own influential writings, is already making positive change. "We suddenly find ourselves... no longer holding a sign outside on the granite steps of the USDA or the Capitol, but inside, with a seat at the table. The challenge now is to figure out what to say." Are YOU ready to speak out?

Here is a link that might be useful: Video of Organic Kitchen Garden

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I saw Botany of Desire on WHYY, here in southeastern Pa area last night. Good show. Locked me in. Interesting part during the potato session regarding the mono culture cultivar used for McD's french fries, and how we're tempting a repeat fate of the Irish potato famine.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 9:43PM
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ladywindsurfer(Z7 SE)

Also aired here last evening, on one of our 4 local PBS channels.
Had seen it once before, but I can't remember how long ago.

I watched it again, as I'm so glad to see any program aired about Plants, since PBS seems devoted to the Animal Kingdom, airing hundreds of hours about those in their Nature Series. Without the earth's Plants, there would be no Mammals to photograph! And no photographers, either!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 10:57PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I watched the video at the link you provided and saw your member name on different things there. Were you maybe one of them in the video? It was really interesting and well put together. I'll have to try and catch the show this weekend.



    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 12:20AM
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Drat! PBS used to be my favorite network, but ever since our local PBS station--KAET--went digital, about 10% of the metropolitan area can't receive them! Including my house!! And, yes, I do have a converter box. I think that they are not transmitting as strongly as they think they are. They have had so many complaints that they now automatically tell everyone asking about reception to call their local Best Buy store! > ([
Sorry about the rant, but I'm hoping that someone with something to do with PBS will see this and investigate. I promise to stick with gardening from now on.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 4:45PM
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tugbrethil ,

No worries... you can view both online in their entirety!

BOTANY OF DESIRE is a documentary which tells the utterly original story of everyday plants and the way they have domesticated humankind. An interpretation of the relationship between plants and people. This two-hour documentary explores plant evolution and takes viewers from the potato fields of Peru and Idaho, the apple forests of Kazakhstan, and the tulip markets of Amsterdam.

View online in it's entirety: here

This is another related program by the same presenter on LINK TV (a cable access channel) which is timely:

Deep Agriculture
Traditional methods of agriculture in most developed nations have long ignored environmental concerns. Factors such as soil erosion, water shortage and the impact of chemicals on bio-systems have been overlooked in favour of massive crop yields and cheaper food. But what impact does this have on our health and our environment?

View online in it's entirety: here

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 5:06PM
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Thanks, natgreeneveg!! I'll have to make sure my laptop's batteries are charged up.
Best of gardening to you! : ])

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 5:12PM
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