There’s a first time for everything, and Tuesday night’s “Backyard Farmer” episode, hosted at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, marked several firsts for the legendary production. A well-known news program covering a variety of gardening-related
There’s a first time for everything, and Tuesday night’s “Backyard Farmer” episode, hosted at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, marked several firsts for the legendary production.
A well-known news program covering a variety of gardening-related questions answered by a panel of experts, Tuesday’s shoot marked the show’s first-ever visit to Norfolk in 70 years of broadcasting. Although the show is usually broadcast live from Nebraska Public Media studios in Lincoln, a few episodes air each year in a remote location in Nebraska.
Another first for the show was that all five panelists on the show were female and Nebraska natives. Rounding out the group were horticulturists Terri James of Lincoln and Kelly Feehan of Columbus, entomologist Kait Chapman of Lincoln, plant pathologist Amy Timmerman of O’Neill, and moderator Kim Todd of Lincoln.
Although the event was confined indoors due to the specter of inclement weather, there were more than a few things to keep spectators engaged with the nurturing spirit of the outdoors.
Located at the end of the dirt lot inside Northeast Community College’s sprawling Chuck M. Pohlman Farm Complex, a crowd of more than 200 people filled the semi-circle of chairs surrounding a crowd of cameras and sturdy lights. Spectators and recording devices were fixed on the center stage where panelists sat among a varied and colorful assortment of plants against the backdrop of the northeast Nebraska skyline.
The program kicked off with a 30-minute question-and-answer session, with a sizable portion of the audience lining up to answer a variety of questions, from identifying unwanted invasive plants to diagnosing unknown diseases in the desired ones.
The mood was light and jovial, a good mood present in the room as peals of laughter passed through the crowd in response to the good-humored banter of the panelists as they gave helpful answers where they could and comforted when they couldn’t. In many ways, the Q&A mirrored what was to come in the live stream, though the pacing and atmosphere was slightly more relaxed.
After a short intermission, the actual show began briskly at 6 p.m., with Todd going one-by-one to each of the four pundits with a question from the pool drawn from interviewers across the state before mixing it up some more as he went on. and as the show progresses. progressed, sometimes giving a panelist a chance to answer a handful of related questions and at other times alternating between more varied topics, all moving along at a rapid pace.
During various breaks, announcements and presentations were made, including information about an upcoming series of “Garden Walk” events in June and a flower show from a state arts festival, although most visual presentations were not seen by members of the live audience, who instead descended into quiet conversation among themselves.
Although the panel was slightly late to answer all of the show’s questions halfway through, it ended at 6:50 a.m. with 10 minutes to spare, leaving more time for the live audience to ask additional questions. .
When the taping finally ended and Todd thanked northeast Nebraska for hosting the panel, members of the crowd burst into applause before finally parting ways.