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Sunday, September 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In the Garden: Lamp’l will bring behind-the-scenes stories to Master Gardeners banquet

Joe Lamp’l, host and executive producer of “Growing a Greener World,” will be the keynote speaker at the Spokane County Master Gardeners fall banquet Oct. 10. (Courtesy of Joe Lamp’l)
Joe Lamp’l, host and executive producer of “Growing a Greener World,” will be the keynote speaker at the Spokane County Master Gardeners fall banquet Oct. 10. (Courtesy of Joe Lamp’l)

It’s not often gardeners get to meet and mingle with one of their superheroes. I’m talking about the folks who have inspired us to grow better gardens while being good stewards of our environment.

For this year’s fall banquet, the Spokane County Master Gardeners is bringing in Joe Lamp’l, host and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning PBS program “Growing a Greener World.” The banquet will take place Oct. 10 at the Spokane Convention Center, and all are welcome.

Well-known as an educator of organic practices and sustainable living, Lamp’l has profiled individuals and organizations making a difference in their communities throughout the 10 seasons of his popular program.

The title of his keynote presentation is “Growing a Greener World: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Some of Our Most Popular Stories From the Past 10 Seasons.”

As Lamp’l explained in a recent email interview, “With an extensive collection of stories over 175 episodes, through beautiful high-definition video and award-winning photography, you’ll meet some of the most fascinating people, see some of the most interesting places and discover organizations doing great things for the planet – all with an emphasis on gardening and a common thread that will empower each of us to advance the cause of these gardening heroes in our own communities.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Lamp’l beginning at 5 p.m. This event, which is a fundraiser for the Master Gardener program, includes a catered dinner at 6 p.m., followed by his keynote presentation at 7 p.m. There also will be a live auction and no-host bar.

Fall banquet chair and Master Gardener Julie McElroy is delighted about this year’s special guest.

“We think Joe is a perfect fit for us because he has the same message as the Master Gardener program: sustainable gardening, research-based information and an emphasis on doing no harm,” she said. “We want to grow a greener world.”

Before the current series, Lamp’l was host of “Fresh From the Garden” on DIY and has authored several books. He also has been an on-air contributor for “Today,” “Good Morning America” and the Weather Channel. Lamp’l is the “Joe” behind, which is a gardening-intensive website with a focus on how-to videos, podcasts and blog posts on a wide range of topics.

I first met him at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show several years ago. I’d been following him on social media and soon discovered he’d been keeping an eye on my gardening exploits, as well. It wasn’t long before his cameraman and he were standing in our garden filming an episode for Season 8 of “Growing a Greener World.” It aired in 2017.

Over the course of two very long days of filming, I discovered that Lamp’l is just as passionate about the message he’s been delivering to gardeners everywhere as he comes across on his TV programs.

The fall banquet is an excellent opportunity to share that passion. “Joe will be speaking to anyone who loves the planet and wants to beautify our spaces,” McElroy said. “His presentation will appeal to everyone, not just gardeners.”

Susan Mulvihill is co-author, with Pat Munts, of “Northwest Gardener’s Handbook.” Contact her at Watch this week’s “Everyone Can Grow a Garden” video on

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