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Kip Anderson
Gardener Kip Anderson

October: New faces at The Victory Garden

Kip praises two new additions to The Victory Garden this year
by Kip Anderson

As another shooting season draws to a close (and no, I'm not talking about varmints—I'm speaking here of video tape), it seems appropriate to say a word or two about the people I work with under the eye of the camera, especially the new faces. Paul Epsom and Sissy Biggers have been on board for several years now, and I suppose the work we've done together speaks for itself. Both of them are much better at giving it up to the glassy lens than I am, and that can be attributed to a level of professionalism I can only dream about attaining. My estimation of Michel Nischan and Jamie Durie is quite similar.

Michel is a hands-on, down-to-earth kind of guy whose knowledge of food goes far beyond what is strictly necessary to prepare an enticing dish for the dinner table. I'm sure he won't mind my mentioning that he was a woodsman in his youth, which probably led to some wild harvests. Thus, his expertise at what he does now was built from the ground up. So far I have not been able to pose a question on food-related matters he didn't have a good answer for.

Jamie, as I'm sure you've noticed, comes across as a vibrant, nearly electrifying fellow to whom shyness is a complete stranger. That's just Jamie being Jamie. What impressed me most about him (aside from the intercontinental scope of his horticultural experience) was the extraordinary courtesy he showed when he asked me whether I minded being referred to as a crotchety gardener (or some such epithet) on air.

No worries, mate. I think everybody already knows that.

We are all actors more or less, according to our AFTRA designations. I, for one, happen to play myself, Kip Anderson, gardener for The Victory Garden. What you see is what you get. The same holds true for Michel and Jamie (et al.). Their on- and off-camera personas are nearly seamless, which keeps everything real.

One face you will probably never see is that of the man with the glue that holds it all together: our Emmy Award-winning cameraman and director of photography, my long-time friend, Joel Coblenz.

(Either cash or a check will be fine, my esteemed colleagues.)

Kip Anderson has been the Victory Garden's head gardener for over 20 years.

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Published September 28, 2007