TV personality and construction expert Damon Bennett recently came to Red Deer to talk about a potential TV show.
Twelve local youngsters, in partnership with Red Deer business Eco Tree, pitched Bennett on the idea of a show called Mentors, which would feature him as the construction foreman and host.
Mentors, originally titled Tiny Farmers, would have a group of kids design and build a farm and urban food garage as an after-school project.
“We’ve all agreed we want to keep the foot on the gas pedal,” said Eco Tree owner Shawn Moore.
“We’ve got to sit down right after Christmas here … and we’re just getting our next steps (in place).
“One of our next steps is to get sizzle reel content finished and to make sure we’re all on the same page as to what the TV show would look like, the messages, and start to shop it out to some networks to see if they’re interested in picking it up.”
Bennett was in Red Deer Dec. 8 to film parts of that sizzle reel, or short promotional video, for the TV show.
The urban farm would be located alongside the old CN Rail line behind the Eco Tree office on 62nd Street.
The goal of the project is to expose kids to new ways of learning, real-life experiences and community building, said Moore.
If the project is successful, future phases could include an expansion, a bottled spring water facility, affordable housing, a shipping container business park and a farm-to-table neighbourhood in Red Deer.
There would be an international aspect to the show as well. The kids would explore food and farming from around the world.
The first stop planned is Ghana, Africa, where the kids would aim to look at importing pineapples and exporting spring water.
A meeting with Ghana’s executive director of forestry and the head of its agro conservation department is on the agenda, said Moore.
The young central Albertans participating in the potential TV project will take orders of hand-crafted furniture, made from Eco Tree’s local urban wood supply, as a fundraiser to travel to Africa.