The Ozark Harvest Radio Hour begins its second season on Saturday, April 30th, on KTHS radio (107.1 FM). The Harvest Hour is an unusual program for several reasons, chief among them is that it is done out of love, and nobody associated with it makes any money. The focus of the program is on small local farms in particular, and on sustainable agriculture in general.
Radio personality Eddie Keever produces and hosts the program, which is comprised of interviews with very small organic farmers and market gardeners, old Woody Guthrie and Clifton Chenier tunes, and eco-friendly tips on how to send Japanese Beetles to bug hell before they destroy your zucchinis. This is not, in other words, gripping radio, and to compound its essential homeliness, everyone appearing on the program, except Keever, is a rank radio amateur.
Keever, the lone pro in the group, got his start in radio back in the 80s' on KROQ in Los Angeles, worked for Clear Channel in Ogallala, Nebraska for a while, did time on the air in the People's Republic of Eugene, Oregon, and now is on a second tour with KTHS here in Carroll County.
"Producing The Ozark Harvest Hour is a lot like making a quilt," says Keever. "Local farmers sit down at their kitchen tables and make short recordings of what they're thinking about. Then they send them to me and I stitch all these "idea squares" together into a program about what's happening on our small farms today.
"The thing I like best about The Ozark Harvest Radio Hour," Keever continued, "is that it embodies what Chesterton said about amateurs--that "anything worth doing is worth doing badly."
"Chesterton was talking about the irony of paying people big money today, like professional ball players, to play games we used to play ourselves just because we loved playing them."
Among the radio amateurs featured on the program this year will be Andrew Schwerin and Madeline Keenan from Locally Grown, Kate Ambach, Manager of the Eureka Springs Farmers Market, and Marcie Brewster and Diane Schumacher from Wildfire Farm.
Tune in for the love stories.