Cultivating Life

Based in Rhode Island, Cultivating Life explores how we've all moved out of our houses and into our backyards. Each week, the series celebrates how Americans are reconnecting to the land. To do this requires a talented staff that works hard throughout the year to bring you a season's worth of Cultivating Life.

Cast and Crew

Sean Conway, Host and Executive Producer. Sean has been a design consultant to Target Corporation since 1998. He helped to create the garden lifestyle area in Target stores and garden centers by identifying new trends and products that both delight and inspire customers. He has been the host of the show from its beginning in 2005. Working with some of the best gardeners, chefs and artisans, Sean has been able to turn Cultivating Life into a major resource for outdoor living throughout the country.

Linda Benya, Director and Executive Producer. Linda is new to our staff in 2009. She comes to us having been in the television industry for years producing series for the Style Network and WE among others. We are happy to have her as part of our team.

Gilberto Nobrega, Director of Photography. Gil has been capturing the show on film from the beginning. His attention to detail, appreciation of depth and light and delightful personality make him a joy to work with. He is a patient man even when we accidentally get in the background of his shot.

Mike Hutchison, Production Manager. Mike joined us in Season 3 and quickly added a variety of responsibilities over time. He oversees the gardens, manages props and tries to keep everything running smoothly and on time, kind of like herding cats. He also produces several garden segments for the show each year.

Brian Birch, Assistant Director. Brian joined Cultivating Life in Season 3. His enthusiasm for work, organization skills and can-do attitude made him the obvious choice for Assistant Director for Season 4. He oversees all of the scheduling, scripts, and film documentation as well as manages the Cultivating Life Website. We think it's something special in his iced coffee that enables him to get so much done in a day.

Deborah Baronas, Segment Producer. Deborah joined the show in Season 4. She has a great gift for design and thoroughly researches each topic. Her years in textile design and oil painting provide a great background for her work on Cultivating Life. She has been voted best dressed by the rest of the crew.

Erin Frost, Segment Producer. Erin is a can-do kind of gal. Erin started producing segments for Season 4 and is eager to start filming Season 5. Her specialties are garden and nature segments but she is very qualified in the world of crafts as well. She does all of this while raising her handsome 1year old son, Grady, who is a staff favorite.

Wesley Martin, Segment Producer. Wes comes to Cultivating Life with a boatload of experience. He has worked with Martha Stewart and a host of programs on the food network. He is extremely organized and has a great eye as he pulls together some of the best food segments on television. Many of us have a Pavlovian response when Wes arrives on set, hoping deep in our hearts, that there will be leftovers to sample after the shoot

Cynthia Treen, Segment Producer. Cindy has been adding her inspiration to the home and craft segments from the very beginning and draws inspiration from her work as a textile artist, creating some of the most creative project on television. In her spare time, this RISD graduate enjoys gardening at her home in Providence. We are always eager to see what new ideas she brings to the set each year.

Jon Minard, Gaffer. Jon, as they say in the business, is the lighting man to the stars. He has worked regularly in New York City keeping the watts blazing on the likes of Martha Stewart, Katie Couric and many other television personalities. He enjoys working on the Cultivating Life set and does a first class job of managing the light. Even Mother Nature gets jealous of his work.

Rick Hamilton, Gaffer. Rick is a true master of the unpredictable outdoor world of lighting. With his arsenal of lighting equipment, he can make a rainy day bright or bathe a shady spot in golden sunshine. He also keeps those of us amateur sports fans up to date on the latest Red Sox scores.

Keith McManus, Audio Engineer. Keith is also a multi-year veteran on the set of Cultivating Life. Filming outside with dogs, kids and ducks in the background can be challenging for the sound guy. Keith makes it all work out in the end, even those annoying roosters. We are all careful not to say anything bad about Keith because in the end, he is always listening.

Paul Bulgin, Key Grip. Paul has been with the production crew for 3 seasons. His natural talent and mad skills shown through on the lighting crew enabling him in season 4 to take on the job of Key Grip, the person in charge of the shadows. The job requires having to constantly adjust screens and reflective boards as the sun changes position in the summer sky. Paul also acts as our local weather forecaster using his sharp sense of smell and of course his beloved I-phone, to keep us up to date when rain is threatening.

Carissa Spatcher, Grip.

Doug Wright, Senior Editor. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Yes, Doug truly is a wizard of an editor. Each winter, he pieces together hundreds of hours of tape into 26 half hour episodes of Cultivating Life. He adjusts the color, cuts the less than glamorous footage of Sean and his guests and adds the finishing touches to each show. He has been in the editing business for many years and we are lucky to have him making us all look good week after week.

Jane Gallagher, Office Manager. Where would we be without Jane? The answer is unpaid and out of work most likely. Jane keeps it all moving forward. She has the demanding job of keeping everyone on task while keeping an eye on the budget. She also handles all of the paper work involved in payroll, taxes and other correspondence. We certainly appreciate all that she does.

Original Music and Lyrics by Roddy Barnes