South Carolina Farmer

Spring 2018

South Carolina Farm Bureau

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I From top: McNulty and guests during a live episode of Making It Grow • McNulty wears one of her now-famous hats. • McNulty during a taping of her daily radio program. W In Calhoun County, a state highway patrolman new to his post mentioned to an older patrolman that he kept seeing a woman climbing in and out of roadside ditches in the St. Matthews area. "I don't know who she is or what to do about it," the younger patrolman said to his fellow officer. Amanda McNulty, the unconventional host of Making It Grow, a gardening program produced by South Carolina Educational Television and Clemson Cooperative Extension, laughed and recalled the rest of the story. "The older patrolman said, 'I don't know who she is either, but you better just leave her alone.' " "She," of course, is none other than McNulty herself, who scours the South Carolina countr yside – yes, climbing in and out of roadside ditches – to gather materials for the homemade hats she wears during her weekly television show. Describing McNulty is not for the faint-hearted. She is a small person with curly, flaxen hair. Her blue eyes twinkle through classic horn-rimmed glasses. Her hands are always busy, helping to explain how to dig a proper hole or nurture a particular plant. She moves purposefully through her downtown Sumter office, asking co-workers about their health, their children, whatever it may be. When she laughs, she throws her head back. When she answers a question, she leans in with an intensity that typifies her vast knowledge of all things horticultural. Genuine. Spontaneous. Delightfully unfiltered. Pick one. Or all. "I am particularly open about who I am," admits the 67-year-old McNulty. "I'm not very filtered, and I think people just like a person who is being herself." 22 South Carolina Farmer / Spring 2018

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