In every community throughout America, one is bound to find a local farmer’s market with its own set of quirky characters – and customers – amidst the fresh fruits and vegetables that fill each booth. One such market is run by the Granger family, whose hilarious exploits make up the new comedy web series LOCALLY GROWN, created by Simon Hamlin of Abundant Productions, LLC. The show, produced in Seattle, and which premiered on Wednesday, stars a great cast of locally based actors, many of whom have appeared in major national films, TV shows and theatrical productions.

LOCALLY GROWN stars Debra Pralle as Samantha Granger, a member of a third generation farming family who somehow manages to keep her wits about her as she deals with the parade of wacky vendors, customers, activists and musicians who populate the fictional Ballmont Farmers Market each Sunday. Yet, her family has their own unique quirks, from its no-nonsense patriarch Grandpa Edmund (played by Jeff Steitzer, best known as the voice of God in the popular Halo video game series), to his wife Gigi (Cynthia Lauren Tewes, famous for her role as Julie on THE LOVE BOAT), along with Samantha’s misguided sister Liza (Amy Walker), her overly spiritual husband Jim (Basil Harris, who also appeared in the popular indie film SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED), and their two kids: budding entrepreneur Eddie Jr. (Justin Howell) and eldest daughter Courtney (Marina Spitz).

The show also stars Russell Hodgkinson (having appeared in BIG FISH, FAT KID RULES THE WORLD, and the new movie 21 AND OVER, along with roles in TV series like GRIMM and LEVERAGE) as Wayne, a hippie and perennial Mayoral candidate. Demetrius Sager stars as Burke, the market’s resident germaphobe/busker, and Lorraine Montez (STAR TREK: PHOENIX and THE DIVINE MARIGOLDS) as its head honcho, a.k.a. ‘The Market Master’. Described as a mix between popular TV comedies PORTLANDIA, MODERN FAMILY and ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (but set at a market), LOCALLY GROWN sheds light on a part of American society that has never been covered in popular entertainment – the people who run farmers’ markets, and the unique variety of people who permeate them.

Hamlin based the show on his own experiences with both aspects of the subject, along with his fond memories of his favorite local market, Pike Place Market in Seattle. During the pre-production stages, he interviewed several managers of Seattle-based farmers’ markets, along with vendors and buskers throughout the city. Through their own stories, Hamlin found what he calls ‘seeds of truth’ that had their own humorous meaning, seeds planted to form the show’s unique comedy.

LOCALLY GROWN’s pilot was filmed over one weekend last October, and Hamlin went to great lengths to visually portray the often hectic, bustling atmosphere of an actual farmers’ market with a large cast and crew that one might think would be working on a far larger budget, especially for a web series. “It was pretty intense. I mean, you usually think of a $10,000-$15,000 web series as a pretty scaled down cast and crew. As it went on, it really became an ambitious project. I was looking around and we have 40-50 cast and crew members amongst us. It was like a full production, and we actually created a market that we did all our tight shots with. We had three or four booths set up to get all the tight shots, and then the next day we actually went to a market that’s nearby where I live, and shot in the live market, shot our characters going through and caught some of the wide shots there. It’s pretty incredible the way it worked. I don’t think you can tell that we cheated it that way, but once you start shooting with a lot of people, and all these people roaming around in a live market, it added a whole other element that was quite a challenge, but (that) made it fun.”

While Hamlin hopes that LOCALLY GROWN will be a profitable web series, his ultimate goal is for the show and its website to shine a spotlight on Seattle, its people, its talented actors and musicians, and especially the farmers whose markets provide the city with fresh food – and home grown charm, through the series, and extra supplemental online content (called ‘bonus sprouts’) that will feature assorted interviews and vignettes relating to the series, one that Hamlin feels will appeal to both viewers and marketgoers alike all over the country. “I hope to really build this community, to really make this something that my friends, family and people in the Northwest can be really proud of, and that they can all be a part of, and that we can create this online community that promotes markets, promotes music and promotes vendors, because I think these are really important people in our communities, and important people across the country because there’s never been a show dedicated to (those) who don’t have as much of a voice as they should.”