The Worldwatch Institute is turning the good-natured, cooperative-spirited, wholesome act of growing your own food into a competition for national television, and they want you, young urban farmers!
With the issues of climate change, increasing economic inequities, food deserts, the obesity epidemic and an industrial agricultural system, the Worldwatch Institute wants to show the country there’s a better way to live—and it’s turning to reality television to do it. For their new show Yardfarmers, the organization is seeking six 21- to 30-year-olds who are willing to convert neighborhood green space and family members’ and neighbors’ yards into yardfarms, “converting America’s fifth largest crop by acreage (the lawn) into a major new source of sustainable food, household security, livelihoods and community resilience.”
The future-famous yard farmers don’t need to have gardening experience, rather a willingness to go through with the yard and neighborhood conversion and to be filmed while doing it. The perks aren’t bad: a permaculture course at Ecovillage Training Center in Summerville, Tenn. [http://www.thefarm.org/etc/]; training in filming; health insurance; student loan repayment assistance; and a stipend for project completion—never mind all the food the contestants will be growing to begin with. The winner—based on the amount of produce grown, how sustainably it’s grown, how effectively the land is enriched, and how well the contestant educates and mobilizes the community and viewing audience—gets a bunch of cash.
The catch: You only have until Aug. 15, 2015, to submit your application for the first season (the producers hope there will be more), so get on it! The reality show will be filmed March through November next year and will air in March 2017.