Around 16 million hectares of American soil is being used for turf-grass lawns, which are a major source of carbon dioxide. A new reality TV show called Yardfarmers will attempt to turn carbon-intensive lawns into fertile agricultural land.

Many young people today are unemployed. In the US, the percentage of 20-24-year -olds without a job is currently at around 10.4 % (1). The number of 18-34 year- olds who still rely on their parents for financial support may be as high as 35% (2). Often this forces them to stay, or move back, with their parents – something most of them would probably like to avoid.

But along with these problems also comes opportunity – turf-grass lawns! They are the fifth largest crop in America and a large source of carbon dioxide emissions (3). Lawns are actually an old European symbol of wealth; having a lawn showed that you were wealthy enough to not farm your land. In the light of climate change, unemployment, rising food prices and a growing population, you could easily argue that those times of luxury lawns are over. Imagine: 16 million hectares of opportunity just waiting to be seized!

A new reality TV show, Yardfarmers, invites young Americans that live with their parents to become yard farmers, helping to grow food instead of grass while at the same time tackling food security, community resilience and biodiversity. Six of them will compete for the title of “America’s Best Yardfarmer” and a substantial prize by turning boring lawns, random street flower boxes and other available spaces into sources of healthy, sustainable food.

The call for contestants is open until the end of August. Go to www.yardfarmers.us and sign up today!