Those familiar with our mission understand the urgency of addressing the coming food crisis—how will we feed 9 billion people by the year 2050? According to an expert paper from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, if we continue to eat the way we do today, coupled with climate change and political instability, we won’t be able to produce enough food for the exploding global population in the next 30 years. That’s why we’ve proposed the Victory Garden 2050 project for consideration for the Rockefeller Foundation’s Food System Vision Prize.

Did you know that Americans once grew over 1/3 of the produce they consumed in small plots in their backyard, school grounds and church yards? These Victory Gardens were a result of a mass campaign by the United States’ Department of Agriculture to educate and introduce people to the essential nature of growing your own food. Inspired by the success of WW2 Victory Gardens, our proposal for the Food System Vision Prize is to roadmap ways to build regenerative, local, agroecologies beginning with a kit of parts for producing backyard and schoolyard gardens right here in New York City. We are working with a diverse group of designers, farmers, historians and urban planners who understand the unique challenges of communicating and motivating people to try their hand at growing their own food.

Our plan is to launch three pilot gardens this Spring in New York City across three boroughs — the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. With your help and support, we can take best practices from across disciplines and a multitude of gardening models to create an actionable roadmap for urban food sovereignty by 2050.

We are looking for collaborators—design researchers, urban farming specialists, urban policy experts, mechanical engineers and designers of all stripes to contribute.

Email us at editors [at] thisismold [dot] com if interested!

The Food System Vision Prize is engaging organizations to pitch projects that will build a regenerative and nourishing food system by the year 2050. The Rockefeller Foundation will be distributing $2M to Top Visionaries to enact their programs — the prize amounts to $200,000 to each organization. For those interested, the Prize is hosting a webinar on Futurecasting with our collaborators and MOLD contributors Rebecca Chesney (IDEO) and Max Elder (Institute for the Future) on January 16. The last day to apply by submitting your vision for the food system is January 31st at 5PM EST on OpenIDEO’s platform.