Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The only way that I'll ever have a green thumb...

I’ve developed a love of the land. Planting a seed, and watching it grow and produce fruit. I look forward to walking my farm, finding the crops that are ready to harvest. Tending to the flourishing plants so that they will be the most productive. By the sweat of my brow…tilling the earth with my bare hands. Okay, not my bare hands…but my mouse hand, anyway!

I’ve discovered Farm Town on Facebook. You know, it’s one of those silly little apps that you can send gifts to your friends? I kept getting gifts from folks, and I was just ignoring them. I’d had a Lil Green Patch, which was supposed to save the rainforests (although for the life of me, I have no idea how playing a game on FB was going to save the world). I never did get the hang of it. It irritated me because the plants were willy nilly in my Lil Green Patch. I spent an hour reorganizing them one day…only to log on and find out that it didn’t save correctly. I abandoned my Patch. So apparently, Global Warming is all my fault.

So one night at Bro’s, I was up late unable to sleep. I’d turned off my computer, but his was still on, so I jumped on and started surfing aimlessly. I checked my email. I looked at I took a peek to see what was on sale at I moseyed over to Facebook, but no one was up and posting. I decided to see what this Farm Town thing was all about.

That was my first mistake. I was given a block of land with six plots of tilled earth, and soon, I was growing potatoes. They know how to hook me! Potatoes are my favorite! I plowed some more land, won some coins in the Farm Town daily lottery, and planted some more.

I think that I planned to abandon it after that, but the next morning, I looked at my crops. I won some more coins, and planted some grape seeds. They would mature in only 4 hours, and I could see the fruits of my labors!

They didn’t tell me that the darn grapes would rot on the vine if I didn’t get back to them! When I logged on that evening, my grapes had gone to waste. It says that, in bold letters. Gone to waste. I was so frustrated! I had wasted all of that plowing and planting and the coinage to accomplish that. I vowed to never let that happen again. That’s when I knew that I’d made the fatal mistake.

Since then, I have become very methodical in my planting, and I make sure that I will be available when my crops mature, so that I can get them in before they go to waste. I make sure that I harvest them in a timely manner and then get those fields plowed and replanted.

By the time I had left Bro’s house, I was getting pretty good at Farm Town. The girls would sit by me and help me decide what crops to plant, estimate when they would be ready to harvest, and organize my growing orchard. All of the gifts that had been sent by other Farm Town friends were piling up, and I had to move them into the application.

At first, I planted them in a row along the edges of my farm. When it began to bug me that they were haphazard, I found that you could move them. Woohoo! I lined them up nicely. The next day, I rearranged them, to make them prettier and easier to see. Then it bothered me that they were all mixed up. I put Plum Trees in a row, Orange Trees in another. Still later, I had to organize them by maturity, so that they were easier to harvest. That was an undertaking, I tell you! You had to examine each tree, note it’s maturity percentage, then line them up from least to most mature. Now, all of the trees that need to be harvested at the same time are grouped together. It’s very cool.

Then there is the issue of the animals. I’d received them as gifts, but couldn’t figure out how to contain them. Turns out, you have to BUY fences! Well, I didn’t have the capital to increase my crop production and buy fences, too, so for a long time, my animals ran amok on my farm. It wasn’t until my farm was well established that I felt that I could afford fences, and at first, only a small pen for all of them. Poor things stood side by side, cows, pigs, chickens, and horses alike. Crammed into a tiny pen.

One day, I actually DID THE MATH, and found out which crops are the most lucrative. Really! You have to factor in the length of time that it takes to mature, cost of the seeds, and the cost of plowing the field. I found that of the crops that I could buy at the time, Rice, Corn, and Sunflowers would net the largest gain. I planted sunflowers like they were going out of style.

Soon, I had enough of a cushion to build real pens for my animals. I made one for the pigs, one for the cows, another for the sheep. I’m not sure about the programming, though, because one errant cow kept wandering out into the orchards. After returning him to his pen many times, he has finally stayed put. Then there was the sheep that kept wandering back to the cows. I think that the programmers are writing these things and laughing at us poor farmers, trying to contain our cyber livestock!

I’ve become enamored with the pigs, that sleep on command. You tell them to sleep and they suddenly go stiff, fall on their sides, then close their eyes and snooze sweetly. After a moment, they get up, seemingly refreshed. They are bright eyed and adorable! I have to play with my pigs a bit each day, making each one take a nap. Other than that, the animals serve no purpose in Farm Town. Very strange, indeed!

My farm is truly a visual interpretation of my personality. It is relatively no nonsense, maximized to increase it’s potential for success. I have planted on nearly every square inch, and I keep my fields growing at all times. I’ve purchased more land three times now, and I am finally letting myself buy some decorative items. No buildings yet – oh, no, that would be far to extravagant! But my animals are in pens, and I bought a nice bench to place in the flower garden so that I could enjoy it in the evenings. (As if! I mean, I send my little avatar there, but is she really enjoying it???)

I’ve decided that I will now start to build my home…a farm house, yard, etc. A modest one, so that I can keep producing at the rate that I’ve become accustomed to. You just can’t waste good farmland, you know.

This is supposed to be a social networking game, and so it is less expensive to hire someone to plow and harvest your crops than to do it yourself. It makes no sense, and I’ve become somewhat rebellious about it. I refuse to hire anyone. I don’t care if it costs more to plow and my crops are not as plentiful. It’s just wrong to hire someone to do something that you can do yourself.

I actually ran into someone when I was helping at their farm. You can go to friends’ farms and weed or water or rake and you get coins for doing so. One day, I saw my cousin planting seeds. His little avatar would move around and then little seeds would appear, it was fascinating to watch.

It disturbs me that little digital people come and stand in my fields. These are not my friends working , but it’s odd little avatars that just stand there and stare. I have no idea who they are, and they are just standing there. I feel like marching up to them and demanding to know how they got there, but then they might talk to me. I’m not here to socialize, folks, I have farm work to do!! One day, a cheeky gal stood right in the middle of a field that I was trying to harvest, plow, and plant, and it kept me from plowing that square. The gall!

I know, I have a problem. I need to lay off the farming. Hubby thinks that I’m obsessed, but we’re not really asking his opinion, are we? I figure that one day, my farm will be maximum size and I’ll run out of exciting things to do on it. Until then, keep the seeds coming!

So, check it out. See you in Farm Town! Just don’t stand in my fields. It’s rude and makes your avatar look like a ‘tard.


  1. You should value your Hubbies opinion more than you do.

  2. That sounds fun. We did a mock apple orchard in class once, that spand a 10 year period, each year we could decide what things needed to be done but then my teacher would say that this year there was a bug infestation etc. By the end of 10 years I had a net loss. It is hard to be a farmer.