FarmVille vs. Farming

I was walking across Grounds earlier today when I overheard a group of students chatting behind me. The snippets I caught piqued my interest: "...So you harvest when you're supposed to-" "Yeah, it'll tell you that your crops are, like, 80% mature..." "-It's awesome!" Sadly, they were not referring to their work in the UVa Student Garden, but to FarmVille, a Facebook application that simulates farming with just (I guess) a few clicks of the mouse. I went online to learn a bit more about this bizarre game, and found an excessive amount of information about playing the game, as well as tricks for gaming the system. The whole thing is pretty thoroughly ridiculous, if no other reason than to show just how utterly removed many people are from real agriculture and the process of food production.

Fortunately, there's still hope for those that have simplified farming to a Facebook game. Joel Salatin, of Omnivore's Dilemma and Food, Inc fame has already spoken on Grounds once today and is speaking once more this evening at McLeod. I've heard him speak a few times before now, but I made it over to his talk this afternoon and as usual he was fired up and evangelical about how crucial it is for us to move away from our current food system (hear, hear!).

Also coming up this Saturday is a work-morning over at the Local Food Hub's incubator farm in Louisa County. Steve and Adrianna Vargo, the folks that actually supply me with my CSA share from their family farm (Quail Spring Farm, also in Louisa), are the ones leading this series of workshops and showing volunteers how to prepare the farm for fall. Should be a fun day to get outside and help transplant/wrestle with row cover/whatever else we get our hands on.

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