Now, before you judge us, we were just like you, making fun of people who spend time, not just on Facebook, but on Farmville—grown men running to their computers in a panic, feverishly harvesting their cranberries before they wither, co-workers fertilizing each other’s crops. Then we got sucked in too. While we’ve managed to kick the FB habit, farming–not so easy. But it hasn’t been all bad. It’s even brought us a little closer to nature. Before we became digital farmers, we didn’t know what a cotton crop looked like. But as we passed fields of white puffy flowers in parts of New York we didn’t realize were, well, parts of New York, and someone in the car said, “Wonder what that is,” we very confidently answered: “COTTON!” How did we know that? We play Farmville. Don’t hate.
If you ever find us answering ‘yes’ to the question, “Hey there, looks like you need more Farm Cash! Want to buy some now?” you have permission to beat us with a bright purple hay bale. On that note, the folks at Farmville have come up with strategies to make people feel a little bit better about sinking to the level of opening their wallets to buy fake cyber decorations for their fake cyber farms. Through its latest promotional market item, Sweet Seeds For Haiti sweet potato seeds, Farmville raised $487,500 to help fund education opportunities for children in Haiti.
Cows are not pink. Or brown. Or plutonium green. So you won’t find any pink cows at Seed Savers, but you will find pink, brown and green tomatoes, Farmville familiars like Pattypan Squash and sunflowers, plus Black Tomatoes, Bull’s Blood Beets, Purple Cape Cauliflower, Strawberry Popcorn and other rare heirloom seeds that will shock the overalls off your adorable little pig-tailed Farmville self.
For those who want a real plant monster, or Venus flytrap, for their desks, Pet Fly Trap can make it happen for about 9 bucks. These carnivorous plants have eyelash-like tips and clamshell-shaped snap traps that can grow more than an inch long. They only need water and sunlight to survive. Bugs are just a welcome dessert.
Cummins Nursery is a family-run business in upstate New York. They also sell cherry and plum trees—for your real life house in your real life existence. Cummins specializes in custom grown trees, 2-year budded or 1-year grafts. And they won’t cost you a few hundred farm coins, all you need is about 30 bucks.
NOT SPOILED, GIFTED!
We know, we know. Who doesn’t appreciate a bright, unnaturally colored hay bale? Well, this is a great real-life gift for the wannabe urban farmer in your life. Red Envelope‘s Year of Seeds gift pack lets you grow a windowsill garden all year round. The starter kit comes with 12 packs of seeds and 12 candy-colored earthenware pots. Plant them all at once or plant a different seed every month. Seeds include petunias, marigolds, pansies, baby’s breath and others.
If you don’t have the garden space to plow perfect square-shaped plots, the Mini Farm Box is a great alternative. It has everything you need to start growing pure, organic vegetables in your own backyard—ready-to-grow, sustainably farmed wooden boxes, irrigation systems and 100 percent organic soil. The box will grow up to 70 heads of lettuce, 80 lbs of tomatoes, and dozens of other fruits and veggies.
Gnome Frenzy has NHL gnomes, NASCAR gnomes, NFL gnomes, MLB gnomes, traditional gnomes, trickster gnomes, police gnomes, army gnomes and plenty of others that will make you a real life local celebrity on your block—for better or worse.
Farmville lets you feel like a farmer, without doing any actual work—although sometimes we do get a little crampy in our pointer finger during an exceptionally large cyber harvest. But in the real world there is no instant gratification. And a farm doesn’t get plowed with the click of a mouse. So buy local and support your real neighbors–your local farmers.
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