Take Your Farmville Addiction a Step Further – Become an Online Farmer

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You’ve played Farmville on Facebook. Now you can play farming for real.

The UK’s National Trust (a charity established to preserve and protect ancient buildings and countryside landscapes) has set up My Farm, a people-powered online farming project.

For £30 per year (about $60), members of the project can take part in the management of the 2500 acre Wimpole Farm, near the city of Cambridge.

Farm manager Richard Morris and his team of actual farm workers will take orders from the community – up to 10,000 of them, making decisions via online discussion and monthly votes.

The farm is already a pay-for-entry tourist attraction, offering visitors the chance to see in person what modern farming is really like. Participants in the My Farm project will get a voucher for free access if they decide to visit in person.

What they don’t get – at least not this time round – is a share of any profits their management-by-proxy might create. The National Trust says the main reason for signing up is to understand how farming works.

“Because Wimpole is a real farm, the decisions that have to be made are real, and they have real consequences. But, as in life and in any other business, there is no one right answer in farming, and we need some fresh ideas. The first vote will be a big one: what should we grow on the farm?”

The team promises to be open and honest will all the online Farmers. Difficult decisions might have to be made, on everything from handling money to animal welfare. And having 10,000 voices involved will only add to the complexity.

But if you feel you’ve got as much fun as you can from Farmville, perhaps this is the logical next step. Either that, or buy your own actual farm. This option is somewhat cheaper.

(Via The Guardian)