Tuesday, May 5, 2009

a time to plant . . .

so today . . . i planted an apple tree, a plum tree, and a banana tree, dug in the dirt, planted some grapes, watered them, and oh yeah, i also planted some tomatoes.

all virtually, of course!

my friend sherry invited me to participate in a game on facebook called "farm town." first of all, let me just say that sherry is the queen of facebook apps. she participates in so many things. and yet, when i begged her to add one more (superpets) to help me out, she did--with gusto. sherry is facing some very difficult days right now and these "games" help her to relax and get her mind off of her situation. i have found that to be true too, but i usually choose apps that take very little thought--send a virtual flower, play with a virtual pet, have virtual coffee with someone . . .

but this farm thing is something different. it is like a computer game. it kind of reminds me of many, many years ago when the sims game was new. you had to plan a town, populate it, take care of it, keep it's citizens safe and employed and make sure they had services . . . i was terrible at it! i can't even tell you how many times my cities went bankrupt. and yet i kept playing, apparently thinking i had learned something from my last failure. and maybe i did. but i never learned enough to operate a town successfully.

i thought i could handle a farm. it is pretty much just planting, harvesting, selling, and planting again, isn't it? well, yes and no. these crops have to be harvested at the right time or you will lose them, and then your investment is gone. sherry's farm is beautiful! she has lots of trees and animals, and she is growing sunflowers and coffee and rice. she even has a fenced area with three black and white cows and she has a duck and a sheep and a horse . . . today i sent my avatar over to sherry's farm, just to see how a real virtual farm should look.

speaking of the avatar--it is clearly not the most important part of the farm. and i find that odd. if you are creating a female, you get only two hairstyles and two colors from which to choose. and yet there are like eight mouths and five or six noses. what is up with that? and somehow my hair has turned gray--it must be the stress of all those decisions a new farmer must make.

and i have a pig. sherry gave it to me. i don't have to take care of the pig--he just wanders around the farm. every once in a while he will just fall over and go to sleep. i have to admit, right now he is my favorite part of the farm. he doesn't seem to be ruining my crops, even when he falls down and goes to sleep on them. maybe some of the animals do kill the crops though, because the "store" does have fencing . . .

i figured most of this out this afternoon at school. the kids like the virtual pets on facebook, so sometimes when we have free time i will open up superpets and let them play for a while. but today i thought maybe "farm town" would be a fun thing to do with my two boys. so we worked on it a little. i think they will be interested to see how things are progressing. we will just go online and take care of our farm for a few minutes every afternoon. it should be fun!

i have high hopes for my farm! although, i have not even been playing for 24 hours, and i have less than $100 left.

after school i had to go to walmart and get laundry detergent (clothes to be washed--totally out of soap--needed it today.) i usually pay at the cash registers at the back end of the store by the garden supplies. when i went back there today, after spending my afternoon "on the farm," i had an almost irresistable urge to buy plants. and plant them.

but that would require watering and weeding and hot sun and bugs and eventually trimming and maintenance and did i mention hot hot sun and sweating and bugs ?!?!?

i think for now i will just do my planting and harvesting in cyberspace . . .


Wendy said...

And Jeff thinks I spend too much time on the computer!

Sherry Hunt said...

This really cracked me up. I have never been mentioned in a blog before .. so I read it out loud to Nathan. We were both laughing out loud.
I think the boys may learn a lot about farming and economics from the game.
Thanks for always making me smile.