Farmville vs Food Not Lawns

Food Not Lawns (fnl) is an initiative of transforming useless and costly lawn-space into edible gardens, and turning neighborhoods that take on the initiative into intentional communities.

Farmville (fv) is, as the website states, “a game where you can farm with your friends.” The thing about Farmville is however, that it is virtual farming, and creates virtual communities.

By starting or participating in a FNL, there are measurable benefits. Once you get past the hump of buying materials (planters, fertilizer, seeds) and learning to start the garden, garden maintenance  becomes as simple as lawn care, you can even hire workers to care for your garden rather than your lawn. Remove the weeds, water, use mulch and organic fertilizer, plants the seeds. The benefits begin when you don’t have to spend money buying produce and spices. If it becomes a neighborhood or even a block effort, the goal of many FNL initiatives, you can  have a local trading and buying community on hand if you need something that someone else has. With proper care, you can ensure that your food is growing healthy.

The downsides of FNL (that can be remedied) are as follows:

  1. You don’t plant enough of the food you need. If you don’t plant much of what you normally eat, and simply grow a few tomatoes, you will still have to go to the market and buy everything else. If you’re going to do this, you need to know what you eat plenty of.
  2. You don’t have enough space. Apartment initiatives would be difficult I think, because apartments are the least likely places to become intentional communities. Usually, people are just in apartments due to low income and they simply need a place to live. If you have a small yard, then getting all that you eat is going to require more effort and innovation.
  3. You don’t have enough people joining the initiative. This is only a downside if you have issues with downsides 1 or 2, because having others join would help out for the things you don’t have.
  4. You don’t rejuvenate the soil or give it a break. Your plants will fail and the nutrients will be used up if you don’t replenish the soil and give some sections a break from having to grow things.
  5. You don’t tend to it at all. Know your climate, so you can judge how much you need to water the thing. You’ve seen lawns go brown and dry right? What about weed infestation? The same things can occur with a garden.

By joining FV, and most likely this will be done on Facebook.com, you’ve succeeded in adding another game to your account. I’ve heard a conversation about Farmville, and I also realize that FV can teach you that difficulties of farming (not gardening, so FNL is still a good thing). Most people in this conversation grew their digicrops and raise their digistock, and failed at it because they had other things to do while they were on Facebook or the internet in general. Farmville is ultimately an opportunity to engage in virtual socializing, as you can see how other people’s farms are going, and exchange or buy crops/livestock. The downside of FV is that you will be wasting your time on a game when you could be doing something else.

The strange thing is that people seem to try to have their FV’s up and running, yet the cost effective and realistic FNL’s remains something in the radical underground, stereotyped to only be used by eco-conscious weirdos.

Farmville versus FoodNotLawns. The later makes the most sense and tangible rewards are gained, while the former is just a way to pass the time and get a few chuckles here and there.

Growing a garden vs buying produce

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Posted on July 15, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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