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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

FarmVille for real!

National Trust's Wimpole Home Farm seeks online farmers
A National Trust farm is to be run by online subscribers voting on which crops to grow and livestock to rear. For a £30 annual fee, 10,000 farm followers will help manage Wimpole Home Farm, in Cambridgeshire. The National Trust says its MyFarm project aims to reconnect people with where their food comes from.

It was partly inspired by the online Facebook game Farmville and follows the example of Ebbsfleet Football Club which is run on a similar basis. Decisions about the running of the team in Kent has been in the hands of MyFootballClub subscribers since 2008.
Monthly decisions
Wimpole Home Farm, which is converting to organic, is currently commercially self-sustaining. The 1,200 acre site is home to rare breeds of sheep, cattle, poultry, horses and goats and produces meat, eggs, wheat and oil seed rape. Subscribers will be expected to make key decisions on which crops to plant, which animals to buy and whether to put in measures such as new hedgerows to help wildlife. They will be asked to make 12 major monthly decisions during the course of the year as well as other choices. The options put to members will be within parameters dictated by climate, legislation, and the requirements of the environmental stewardship scheme which the farm is signed up to, as well as the heritage protection given to the estate.

The MyFarm website will feature video updates, webcams, information about farming and expert opinion and subscribers will also be entitled to a family ticket to visit the site.

Credit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13276102

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