A U.K. organization has just been given the go-ahead by the National Trust to increase its crowd-sourced farming efforts. MyFarm, which is more or less the real-life version of Farmville, is a project that virtually gives the Internet community a say in how it runs its 2,500 acre organic farm.
But now, it will also give people a glimpse of the daily operations of a conventional (or non-organic) farm. “Just 4-percent of farmland in the UK is organic,” the site says, “so some saw MyFarm as irrelevant to ‘real’ farming.” But now the site will be equal opportunity, offering users more variety in helping and learning about the farm for a one-time £30 fee.
Regardless of the new distinction, MyFarm will continue to use social networking and gamification to interest people in the origin of their food. The site has a live Webcam, debates and votes on key farm decisions, and various blogs. It’s a great example of digital, interactive solutions that can reconnect people to things that really matter.
And it’s one that’s working. The site’s expansion into conventional farming is a step to diversify and lure in skeptics—as well as give people an inside look at the concrete differences between these two farming methods. At the moment, MyFarm has 3,000 participants, with a goal of someday reaching 10,000.