I am a Farmville addict!

Several times a day I check my crops, orchards and animals. As you can probably tell this is all rather addictive, and especially so when merged with the social media element of helping your friends’ farms and competing for ever more status points.

Yet as an environmental and sustainability engineer I have been dismayed by the complete focus on industrial farming and lack of even the most basic sustainable practices.

I make no claims to being an expert on farming practices but would like to highlight the most obvious failure and the missed opportunity to educate the wider public about sustainable farming.

Fallow Land – Great concept but it doesn’t do anything. You would think that there would be some kind of bonus for allowing fields to fallow for an extended period of time.

Fertiliser – The more you use the better! and you get to spread it around to your friends.

Concepts that I would love to see in Farmville.

– Organic Farming
– Crop Rotation
– Waste management for animals
– Seasonal variation to crops
– Reduced yield due to over farming
– Erosion and Buffer Strips (strategic planting of trees)
– Water resources (limited water supplies)
– Insects and pests
– Plant diseases
– Salinity and water table (you could manage this with your friends)

I believe that social media like Farmville can be a passive form for education and environmental activism. It would be great to see a like between playing an organic farming game and the purchase of organic produce at the supermarket. Is it too much to hope for?