Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bagley's Happy Acres

By Stephen B. Bagley

I have a farm now. I have over 30 productive animals, including goats, cows, chickens, and even a rabbit or two. I have a small orchard where I have apples, oranges, lemons, mangos, and pecans. In my field, I raise wheat, corn, eggplants, and other staples. I never lose a crop to bad weather. A banker never forecloses on me. Of course, I’m talking about playing the game Farmville 2 on Facebook.

While Farmville is fine, it in no way approaches the grief, heartache, and sheer unending work and frustration of a real farm. By this, you can guess that I am not a fan of farming. You would be correct.

Mind you, I think farmers deserve every bit of support we can give them. I’d much rather send money to them to keep food prices low than sending the money overseas to build gold-plated toilets. Which, according to the news, is how some of our money sent to foreign countries was spent. Of course, when you have billions to spend, it becomes difficult to know what to do with the money. You can’t just let money lie around your palace in piles. It looks so untidy.

Little family farms are almost a thing of the past. Big corporations have taken over the farming world. They’re busy doing everything they can to make a lot of money from farming, including spicing the gene stock of plants in ways that Dr. Frankenstein could only dream of. These corporations make up what is now called ‘agribusiness.’ You can even buy shares in the companies on the stock market, thus paying for your food twice. We’ve come a long way, baby, down a road we probably shouldn’t have.

But back at Bagley's Happy Acres, everything is great. My cute, lively goats jump around happily and never get sick or lost. They even produce goat cheese all by themselves. That’s nothing compared to my cows who produce milk, cheese, AND yogurt. My sheep actually produce bolts of wool and fleece. If only they knitted, too, they would be perfect. And all my animals produce non-stinky fertilizer that I put on my crops with just a click of a mouse button. Did I mention my crops grow in just hours, some in only minutes? If farming really was this easy, everyone would be doing it.

As a friend pointed out, Farmville 2 is a game, not a simulation. If it were a simulation, it would throw in tornadoes  hail, floods, drought, insects, the National Farm Bill, hunters who mistake prize bulls for deer (actually happened on my dad’s farm), disease, tractors and balers that cost more than houses, brush fires, the National Farm Bill, livestock theft, freak snow-storms, broken irrigation pumps, ravenous deer and rabid raccoons and skunks, the National Farm Bill, and all those other calamities that make farm boys desperate to become city folk. Naturally, no one sane would play a game like that where the odds were totally against you — although I guess Vegas does okay.

I’ve always thought farmers were a bit crazy to pour their hearts and souls into such a hard life. Even mighty agribusiness finds it difficult to make a profit. Though we all need food, it’s funny that society don’t value the farmers who produce it. And by funny, I mean sad and short-sighted. (I can make funny mean all sorts of things. Isn’t that funny?)

Visit Bagley's Happy Acres — not your forefather’s farm. Thankfully.

From Return of the Floozy. Copyright 2013 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. No copying permitted of any kind without permission. Thank you for reading. 

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