It seems to be a recurrent theme in Chinese history that farming and happiness are linked. The ancient Poet Tao Qian wrote of the idyllic beauty of picking chrysanthemums and gazing towards the southern hills; everyone from politicians to students were “sent down” to the countryside to promote re-education in the ways of the land; and these days, you can even farm on Kaixin to ease the pain of your technology-ridden soul.
But when farming (or stealing produce and livestock from other people’s farms) online just isn’t enough, you can just rent a plot of land and actually farm yourself! Crazy idea, right? Apparently white collar workers are rushing to “happy farm in reality,” which we guess is a farm space based on the Kaixin classic “happy farm,” which is based on actual farming. So, it’s basically a farm, with a hyperlinked footnote, that is becoming wildly successful.
From “>People’s Daily:
Mr. Liu, a white-collar worker who lives in the Pudong district with his family, rented a piece of farmland in the suburb with a 3, 000 yuan membership fee. When weekend comes, the whole family likes to drive to their own farm to have fun. Watering, weeding, fertilizing and worming, each bringing them unique fun. And during the harvest season, they usually take the harvest back to enjoy with their friends and neighbors.
Mr. Liu said they took part in the program on one hand to bring the family and child a special experience, and on the other, so they can eat the products without any concerns about pollution. He also said since the membership began more than a month ago, they have go to their farm every weekend to experience the special happiness.
We know about the appeal of Second Life, but this is a bizarre inverse: when has doing something online ever spurred interest in doing the same thing in real life, especially something as physically taxing as farming? We guess those internet addiction camps must be paying off.
And the best part of the whole farming experience? Happy farm in reality is setting up a video system where you can monitor your patch over the internet from home. Which would then be an online recreation of a real simulation of an online video game based on real life farming. Watermelon, anyone?