Portugal-based MyFarm.com is offering would-be farmers the opportunity to help manage a plot online and receive a share of what is produced.
Crowdmanagement has already hit the farming industry in the UK in the form of the National Trust’s MyFarm project, which has called upon farmers to help run an estate over the web. Now a Portuguese enterprise with a similar name – MyFarm.com – is offering online farmers a chance to reap a share of the produce. Developed by a teacher and students from the Polytechnic Institute of Beja, the project offers a 49 sq m plot of land for an initial payment of EUR 60, which is converted into 600 points to be used when controlling the activity on the farm via the internet. The monthly lease of the plot costs EUR 25 and users can purchase more points with cash (EUR 1 equals 10 points). The user interacts with the plot through a game-like interface — think FarmVille — choosing what seeds to sow, when to sow them, and how many to sow. Information is offered to help online farmers get the best out of their crops. When the user has designed their plot, details are sent to farm management teams, who set to work within three working days, weather permitting. Customers are sent a message whenever they need to make a decision, with technical help on hand for those without thorough knowledge of farming. Users enter a delivery address and receive a sample of their work once it is ripe for eating. MyFarm.com enables city dwellers to get a taste of running their own vegetable farm, while gaining knowledge of the process which has gone into making the food they receive at the end. The project aims to engage consumers with the food they eat in an exciting and interactive way, as well as promote healthy living by offering organic vegetables for a low monthly cost. One to consider replicating where you are? Spotted by: Alberto Sequeira