You may recall that when my sister alt, Clover, closed her shop, it was largely because the world had changed too rapidly for her to keep up with. Hundred and thousands of Ls and av-hours of work to create the products that made Clover’s Kitchen a success were suddenly all in vain and the food and beverage became almost laughably obsolete, practically overnight.
Well, you know that I love creating food for people in the Grid and so– in what may or may not be a moment of weakness– I invested a sizeable chunk of my savings into starting up what will be Clover Farms. (People who were fans of Clover’s Kitchen may remember, back in the day, that “Clover Farms” was an imaginary brand name used on items such as milk and orange juice).
Clover got a 1024 parcel back in Lionheart (hey, say what I have about the community, it’s got plots of land for what I need RIGHT NOW) to start an urban farm, across from a bowling alley and kitty-corner to a church. There will be the farm, using goods from Digital Farm Systems (DFS) to produce what I hope will be dairy products (and, down the line, some essential grocery items).
My first mistake was not going to the DFS Main Store inworld first thing. I’ve become so used to Marketplace shopping that I dropped way more than I needed to on basics that came with no instructions. So if you decide you want to try farming with DFS, do go to the main store in world first thing. Not only do they have the Starter Pack (which was about 800L worth of items for 500L), but there are actual real people there to answer questions and help you get underway. And talk about kind! The person working when Clover stopped in offered cake and wine (happy new year!) and help getting started.
To farm with DFS you wear a Heads Up Display (HUD). While you HUD is on, you gather water to water crops and/or livestock– or to cook with– you can use the crops to feed animals (in the case of hay) or sell or make into other items to eat or to sell. When you do your farm chores, it costs Energy Points (EP) and you have to replenish your energy points by eating DFS food. So there is a circular economy, and people make everything from soup and juice to cake and wine. Some people sell basic supplies like seed and fertilizer, others specialize by making and selling things such herbal goods and wool goods (YARN!!), still others do a little of everything and maintain their own sustaining homestead. Like I say, my plan is to specialize mostly in dairy and later, basic grocery items that people can buy to cook with.
The trading community is active to the point of my needing to mute the group while I’m reading and learning from the manual. There’s a bustling farmer’s market where farmers rent stalls and offer their goods in single-prim vendors.
What I like so far: the items are low-li mesh, and (OMG YAY) you have the option to turn off most of the hovertext (it’s under “security” on the menu). The cows are realistic looking (if a bit small), animated to move their heads and moo periodically. You can set your items to private (just you use them), group only (you and any “hired hands” or commune members in your group can use them), or open (usable by anyone). The market is busy and the community kind and friendly. Lag seems relatively low, which is good on my glacially slow old laptop. I like that it could easily be adapted to numerous times and places, after all agriculture is pretty universal. People really go all out in this thing, with farmer’s markets, restaurants, grocery stores, breweries, vineyards– the sort of stuff that makes communities feel like communities. And once again I have to shout out the incredibly kind and helpful staff!
What I don’t like: This is going to be a time sink and a money sink before I see any Ls back, I have a feeling. But then, any breedable/farming venture is likely to be. There are SO many event announcements that it’s overwhelming to try and keep up.
So as of today, January 1 2019, Clover’s Farm consists of the following:
- 1024 sq m of urban farmland
- 2 water wells
- 1 water field
- 2 dirt fields (not yet planted)
- 2 bulls (1 brown named Bo, one Holstein named Rorschach)
- 3 cows (1 brown named Bossie, 2 Holsteins named Patches and Spot)
- 1 orange tree
- 1 apple tree
- assorted seeds: hay, sugarcane, and tomato
There’s probably more but I haven’t set it out yet.