Online games can portray a sense of real life, but how real is it really? A popular game on Facebook called Farmville gives players a chance to take care of their own farm and become farmers in a way. Players don’t need to know anything about farming to play or even become successful in this game. Unlike real life, there are no chances of bad weather, no chances of animals dying, no chances of crops dying, and no chances of going bankrupt. When I played the game I had left multiple crops un-watered and animals unfed. Both the crops and the animals did not die. In the game players don’t have to worry about roll cropping because the soil never loses its nutrients. Each time you level up in the game you can earn power ups like more money or more supplies for the farm giving the game an unrealistic feel.
On the other hand there are a lot of aspects that are based on real life. The appearance of the farm is what you would expect. There is a small amount of land, a few animals, and a few plots for crops. Thee farm in this game is more based on growing crops to feed animals than a dairy farm or a meat farm. Unlike what you actually might see, the game has a “market stand” right in front of the farm while farmers now sell most of their products to the government that end up in our grocery stores. A common theme that I kept coming across was managing my inventory. As a farmer, one has to make a plan of what they have, how long the choice will take, and what type of farmer they want to be. This game seemed real because when you grew crops they weren’t ready to be harvested right away. Some crops took longer than others. Players were expected to plant the crops, water the crops, and harvest them. I kept making the mistake of “putting all my eggs in one basket”. Whenever I had plenty of supplies I would use them up right away to try to get tasks done faster but then I would be stuck until the crops were ready to be harvested or wait to have enough water. I am a very impatient person, so this was the hardest part for me. Just like in real life, there was always things to do. After you accomplish a set of goals in the game there were always more right around the corner. In real life, a farmer doesn’t get a day off. The farmer has to always work to feed the animals and sell the crops to make money. I enjoyed how the game offered many different ways of earning money like you would in real life. From the animals you can gain products like milk and eggs and from the crops you can sell them as is or make pastries to sell. Players act like farmers in the sense of making choices of what to use what products for. In the game you are the only one working. If there are a lot that needs to get done, you can hire help for money. This is true in the real world. Farmers will do the work all themselves but the moment it gets too much they will hire help they can afford. With more experience you got in the game, you then had the option to expand the farm. At the end of the day while not every game is going to be reality, I think that Farmville has a lot of aspects that resemble real life farming.
I decided to analyze the painting by Paulus Potter that was painted in 1647. It is part of the Mauritshuis collection in the Netherlands. The painting is titled The Bull or Young Bull because the younger bull in the center demands a lot of the attention. Paulus Potter designed the oil painting on a canvas to be life size. At first glance my eyes immediately went to the rancher who is keeping watch over his personal animals. He is the odd one out because he is the only human in the picture. The younger bull is followed by the rest of the animals lined up to the left of him. There is an older, larger bull at the feet of the first. Next to it are a mother sheep and her baby lamb. Last, standing next to the rancher is the ram. None of the animals close to the front of the picture seem to be the same age or gender. The painter wanted to focus on these few, animals compared to the other animals in the painting, because each animal has a specific meaning. After investigating farther into the meaning, I discovered that the bull was a symbol of prosperity for the Dutch and showed up in many of their paintings during this time period. I can only assume the reason why the cow represented prosperity was because ranchers with more cows tended to have more money. Ranchers would make their money by selling the cattle they had. Younger cows would be worth more because they had more potential. In the background, we can see the rancher’s field littered with other ranch animals. If all the animals in the picture belong to the man we can assume he is a wealthier farm owner. Throughout this course we have seen that most people have a different understanding of what farmers do and that there are many different levels of farming. People automatically go to the Hollywood version of a farmer who are poor and uneducated. In one of the chapters we read there are jokes that support this idea while people who have experienced the life of a farmer know that it is hard work. This painting represents the life of a rich farmer by highlighting the outcome of his hard work and his bright future with the young bull.
"Mauritshuis." Mauritshuis | Artstor. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.
"The Young Bull." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51yRrHfKYtL._SX339_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg This image shows the importance of Jethro (the boy) and how even though he lives on a farm, the war always seems to be in the background of what is going on around him. He is bigger in the picture showing that he is of more importance to the story. The pitchfork and the tall grass give readers and idea of what kind of farming the boy might be doing. The soldiers in the background with the mist around them infer that with the news of the war everything is still unclear.
Hunt, Irene, and Albert John Pucci. Across Five Aprils. Chicago: Follett Pub., 1964. Print.
When looking back at a children’s book as an adult your perspective can open. Every time you reread a book you learn something. In this case I had the opportunity to read a children’s book that, even as an adult, brought me out of my comfort zone. In the book Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt, it takes a boy who lives on a farm and has him face tough choices in a world where war could break out at any moment. The story is focused through the eyes of the child and what he thinks of the situation around them.
After meeting and befriending a man with a bad family name, the boy, Jethro Creightons finds himself in a scary situation. Jethro and his family find out that men are trying to hunt them down and destroy their home because they befriended the man that the whole town hates. At this point, the war has taken over his home in Illinois. When a death has stricken the family Jethro gains more responsibility within the family. Since the war creates a dangerous world around the child, he moves to find peace and continue his studies.
In the beginning of the book, the reader’s eyes are opened to what farm life is like. It talks in depth about the imagery of everyday farm life. Miss Creightons is the mother of Jethro. Even in her old age she continues working in the field every day, from dawn to dusk, with her children in order to help provide for the family. She also shows a strong motherly role when she opens her door for strangers and gives them what food she has to offer. She treats friends as if they were her own children and is very wise. It’s also pointed out that at the time of the story illness was very common and lead to a high death rate. Jethro was seen as the favorite child because most of his relatives died of sickness before they reached his current age. With farming every moment of work counts and the faith in God is a strong subject to her. The children are taught to read and write properly by a school teacher with some college experience but for the older generations the only thing they know how to read is the paper and the bible. Mis Creightons makes several references to the bible such as “The Lord God created the earth and all upon it, Jeth. I don’t like to hear that His work waren’t of the best” [Hunt, Across Five Aprils,8].
Through a child’s eyes, curiosity is the biggest part of the world. Jethro is always looking up to those older than him and he also looks up to those he feels are wiser. Throughout the book he mentions that he looks up to his older brothers but at the same time knew his place as the youngest. It is amazing to see through the eyes of a child and one way to do that as an adult is to read children’s books. Through Jethro’s eyes, at only age 9 he could see that the world was troubled. To him, when the talk of war was on everybody’s lips he thinks, “Dread of war was a womanly weakness, he had discovered, evidenced by his mother’s melancholy and the tears of Jenny and his brother’s wife, Nancy” [Hunt, Across Five Aprils,6].
In Hunt’s writing it tells the opinions of multiple points of view. With the constant debate of the war and the wait for President Lincoln’s declaration of war, readers see the thoughts of those who live in the north and the south. It is pointed out by the cousin of Jethro that the south has strong opinions about the north. The southerners think that the north wants to interfere with the way of life in the south by trying to free they slaves and anyone who thinks against that should move up north with the industrialists. While the north believes that slavery is wrong and that it is not only taking away the slave’s bodies but their souls as well. It also slightly infers the President’s hesitancy of going to war which keeps everyone on edge. To me, I feel that this topic is still relevant in our society today. The talk of war always puts people on edge and slavery has always has been an issue.
The people of the small farms have to take a whole day to travel into the next town for the newspaper to stay up to date of the war at hand. She also shows it by having Jethro listen to the gossip and the opinion of the adults around him. This grabbed my attention because now we can just grab our phones, open social media and look for what is happening currently around us. It is so easy to get social media and computers that we don’t have to travel far to get the information. I believe that we often forget how hard it was to get information
Overall, this book was very insightful to a child’s point of view and what it was like to live on a farm during the civil war. It allows readers to show the true effect of adult’s actions and opinions on young children. I enjoyed how having the stress of the war on everyone’s minds was a topic that anyone care relate to. With all the different aspects of the book as a whole it made the book have more depth and it made the book more interesting. Children are like sponges and they watch the world with open eyes and ears. This book represents a childhood on the farm while the world around it is in distress.
Recently I have had my attention drawn to 4H, by friends and other people around me. For me and growing up in the city I have no idea what 4H even is or what is their purpose. On the 4H website one statement that is mentions is that “young people learn by doing.” The organization provides multiple programs for kids to get involved. The main purpose of 4H is to help kids to develop skills to succeed in life.
A little bit of history: the 4H club was started in Ohio in 1902. The start of 4h was after school clubs and fair to get kids involved. The 4H did not become official until 1912 after the creation of the logo in 1910. Since then 4H has spread throughout different communities other than strictly agriculture communities. There are more diverse programs other than animal science programs to reach out to more kids.
4H even has their own pledge:
I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.
For me this sounds like Girl Scouts which is what I participated in growing up. Both provide the opportunity for youth to gain skills that they will use in years to come. While Girl Scouts focused more on the encouraging the girls to be a better version of themselves, 4H teaches skills such as farming and agriculture based skills. For me if I had the opportunity to do 4H I would have because in many of my classes the students who have taken 4H understand the material more than those who haven’t. Growing up I learned a lot from the camps and the different activities that I did taught me a lot. I also had a great community of friends through different Girl Scout events that I even talk to today. I can only imagine what 4H does for those kids who grow up in a small agriculture town and what it helps them accomplish. The purpose of 4H is to help kids learn by doing and I think that programs like this should be more popular in all areas to get kids outside more instead of staying inside and playing videogames. Kids have become less active in the past 10 years and the issue needs to be addressed. For kids in the city 4H will give them the opportunity to get the outdoors experience that is lacked when living in the city. For kids living on a farm setting, it gives them the chance to build upon the skills that they learn at home and to have a break from home life and to hang out with kids in similar situations.
In today’s culture movies are a pig part of everyday lives. If you are an equine enthusiast like me, then you have probably already seen the movie War Horse by Steven Spielberg. This time watching it, I paid more attention to the beginning of the movie where they focus on the lives of the farmers. In the beginning of the movie the poor farmer went to an auction and bought a horse to help plow his field. The importance of getting the horse was to help make farming easier on the old father. While the wife was furious because they could not afford the horse, the son kept him and trained the horse to plow. The farmers lived simply and did not have much. After reading the hierarchy of farming, I would consider them sharecroppers since someone else owns their house and the land. If the farmers did not have crop for that season they could lose the house. After a horrible storm the crops that were already planted were ruined. While the mother lost all hope, the father and son kept their faith. Since they couldn’t plant again in the same field they turned to a challenge of clearing a field with giant rocks. With the determination and hard work of both the horse and the son, they were able to accomplish the task.
After watching this movie it really put into perspective what goes into farming. It truly is not a simple task and anything can make or break the season. In the movie the rain was the reason they had to start all over. The soil was soaked and roots had not taken a hold of the ground. Farmer’s whole lives revolve around the production of crop for the entire year, without it they could lose everything. Even on the worst days these hard working people keep up their faith and see how everything goes. This movie showed what farmers might go through on an everyday basis. Other than the loss of crops the movie also gave me an idea of what challenges farmers need to overcome and the fears that they may have. During this time it was World War I, in Germany, where there was a lot of changes and most of the money and men were going towards the war. I can not even imagine living as a farmer during that time.
Every once in a while you get the opportunity to travel back in time. If you’re like me, you do not carry a time machine with you. Luckily my Dad has ansetry.com which is pretty much the same thing. Looking back in time I discovered new information about my family. In my family, my great great aunt’s dad was the most recent documented farmer as an occupation. He started out as a dairy farmer back in 1910 before owning his own grocery store and gas station in 1929 in New York. His name is Frank Bowen Gates; his family tended to do farming with other work as well.
In the 1900s farming was growing bigger and bigger. At the time the total farm population was about 32,077,000 people, with 6,366,000 farms that had an average of 138 acres. Dryland farming started to become popular in the Great Plains, farm credit was becoming a rural issue, and the Farmers’ Equity Union was organized. When Frank was a dairy farmer Agriculture exports were $1.9 billion/per year. Commercial Fertilizer, at the time, was used at 6,116,700 tons/year. Just 35 minutes away from where Frank lived the first Farm Bureau formed. A few Years later World War I broke out. Between 1910-1925, more roads were built and people started using automobiles more often.
Frank started as a farmer with his father before learning mechanics where he turned it into a business. Unfortunately, when Frank first got his grocery store and gas station the Great depression struck between 1929-1939. This caused farm prices and income to drop. In the 1930’s the farm population was at 30,455,350, with 6,295,000 farms, with an average of 157 acres, with the addition of 14,633,252 irrigated acres. The use of farm-to-market road were becoming more popular in government road building. By the time Frank passed away in 1965, the Trade Expansion Act was developed. The Appalachian Regional Development Act was also put into place where there is a voluntary 4-year price and adjustment program. The stats for farmers have continued to increase since the great depression causing more of the population to do other forms of work.
Frank’s farm was passed down to my great great uncle and his family. When my Dad was a kid, his family also owned a farm. It was a personal ¼ acre farm that grew corn, green beans, carrots, blackly, beats, with a plum tree and peach tree. My immediate family doesn’t own a farm but it was interesting to find out how someone in my family were apart of major events such as the Great Depression. That’s how I found my roots.