Rather than getting sucked into the obsessive virtual silliness of fake agriculture in FarmVille on FaceBook, perhaps you should consider contributing to efforts that result in actual, living real trees instead. Adagio Teas has instituted a program connected to Earth Day 2010 that will plant tea trees in three of the major regions that produce tea. Participants in the program can choose which region they would like the tree planted in, and can even choose where in the field the particular tree will be planted. Adagio promises participants four ounces of tea from their individual tree if it reaches maturity successfully, which is generally after about three years. Due to a number of environmental factors, tea trees are having quite a rough time in China right now. I hope these trees will get all of the support they need to make it.
From Adagio’s description of the program:
This is no ordinary Earth Day celebration. Join a program where stewardship of our Planet is a year-round activity. Help us plant 1,000 trees in three tea-growing regions — China, India, and Taiwan. Once the seeds are in the ground, we’ll invite you to cultivate it virtually, nurturing your tree to maturity. Do this responsibly, and once your tree begins harvesting, you’ll reap the fruits of your labor — fresh tea from the tree you’ve nurtured from birth.
You can see in the screen shot above where my tree will be planted in Fujian, China. It’s the fifth one from the bottom and the fifth one from the left in Field 1. Why don’t you go and plant some trees around it? I don’t think FarmVille has added tea fields to the crops you can plant anyway.
Photo of Camellia Sinensis flower by Shizhou, used with permission, under the Creative Commons license.