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The Farming Game

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

Back when I was young, my siblings and I would play a board game called The Farming Game. We played it for hours. The clock ticked on, midnight came and went. We got out pencil, paper, and calculator to record our finances because there wasn’t enough play money to go around eventually. Sometimes we would leave the game out for days on end.

To explain the fun, each player rolled the dice and moved around the board, square by square. A good “year” (trip around the board) meant you landed on the squares that said hay cuttings and wheat harvest, where you rolled high dice numbers (hopefully) to see how much your crops yielded.

Then other “years”, you would completely miss a couple of the hay cutting squares or roll a 1 for your tonnage when you really needed a 6. Without fail, you also seemed to hit all the “Farm Expense” and “Machinery Breaks Down” that same year.

We’re having that kind of a year with our own farming game. Short water year, poor soil, aphids and grasshoppers devouring the hay, low yields, and breakdowns. Difficult landlords that raise rent and threaten worse.

Some years are like that.

In the back of our minds, the question arises.. do we leave the game out and keep playing, hoping the next years will be better? Maybe try different crops, farm other property.. Or do we put the pieces back in the bag, close the box and set it back on the shelf for awhile?

man's hand holding head of green unripe wheat by Joanie Nikkel

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