Ever played Farmville on Facebook? Apparently, it is the #1 Facebook app by Zynga (who also created Café World and Mafia Wars in Top 10) now with over 73 million users - that's more than twice the size than that of the #2 app. These virtual farm games are getting quite popular even on the iPhone. The most popular in the iTunes App Store is the Tap Farm by Streetview Labs, currently at #35 in Top 50 Free Apps.
I've been playing one myself called iFarm by PlayMesh. I spend time picking out crops that would make me the most profit, and I keep coming back to check on their growth even if it's at 3am - because everything is real time, if you leave a harvested crop for too long, it wilts.
How about playing one that actually returns you with REAL edible harvests? Doing it pretty much the same way as in those farm simulation games mentioned above (except you DO have to pay for this) - pick your crops, plant them, water them and finally harvest them - this creative Italian company will deliver your harvests to your doorstep within 24 hours! Interesting eh?
Unfortunately, this fun and innovative service only operates in Italy right now. And you control your own farm (or "garden") via your web browser. But I wouldn't see it being a problem to establish such services in the United States, where city people are becoming more health-conscious, "cheap" "organic" "home-grown" food would appeal very much to them as well. An even better idea - remotely control your farm on mobile even while traveling! Or send a box of love-filled tomatoes to your family!
Remote-controlled farming for city dwellers: tailor-made, no-fuss vegetable gardens