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My Organic Acres – the “Future of Gardening” or Super-Slick Website?

Fullscreen capture 5162010 82757 AM
Has anyone heard of My Organic Acres? It seems to be a scheme for renting out parts of a farm, the produce from which will be delivered straight to your door, from wherever you live in the country.  (How can that be a good idea?)  I say "seems to be" because it's the most confusing – though expensively produced – website I've seen in ages.  Actually when Craig Cramer first brought it to my attention I wrote back to ask: "What IS it? Something like Farmville?"  And he responded that I'm not the first to think it's a game. 

So I read more of the website but I'm still asking: "Game, great idea, or scam?"  Craig sent me this press release but it didn't help. 

And get this.  They promise to use an "exclusive farm cam" system so we can watch our own food growing.  Seriously?

Wacky schemes and products are, I suppose, symptoms of the growing popularity of organic foods and gardening in general, so probably a good thing.  In the big picture.

Posted by on May 16, 2010 at 5:50 am, in the category Uncategorized.
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20 responses to “My Organic Acres – the “Future of Gardening” or Super-Slick Website?”

  1. LauraP says:

    Wow. Just wow. And oh, my . . . oh my.

  2. Katxena says:

    I think the answer to your question lies in the section labeled “your opportunity.” Here’s what it says “When you tell others about how they too can get Organic Foods for less than they would pay at the store you will get paid monthly on every member and gardener you sponsor as well as everyone those you sponsor bring in for five levels deep!”

    It’s a pyramid scheme.

  3. Katxena says:

    Also, check the pricing structure: it’s a $599 per year lease, plus $99 per month maintenance fee. That’s $1800 a year. That might be less than what you would pay for organics in the store, but only if you are strict about it AND if you didn’t buy any produce to supplement your “garden” produce.

    Scam scam scam scam scam. Scam. Did I mention scam?

  4. What is frightening is the number of people who have bought into the scheme (or should I say scam?) according to the press release – over 2000. Wouldn’t supporting local farmers markets and growing your own, if you can, not be a more obvious choice? I suppose I don’t know how much I spend on the veggies in my garden, say per month. But no matter the cost, it’s added benefits are the exercise, relaxation and feeling of accomplishment!

  5. Kathy in Napa says:

    Yikes, Amway comes to the garden.

  6. I agree with Byddi and katxena. I think people who are joining this project don’t have a garden like us. And I really can’t see it as a lucrative or, attractive offer, because if I compare it with the joy of gardening, this offer will always be at the bottom.

  7. susan harris says:

    I just noticed the “No Work – All Play!” on that website page. Sad commentary that that’s attractive to so many.

  8. Gee, do they think we are seduced by the website……is there a big corporate behind it? I love my recycled paper flyers from our CSA….keep it simple stupid.

  9. Also, notice the clever use of a cute toddler to sell the idea. This is almost as bad as the Survivor Seeds that are being sold out there.

  10. David says:

    Looks like a pyramid scheme aimed at west coast urbanites who like the idea of organic but don’t have the time, inclination, or yard.

    Or a chance to pay $1800 to join a “CSA” in Oregon and have your food trucked to you across the country. They have a webcam to look at your “garden” they should also have one to keep company with the truck driver.

  11. commonweeder says:

    It is terrible that people get pulled into something like this which speaks to their desire for good food, cheap food, and no work. I know its terrible but I read about things like this and I thank my lucky stars that I live in a rural area when I can get fabulous fresh healthy food – even if I don’t have my own garden.

  12. Hoover says:

    Great post! Essentially paying $1800 for one raised veggie bed. Nutty as a squirrel!

  13. Laura Bell says:

    … for those who completely missed the “eat local” part of the food revolution.

  14. Aunt Ida says:

    Jerry Howard of Dayton, OR is the registered owner of Organic Acres per the Oregon Secretary of State. He has or had a partner, Rick Price, who is not listed with the state, but I found his name associated with the business on another website. I found an advertisement for Organic Acres that clearly stated that it is MLM. Rick Price owns a website that is definitely some sort of scam or MLM. See it http://myfreecashlink.com (a name that evokes red flags!).

    Dayton is in a rural area SW of Portland, OR. The website was registered in Aug, 2009 and he received his business license in Dec, 2009. Couldn’t find any type of agricultural license, but he may have one.

  15. I just heard of this from your blog. So much for playing farm ville. Sounds really interesting. Thank you so much for the info.

  16. DaytonRanter says:

    Folks: My wife is a regular reader of The Rant. She showed me this thread as she was a little shocked to see our town’s name (Dayton, OR) associated with this potential scam. We live only a few blocks from the apparent owner. We do not know this man, but it is a small town and I plan ask around about his background etc. My cursory research shows that he has long been involved in MLM-type things (i.e. http://dreamteamleader.com/ ). These schemes/systems look crazy…We have many years of college education between us and we do not not know what the heck these MLM people are talking about..it is all gobbledygook to us. But as crazy as this stuff is, I could not dig up any real (toxic) dirt on Mr. Howard. Heh heh I made a pun! (Now I have to look up where that figure of speech comes from.) Please post here if you find any evidence of criminal activity that we could potentially bring to local or state authorities. My wife reads this blog regularly. I wish to withhold my real name for now for obvious reasons. Keep up the great writing. Love you guys. Let’s hope this MLM thing does not hurt anyone and/or withers on the vine.
    Cheers.

  17. Jerry just bought a plot of land down the road from me (1/2 mile away) and I hear plans to do the same thing with it – I’ll keep you posted! We also raise fresh veggies and sell them at Farmer’s Market, and from home. We don’t claim to be organic, but raise almost everything that way; we just don’t have the certification. And I know for a fact that the previous owners of the land down the road wereOT organic – so the land won’t be suitable for organic certification, either, for a few years (10, I think).

  18. DaytonRanter says:

    Thanks Joseph. Yes, that is their farm. The company address is Dayton but the ‘farm’ is in Hubbard. My wife and I were at Woodburn Country Stores the other day so we took a swing by the property there on the corner of Monnier Rd. that is in their company video. We just drove by slow, we did not stop. It appears as if all that land there has been in nursery stock in the past am I right? We saw no food growing in the fields we did see lots of Rhodies, I am assuming those are Dieringer’s Rhodies. But there was something other than Rhodies in the greenhouse right next to the office. I guess that is the start of the ‘Organic Acres’ in those pots. We did not look too closely or stop…we are just a little creeped out and troubled by this whole business model that these guys are using.

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