Trending up: Actual Cube Farming

Awww, office goat
Awww, office goat
Longing to return to the simple, rustic life of the farmer or rancher is a critical component of the hipster way. From free range chickenry and cruelty free alapca ranching to artisanal butter mongering and road median barley patching, the urge to engage in husbandry in all its animal forms runs deep with the hip. It runs almost as deep as the desire to be part of the urban “scene”, but not quite as much. We’ve covered roof cows, rescue chickens, and pico-corn plantations so why leave out our workplaces? It’s time to really put the “farm” in cube farm and turn work-culture into agri-culture. Imagine being greeted in the morning by the mournful yet welcoming soft bleats of your own baby lambs being whelped right next to the warm fileserver in the back room, util-i-kilt IT guy kneeling next to them, bottle feeding the runt he’s named “Loki.” Hipsters spend a lot of their life at work and work at life so let those lines blur even further with a bit of board-room ranching.

As with many hipster trends, with cube farming, small is big. Being sustainable is the key. As you tour your new interactive clients through the collab, you can claim (as they wipe turkey dook from their Keens) that your web team are also cube farmers and they run a “full cycle” shop. Swing them past the coffee station for one squirt each of goat and sheep milk right from the goat and sheep. You can rightly gloat “this is real half and half” and make a joke about workplace agriculture being “udderly” feasible. You’ll love this.

Any good farm, cube or country, needs some silage. Normally, hipsters don’t like silos in the office but when they’re tiny and full of cocktail corn it’s absolutely acceptable. As a bonus, working with silage requires a pitchfork, and using a pitchfork requires a polaroid of you with your “work wife” Crystina posing like the couple in the “American Gothic” painting, make sure to swap gender roles. Awesome. Now that you’re cube farming you should certainly update your attire. Sudden drastic wardrobe changes are always hot and full of notice-me, so go big on this one. You need something that is both functional in a farming sense and fashionable in a workplace setting. You’re going to need a tailor for this, assuming you’re not already one (you should be), don’t fear the Etsy here. There’s a lonley hipster somewhere poised, needle in hand, ready to sew up a pair of overalls with Armani-level fabric. Certainly go with a pleated cut with a cuff. For the top go the other direction, get a coarse woolen flannel material and sew up a magnificent dress shirt complete with spread collar and french cuff, for the “chicken-coup-de-grace,” add a hand embroidered Fleet Farm patch on the pocket. For cufflinks you can use bailing wire. Final touches include but are in no way limited to: cowboy shoes, silk work gloves, cowboy beret, bolo tie, small belt buckle. With this ensemble complete you will be a walking ying yang symbol of farmer/rancher meets CIO!

As for the actual farming/ranching I’m not going to lie, it’s a lot of work. Fortunately working long hard hours and truly “giving yourself to your work” is crazy hot right now, so the dividends of staying after work to fill the tiny-hay loft in the copy room until 10pm will be paid on Sunday morning when you sneak a quick trip to the artisan coffee shop after milking and grooming your flock. Your friends will be surprised to see you. “Where have you been!?” Theo will exclaim. “Oh, I’ve been spending a lot of time at work lately, I shouldn’t really call it work though, I should call it ‘living.’” “What are you wearing? you look like a rodeo clown!?” “This is something I call ‘western work wear,’ you like?” Your posse will marvel at your dedication.

Arugula anyone?
Arugula anyone?
Be sure to name all of the animals ironic names like “Todd the pig” and “Ellen the sheep”, a pygmy stud goat called “Fonzie” makes for quite a conversation starter at cross-cultural training kick-offs. Never miss an opportunity to showcase that you don’t think of them as “animals,” but rather spirited companions in your “life journey.” Find further ways to anthropomorphize them like gluing glasses and other accessories on them. If you get annoyed with any, never resort to prods or spurs (cruelty free, remember), use positive reinforcement training. If you want Josh the mule to plow up a tract of land in what was the employee lounge treat him to a gourmet dish of steamed carrots and asparagus with a basil-infused extra virgin olive oil (his favorite). Alright, that should be enough to get you started. Get going on cube farming right away as this one requires a lot of effort. You’re a workplace farmer/rancher now, even if you don’t know why.