51 simyears old, Fall 2007
Please let this be the last time I have to move. I'm getting too old for this. *smiles* And I'm happy now.
I thought my last farm was my dream farm. It was absolutely gorgeous on the outside...however me and my family quickly learned how looks can be deceiving, when the rains started falling inside the house and barns, soaking and flooding everything we owned. No matter how much my wife cleaned, the house constantly smelled like mildew and dankness, because of so much rainfall.
As much work as Kim put into decorating it, she blames the mold and mildew for losing our baby, Shauna. Shaun's twin sister. If I knew then what I know now, I would've moved us outta there with a quickness.
After fixing the roof, we got hit with the hurricane and lost everything anyway...I admit I was a little relieved for the new start. Things were looking a little dismal for your boy, Serg, on the farm front. We lost our store, Aldi's, too.
It felt like a terrible weight was lifted off my shoulders. At the time, I wasn't sure which direction I wanted to take Aldi's in. Even though it was making a little money, we didn't have customers bustling in like I wanted. And to top it off, in all the seasons I've been around the Hills claiming that I was the Agriculture Guy, can you imagine how it felt to have never gotten a decent sized crop to harvest? There was never any produce to put inside my store to sell, we only ever had regular groceries manufactured by SimCity, and the occasional tomato. *sighs*
Ohhh...the looks and stares I got from Sims, like I didn't know what the hell I was doing. I didn't! But it wasn't just me. It was in the air. Something wasn't right with the world. Now we know I was right. We all had to start over.
This new farmhouse is more than I could've ever dreamed of. It is truly my dream come true farm! Thanks Green Construction! You know how you never knew you needed something until you actually got it? Here, we have the acreage to have two large greenhouses and masses of fruit trees. We're not saddled down with a bunch of farm animals that we basically have no use for. Our sitizens want fresh produce and fish. Simple as that.
Be careful what you ask for, that's all I got to say. We moved in here on the last day of summer. And I wasn't prepared for all the hard work it was going to take to get this farm up and running. I was nervous as hell! What if I plant and never get a harvest, like before?! All I knew was that I had only one night - one night. Forget unpacking boxes, forget eating, let the kids do that! We needs to get to plantin'! hahaha! I had to get something in the ground before fall officially started at 4 a.m., and my hands were itchin to get into that dirt.
I'm an old school farmer and I do things by the Farmer's Almanac. In fact, I use my Grandaddy's old almanac. It's got all his notes in it and it's falling apart, rest his soul.
Like him, I only plant what's in season. Unfortunately, all I had in big supply were tomato seeds. I had totally forgot to buy the cucumbers and pole beans I needed to have a full summer crop. Shoot, I've been carrying around these tomato seeds for 3 seasons! LOL! They had to be planted no later than the last day of summer by 5 p.m. and I had so much stuff left to do. I checked the clock. 6:30 p.m. It bugged me a little bit, 'cause I'm usually a stickler for doing things by the book. We got to work as quickly as possible.
The we I'm talking about, is me and the 3 lady farmhands I hired. They came to me saying I needed a woman's touch in the gardens, maybe that's why I never got a harvest. Heyyy...I'm not one to dismiss any superstitions. I got Kim out there with us too, and we worked all night long, 'til the break of dawn. Planting tomatoes. The upside is that winter is coming. Folks'll be needing lots of tomato juice to keep 'em warm.
If you want to see the new garden layouts for my crops and hear more details about my farm planning, check out my NOTES section.
We have never worked as hard as we did that night. I could see how green and supple my garden plants were, I could see and smell the little flowerings on my fruit trees. I felt confident I could invite the Garden Club over to see the farm. Kim decorated the front of the house as cute as she could. Put in a walkway, some bushes and lawn decorations to make it pretty.
Then Bandit goes and pisses Shasta off while the lady is there. I'm thinking to myself, dang we need these discounts for our gardening supplies! Would y'all puhleeeze hold it down! Through clenched teeth, I growled, "Bandit, Shasta!!" Dang on stray dogs! Who's dog is that?! I've got my hands full with the two I have, and it soon will be more! Now I'm feeding the entire neighborhood's animals! I didn't move from my seat although I wanted to, but I didn't want to bring any more attention to the situation. The dogs might get startled and all hell would've broke loose. They quieted down on their own, so it was all good.
I was keeping an eye on the evil Shasta, though. I attributed her bad attitude to her pregnancy, but Kim says dogs fight and pee all the time, regardless. I just didn't want that Garden Lady stepping in pee or being influenced one way or another because we have unruly dogs. I had Kim on standby with a mop, just in case.
I couldn't stop the tears from rolling down my face when my fruit trees harvested right as the Garden Lady was walking towards the orchard. I have lived for this simday. I think back to my first few simdays out of college, not sure if this was the life for me. Seems so long ago. And now, I'm officially a true farmer! The Garden Club lady must have empathized with me. It was a beautiful moment. She gifted me with a beautiful Wishing Well and some simoleans, because every inch of my farm was thriving!
Kim and I crated up as much produce as we could. There was a method to our madness. All the summer crops, well all the tomatoes and any future fruit...will be harvested and crated and inventoried for the store. We're using the screened in porch as a storage shed and doggie bath area. It doesn't look it, but it holds in heat. It'll keep everything dry and safe from the cold. This storage space will only be used as-needed. I'm hoping to keep an eye on how much I'll owe in Produce Tax each season.
We were crating at a feverish pace. I told Kim she needed to move her crate packing station back from that window. It kept sliding in, and she kept bumping her head. But she looked at me and said, "Keep it moving." She didn't care. We had a madness about us that night. A passion. I will never forget it.
Once we were armed with a little fruit tree inventory, we knew we needed more. We talked about using the Fresh Market's greenhouse to supply us with the summer crops we didn't plant. The crops were already planted there. Everything from apples to peppers to tomatoes, was just waiting to be tended up to harvest. Sims can go there and buy anything they need.
Kimberly called up Nick and got the Business Certificate to open Spencer Farm Fresh Market. It's a PYO (pick your own) style market. Not only does it have a greenhouse, but it has a pond for fishing. Kim bought the place with a loan, and quickly paid it all off, thanks to my recent endorsement of a revolutionary combination food processor and fax machine, called the Blend 'n' Send. Have you heard of it?! It netted me $50,000!
So in all our decision-making, we thought it would be best for Kim to run the store this time around. She's way more qualified, she's a Nature enthusiast and has a college degree. I'm way too busy with the farmhouse crops, and getting to the top of my Culinary career. It works out this way.
Kim said goodbye to us a few simdays later, and left for about a simweek to go tend the crops at the store, like we planned. Listen, it was a tremendous sacrifice for Kim to be away from her family like that. I commend her. Her dedication to me and our family literally blows my mind. Sometimes I'd talk to her on the phone and I could hear her voice trembling, like she was at her breaking point, trying not to cry. But she stayed there and got 'er done. Once it was over, she came home and I grabbed her and couldn't let her go. By the look on her face and the smell of her clothes, I knew that everything was going to turn out perfectly. Boy, did she reek!
There was a time in the past, when I asked her what she thought I needed. And she played doctor with me. heh-heh. I asked her this time, what she needed from me, and she told me there was something she was wishing for but wasn't sure if the timing was right...she said she got her wish.
She was pregnant and she needed my patience...say whaaat?!
Immediately my mind started racing back. When the heck did that happen?!...ahhh, I remembered. How could I forget? It was the day Sierra came home from school early, thinking me and her Mom weren't home.
Yes, patience is definitely a virtue. Surprises like that one are a prime example. Me and Kim never heard the end of it. You know that, right? And let's not talk about the infamous 'cootie couch' that no one wants to sit on. LOL!
Ever since Sierra became a teen, I've had to demonstrate quite a bit of patience with her. As a kid, she couldn't get enough of the country. I could never get her to come inside away from the farm animals, but at least she'd be at home where I could keep an eye on her...Now, it's all I can do to keep an eye on my truck! I'll just happen to look outside and my truck'll be gone.
I've put an alarm on it, I've hidden my keys...she's a car thief, that one. She's determined to do what she wants to do. Just like her damn Momma, rest her soul. I was wondering when Asya's genetic stamp would pop up. hahaha! Here it is!
Sierra is all about the two B's. Boys and Books. I'm grateful for the books part. She loves to study. And me and Kim can't emphasize college enough. But, the 'boys' part is becoming an adjustment. I just can't believe I've got this gorgeous looking young woman, that I'm responsible for. And all the boys are coming around sniffing. You should see them!
Sometimes I wish I could keep a better eye on her. But I'm only one sim. And I just don't know if I even have the energy to keep up with her. Now we're having another one?!