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Kind of neighbourhood:

You can make a living from breeding pets! It actually pays off well, but takes some time with training. Do you have experience, a link for downloading related equipment, furniture or even clothing for our next article? Please contact web master before August 20.

Gobelin Fashion's Gnome maker Collection is quite suitable for farmers, too. A few more farmer outfits to be released Aug10.

Click images to visit Gobelin Fashion

Mabel the Chicken is available from SimSlice (objects>misc>page2)
The chicken accessories provided by PerSimmon Grove is a must!
Puffy The Porker is available from SimsPlus (objects>misc>page2)
You will also find some more animals for breeding, as well as some vegetables which increase in value, at Simstitution
BB-design suggests simple and romantic walls for a farmer.
- This is a home and a working area in one, it is important that what is private do match what is work. I've focused on flowers, because that is something a farmer will recognize. First I thought of carrots but then I assume a farmer will be tired of vegetables when the work is done and it's time to enjoy one's home. 

This fabric wall cover will be very nice with old, rustic furniture in a living room, or even in the bedroom. It is decorative, warm, and it also give a back to nature feel.

The rough stone wall for a wine cellar or even a farmer's shed, unless you go with wooden walls. I have one darker version as well that can be sent farmers on request. There is not much difference except the light, though.

Click to proceed to BB-design's section at STUFF.

Are you a farmer?
What are your experiences, and do you have any hot tips for others wanting to get into this business? Please post here.
Only the first 10 comments will be put on this page.
October 25 2003, Sarah, ...
My husband and I quit our jobs a few years ago and became self-sufficient. We grow our own vegetables, keep chickens, bees and fish and make gnomes and paint to raise money for other things. Our daughters Lavender and Jasmine think it's great that we are not stressed out by jobs like their friend's parents. We all love our way of life and wouldn't change it for anything.
September 3 2003, R. Moulino, Simmerville
We have 6 kids, and they often help weeding and watering vegetables without even being asked. I think they find it's fun to do somethin adult-like. All farmers should have some kids.
August 4 2003, Aggie McCoy, El Prado
I'm a baker, and also I keep a farm to have more incomes. It's not too big, only 4 plots, but they surely pay off the little care I have to pay to them. Besides, my cat Isis hunts all the pests that come to wreck my plants. Cats experienced in hunting are really useful for a farmer, so my advice is that if you're planning on setting some plots to cultivate, get a cat and teach some tricks to it first.
August 1 2003, Bud, Annie and John Hick, Greymount
My wife Annie and I [Bud] are farmers and we suggest that farmers start out small-we didn't and started with 25 plots bewteen the two of us-and we had a child during that! talk about work! now that John is older he helps with the weeding and watering and our cat keeps pests out of the farm. Farming is hard and time consuming, just make sure you have excellant ways to entertain yourself-my family is looking for non-electronic ways to do that since there is nothing good on TV.
August 1 2003, Abraham Josephs, ...
I grow lettuce only, I found it pays best in the long run. I also have a small pig farm and I never got the GPD, but I always wash my hands after feeding/cleaning the pigs.
July 30 2003, Claire Testis, Testville
We used to run a snake farm, but then the snakes escaped and were all over our lot and inside our house too, we had to return to our clerkroom jobs.

June 6, 2003: 
Growing vegetables - getting started 



Home business: Farming
July 30, 2003 - by Lisa Bruton, SimCity Social Services

Farming is a lot more than growing vegetables! You can make a living from breeding animals as well. Join us in taking a closer look at the possibilities in this Food Expo * actual home business. Lets digg in the ground and hope for a rainy day.

So you want to become a farmer? Many sims do share your interest, especially those living in Old Town connected neighbourhoods. Farming is a business that more than any job is based on a lifestyle. Serious farmers know they need to get up before the sun rises because they have a very tight time schedule.

Most farmers can be recognized by their outfit, homes and garden. A shed with shovels, hay and boxes, pots and plants, the growing vegetable beds, and there might even be some chicken and pigs gazing at you from behind a fence. And of course a dog and a cat running about. Because of the work load the farmer's household might be large, or there are gardening assistants living and working on the farm.

Well, you might not want the full package. Farming can also be growing just a little food for your own household, or holding a few animals that by breeding occasionally will add to your budget. You might want your children to learn responsibility by looking after a few animals. You can be a part time farmer, or a serious farmer. A devoted farmer, or just a curious on the modern back to nature ideology - farmer.

Skills and equipment
Farming doesn't take much skills, that's one reason why farming has become a rather popular lifestyle. They say that you can't learn to grow a bigger carrot, but you can learn to grow more of them. Looking after animals doesn't require any skills either, but you should not be afraid of busy days. And, you will not grow better or more vegetables if you are skilled on i.e. cooking or technology, although technology will make it easier for you to repair stuff at the farm.

Perhaps your best skill would be organizing your day. Farming is time consuming, but with a good routine the work load can be less or at least more effective. When both growing vegetables and breeding one or more animals, these activities ought to be spread around your lot, and the farmer and helpers will need to walk a lot. This is hard work, and active sims are more likely to succeed. It helps if you don't feel lonely too easily, and if you are not too fun loving. But if you have helpers or just a little farm you will of course still find time for fun.

It might be a good idea to build a shed or a patio close to the work area with just a recliner and a coffee machine. Other than that you will of course need any farm related items you can think of. Scare crows, shovels, buckets, pots, hay and sacks.

Tomatoes, carrots, beans or lettuce?
Mrs Johanna Grumblin, the Food Expo 2003 organizer, tells that many a farmer do a mistake by thinking that it is less time consuming to grow tomatoes or beans, compared to lettuce and carrots. The truth is that lettuce and carrots pay off a lot more, therefore they are actually less time consuming per Simoleon. but the 2 former are easier to grow.

We ran a small project to find out more. A test sim, Dirk Farmer, was asked to run a farm for 10 days growing 4 plots of only one of the 4 vegetables. This was repeated 3 times growing different vegetables. The house and surroundings as well as the basic time schedule was the same, and there was no cat or dog on the farm.

Each day he got up at 6 AM, spent 1 hour in the bathroom, then spent some hours weeding/watering/harvesting starting at 7 AM. After a few hours of work he ate breakfast, then he worked some more and spent most of the evenings watching tv, dining and studying mechanics. He went to Old Town to sell his corps at 1 PM daily.

A farmer's day starts when the scarecrows kick at 7 AM, being in the garden at this time is magic as the plants grow. If you weed and water whatever there is to take care of, there shouldn't be much more garden activity that day. Normally it's enough to weed and water once per day, although some plants might need extra treats.

Mr Farmer worked only 2-3 hours per day with his 4 plots, and could easily have grown 12 plots. Our test sim had nothing to do in the evenings when he grew tomatoes, beans or lettuce, although it seemed like beans require some more watering than tomatoes. But then he had only 4 plots. After he had 12 plots growing tomatoes and beans only, he made §160 per day but had to work 7-8 hours and he had a cat to help him, too. Carrots were a lot more troublesome even with just 4 plots.

Note that you will not lose a lot of income if you harvest without weeding or watering first. If you skip weeding and watering tomatoes before harvesting them it means you will get a produce of 5 tomatoes per plot instead of 6. The 1 tomato you miss would have been worth only §4 while the weeding and watering would have taken 20 minutes. If you save 20 minutes on each of 4 plots per day, you have 80 minutes extra which should be enough time to grow an extra plot which will bring in extra §20. So many farmers actually skip weeding and watering if there is an option to harvest, especially if there are lots of pests around.

It takes 45 minutes to plant 1 plot (no watering).
It takes 20 minutes to weed+water 1 plot
It takes 40 minutes to weed+water+harvest+water 1 plot
It takes 20 minutes to harvest+water 1 plot
It takes 5 minutes to water 1 plot

Seeds: Tomatoes §15 (5 plots), Beans §18 (10 plots), Lettuce §20 (5 plots), Carrots §25 (10 plots)

Make a plan
When growing lettuce and carrots you must replant seeds on each plot every 4th day. Therefore it is wise to alternate the plots, your 4 days schedule could go like below. These examples do not apply to tomatoes and beans, and you might find a better way no matter what you grow.
ALT 1 Day1 Day2 Day3 Day4
Plot A plant
weed+water weed+water harvest
Plot B harvest
weed+water weed+water
Plot C weed+water harvest
Plot D weed+water weed+water harvest
125 minutes 125 minutes 125 minutes 125 minutes

Alternative 1: This schedule will take a little more than 2 hours of work per day. You might want to double or triple the work by adding more plots. 
ALT 2 Day1 Day2 Day3 Day4
Plot A plant
weed+water weed+water harvest
Plot B plant
weed+water weed+water harvest
Plot C plant
weed+water weed+water harvest
Plot D plant
weed+water weed+water harvest
260 minutes 80 minutes 80 minutes 80 minutes

Alternative 2: This schedule will take a little more than 4 hours of work on Day1, and only 80 minutes each of the remaining days. Day1 will carry the biggest work load.

If you go to Old Town to sell your vegetables only every 4th day, you will save yourself from some energy loss, because visiting Old Town can be very demanding.

If you run a very busy schedule and pests ruin one of your plants you should leave the ruined plot until that plot was to be replanted anyway according to your schedule, or the schedule would be disturbed. Say plot A is ruined on day3, wait until day1 to replant it.

Use each worker's personal notebook to give duties and reports. It might be more fun to run a farm if you can controle the progress.

Pests and pets
We can not discuss farming without mentioning pests and pets. The pests are rabbits and gophers invading your garden and ruining your crops. Pets are basically cats that help you to keep those pests away. Dogs can be helpful too with watering, but they will hardly hunt the pests. In our experiment the rabbits occurred on the lot after 2 days, and from then the number of rabbits increased rapidly. If you have a trained cat the rabbits will not be a big problem. Even without a cat the rabbits don't seem to be a problem if you grow tomatoes, beans or lettuce. It was first when our test sim started to grow carrots that the rabbits ruined the harvest badly. It was so bad that he gave up, and we concluded that it is not wise to grow carrots without having at least one cat.

Anther thing observed, was that none of the 4 vegetables attracted gophers! That must have been a coincidence, because we know that gophers are common all over Sim Nation, but perhaps they want a minimum of plots until they occur? Our test sim had only 4 plots, but after increasing to 12 plots and growing a mix of vegetables the gophers came, but then he had already got a cat to take care of the problem. Many farmers surround their plants with empty soil plots. This can reduce the problem but not completely exclude it, because gophers can reach quite far from where their holes are.

Talking about the cat - it was pretty smart to wait to buy the cat until after the lot was packed with about 30 rabbits. The cat had fun chasing all those rabbits, and became a hunting monster in no time.

Pests is something a farmer must live with. They can bring frustration and tears when they damage your vegetables, so remember to grow a little more than you need - even if you have a cat.

Farming with animals
In addition to vegetables, you can breed i.e. pigs or even have a chicken farm. There are a lot of other animals available from web sites, too, from dinosaurs to snakes, but we will concentrate on pigs and chicken. Most of the available animals will not require any specific neighbourhood expansion.

Most animals need feeding and some cleaning. It can be a challenge to make animals breed and live on for long enough to raise their worth, but as soon as you get a grip on it things get a lot easier. Your goal is naturally to sell the offspring. Most farmers will wait to sell the animals until they reach a value of about §100 which should take 10-20 days.

If you fail then try enlarging the animals' area, but remember that a too large room for them might be just as bad as a too tiny room. They need to reach the food which they will not if they are more than 2-3 tiles away from it. That is also why you should not let the animals or chicken walk free on your lot, at least they must be put back to their locked area at night - or they will starve to death. Also make sure to remove dead animals which will block alive animals from moving about. If you get too many animals you should rather build them a new area than to increase the area that already works smoothly. If you have a large farm, animals can be sorted based on their age/value. Search a balance, each farmer must find a way.

Also keep in mind that animals will never walk across their food, so the food can serve as part of the fence providing you with an easier access to their area. See the photo from the Mervils' chicken farm (top of this article), and notice how food can be reached from 2 different rooms and still being accessible to the farmer without disturbing the animals.

The pigs might infect you with the dreadful GPD (Guinea Pig Disease), which can be avoided by washing your hands after petting or cleaning up after the pigs. If you get the disease, make sure the infected sim gets a lot of rest. If you are living large there might be a GP painting that the infected sim can stare at to get cured, but you will still not be able to work for a couple of days.

The chicken are free of GP disease. They make a great asset to any farm, because they lay eggs, which turns into small chickens, which later on grows into chucks - a true life cycle. The eggs can even be cooked as a group meal! The older the chuck is the more you get when you sell it. But the longer you wait the bigger risk that the bird will die and its value is lost forever.

The pay cheque
When the hard work is done and your inventory is stuffed with delicious vegetables from your own garden, it's time to go to Old Town to sell them to Gardener Bob. You can of course store the crops in a pantry at home, but that will not give you any income for paying bills etc. Animals can be sold without leaving your farm.

Vegetables pay off differently. Tomatoes and beans are §4 per piece, while lettuce are §6 and carrots are §7. 4 plots will give about 22 tomatoes or beans per day (5-6 per plot), which will be §88. 4 plots will give you about 40 lettuces per 3 days, which will bring in §240 (§80 a day). Or 4 plots will give you about 40 carrots per 3 days which will bring in §280 (§93 a day). It is possible to grow gigantic vegetables which you can sell for a lot more, but you will need to ask Gardener Bob for his tonic to experiment with it.

Some sims find farming rather risky, because it is a safe income while everything works smoothly, but as soon as the pests invade your garden and you don't find time to replace ruined plants, you might suddenly lose income and nearly have to start all over. The loss is greater work wise when you grow tomatoes or beans, because with lettuce and carrots you will need to start over again even if there were no pests.

Smaller farms never make big money, and if you live alone, want a social life, and eventually some hobbies besides farming, you should not expect to succeed with more than 4 plots. If living in a small house 4 plots would be enough to pay your food and bills though, but hardly any shopping or vacations.

If your household is big and many members can help with farming, there is a better chance for making big money. If you can grow 12 plots or more then your daily income might be more than §250 from growing vegetables only.

Like with all home businesses, they give you the chance to answer phone calls during the day, which might bring in extra money. Make sure to install a phone not too far away from your farming area.

From the neighbourhoods
In Simmerville the only farm of a certain size is the Mervil farm at 66 Mervil Highway. This farm is very old, although they have recently changed the way of running it. The Mervils used to deliver tons of quality bacon for the SimCity market, and they grew as much as 50 plots of carrots. Today they have a chicken farm counting just 10 chicken and they grow 12 plots of beans and lettuce. The farm is run by Brion Mervil with help from his assistant Ansgar Teft, and also Mrs Mervil's housekeeper helps with the farming. Mr Mervil explains that they all have specific duties, and that control and a strict time schedule is of importance. He do not want to tell us how much they can make in a day.

64 Mervil Highway used to be a part of the old Mervil farm, but today it counts as a seperate address owned by Mr Mervil's niece, Angela Gobelin, who rents the house to the Tammers. The Tammers grow 12 plots of land, mainly tomatoes and beans, from which they make about §140 per day.

Also the 3 Hedgewood sisters at 60 Happy Trail do grow 12 plots of land, but as Esther Hedgewood puts it, it's something she does to grow their own food and to be independent.

Photo top: Ansgar Teft over at Mervil farm is feeding the chicken.
Photo mid page: Test sim Dirk Farmer is posing with 4 pigs.
Photo bottom: Ansgar Mervil is selling the Mervil farm produce to Gardener Bob.