Harvest Moon Anton’s Diary: Year 3 Autumn Part I

Day 1
Autumn has arrived, and with it a new planting season begins, so naturally, today was spent in the fields. As well as the seeds I bought yesterday, I found two additional packets of spinach seeds in the toolbox, and so everything has been planted outside- although this time I made sure to plant all the renewable crops closest to the house so that there will not be gaps between them when the one-time crops are harvested. After this was completed, I went out to do some mild foraging- I don’t plan to pursue it as assiduously as last year, but with so much lying around on the ground in autumn, I may as well collect at least a portion of it.

Unfortunately, it must be mentioned that the change of season seems to have affected the hens, who have had one of their non-egg-laying days again.

Day 2
Carter came over this morning to remind me about the music festival- even though I have done this for two years now, I wish he would give me time to practise, as we do not even have sheet music at the event and invariably sound awful. Ah well, the villagers seem to enjoy it.

Tony seems to have developed a little more- his vocabulary is expanding to include words like “gyatte” and “kya”, which he says when I give him apples and honey. I am sure my son is destined to be a genius of some sort.

Day 3
The spinach and green peppers have begun to sprout today, a sure sign that autumn has begun in earnest. Unfortunately, however, once my regular tasks were completed, I had to stay up in order to attend the music festival, and so after occupying myself with a touch of foraging and lumber chopping (I must return to the long aborted task of amassing 999 pieces of lumber for no real purpose), I went over to the church at 3pm and waited for three hours for the festival to begin. As usual, I saw no one entering the church, and yet at 6pm they were all assembled- did they arrive even earlier than I did, or can they teleport too?

I have to admit that our performance at the music festival seemed a little more polished than last year, but it can still only be said to be vaguely approaching the level of acceptable. Oh well, it’s not as if I’ve even had any proper ocarina practice.

Day 4
After the exhaustion of playing the ocarina for hours at the music festival, I decided to take it easy today and only do the basic tasks. Everything in field is sprouting now, and a bumper set of crops cannot be far away.

As promised, on this quiet day I will write the beginning of my guides, starting with “Anton’s Guide to Flirting”. As a master of winning girls’ hearts, I can tell you that personality, conversation and paying attention to a girl all come secondary to one thing- giving her gifts. If you find the things that she likes best and give her endless amounts of them, she will fall for you regardless of how much you neglect her at other times to flirt with other women. Be warned, however- if she asks you a direct question, just agree with her, for to do otherwise is to risk a drop in her affections.

Day 5
Another standard day today, although after several days of neglecting her, I made sure to go into town and charm Karen with another eight-pack of wine. To my delight, my continual wine assault has raised her affection for me up to orange heart level, and so I am closer than ever to having a complete set of red heart girls. The only trouble is that four of them will have to either enter a loveless marriage with another man, or pine after me for eternity.

Day 6
The spinach and the first crop of sweet potatoes were ready today, ensuring that it would be a hectic day not unlike the sweet potato harvests of two years ago. Although this will reduce the watering in the long run, many hours had to be spent shipping the bulk of the crops, whilst placing nine pieces of spinach in the fridge (I must not forget to store some sweet potatoes too). Baskey has not been so thoroughly used in a while- in fact, I have sorely neglected it to the point where one day it just teleported itself to beside my shipping bin.

Tomorrow is my birthday, an event I now look forward with mixed feelings, for each year makes me that bit older, greyer and more entrenched in farm life.

Day 7
It was my birthday today, and whilst my ideal gift would have been to have someone take over my farm tasks (for at least a day, although preferably indefinitely), I had to make do with the usual slice of cake, cookies and bottle of milk that Popuri prepares for every celebration. I do appreciate the thought, though, and I must tell prospective partners that there are four dates they absolutely must not forget- their wife’s birthday, their anniversary, their child’s birthday and their own birthday (you might think it was okay to forget the latter, but that would mean you had mixed it up with one of the other, more important dates).

Day 8
It was raining this morning, but even so the mayor came over to remind me that it was the Harvest Festival tomorrow- although he spoke of it as if I have not attended for the last two years. Ah well, I supposed I must live with the villagers’ limited intellects forever.

The carrots and the first crop of green peppers was ready today, and so I spent the morning gathering them and putting them in the refrigerator. One day soon I must get back to cooking, and yet I barely have the enthusiasm for it anymore.

Day 9
It was the Harvest Festival today, although in a typical case of bad timing, the latest sweet potato crop was already ready. Even so, thanks to my efficient schedule, I was able to harvest most of them before it was time to set out, and fortunately I was able to take one sweet potato along to put in the pot. Once again, however, I must admit to being perplexed and confused, for not only do the villagers say the same things every year, but such phrases contradict each other. For example, Popuri acts as if we are not married and she still lives with Rick, whilst every year Karen drops a pot of jam in but Sasha says she brought chocolate the previous year instead of jam! I fear this is but the tip of the iceberg as far as the mysteries of this place are concerned.

Day 10
Another routine day today; after attending to everything on the farm, I made sure to pop into town and ply Karen with more wine. She certainly seems to have fallen hard for me, although of course that could just be the effects of the wine.

Back at home, Popuri has started commenting on how Tony is learning to talk; she is always saying how our son is everything to her, and yet she is willing to leave him unattended at home any time a festival rolls around! As for my part, I must admit that I am worried about the boy- he just doesn’t seem to be growing at all or learning how to walk. Are these just the concerns of an overprotective father, or is there really something to worry about?

I also paid a visit to Saibara for the first time in a while today- after softening him up with a gift of Orichalcum (in return for which he told me how to prepare pickled turnips), I gave him another piece to be turned into jewellery for one of the girls. He always makes bangles and necklaces, so I hope that this time he can produce something different.

Day 11
The first batch of eggplants was ready today, and so I harvested them for storage in the fridge- any further eggplant can be shipped, since I doubt I will be using it very often. Other than that, the day was entirely routine, and so I may as well spice it by relating my own personal guide to raising chickens. Chickens are my favourite animals- since you can walk through them, their house does not feel cluttered and restrictive, and they couldn’t care less if you talk to them or not, which suits my style of animal husbandry. Although they are generally good natured if you feed them regularly, they do occasionally have off days when they stop loving you and refuse to lay eggs, but this usually blows over.

Although it may sound cruel to some, I do not believe in letting chickens see the light of day (nine out of my ten chickens were hatched in the henhouse and have never left)- they may enjoy scraping worms out of the soil, but taking them outside leaves them open to the depredations of the weather and stray dogs. If you must let them out, at least build them a run out of lumber pieces- if they roam free, I can guarantee it will be more trouble than it is worth.

Day 12
It was raining today, and whilst this does save me time on the outdoor watering, a fresh batch of sweet potatoes and green peppers was ready to make up for it. Sadly, three patches of sweet potatoes are now lagging behind, a damning testament to my inability to fully concentrate on the watering on my off days.

Despite the downpour, I ventured into town to talk to Karen and give her wine- she must be close to red heart, but reaching that elusive state will not be as easy as I hope.

Day 13
It was the Moon Viewing Festival tonight, and so after my usual farm tasks were done and the lagging sweet potatoes were harvested, I rode Seiran for a bit before heading up Mother’s Hill to forage for a while before the festival began. After chopping a little lumber and picking up some items, I suddenly felt a need to go fishing, only to realise that my fishing rod was in a toolbox at home. I could have just left it, but with boredom as the only other option, I decided to rush home and pick it up. By the time I got back to the lake, there was still time for fishing, and I was even able to catch one- a vital injection of fresh blood into the stagnating pond.

Once the time for moon viewing was at hand, darkness fell swiftly, and as before, Popuri was waiting for me with a plate full of dumplings. I had half hoped that another girl would appear for the sake of originality, but it is rather heartening that Popuri is the most devoted to me.

Day 14
Even though I stayed up late for moon viewing, there is no rest for the wicked and so I was up again at 6am to tend to the farm this morning. Typically, it was raining, but even so I slogged through all the usual tasks before heading into town to pick up the jewellery from Saibara (another necklace) and some wine from Manna. After listening to Manna chat about Kai, I headed over to the supermarket to woo Karen with these gifts, confident that this was just what I needed to tip her into the red heart region. Unfortunately, she remains steadfastly on orange heart, and so I must continue to ply her with alcohol.

Day 15
The latest crop of sweet potatoes, green peppers and eggplant was in today, and so after all the other tasks had been seen to, I spent the morning in the fields, harvesting and shipping them all with the aid of Baskey. Afterwards, the warm sunshine compelled me to get Seiran out and have a nice ride on him; my only regret in filling my fields with grass is that I now cannot place lumber on it in order to make a set of jumps for us to practise with.