I grew up in the California farm country in the Sacramento Valley and got my edyookashun at the University of California at Davis. I wasn't studying ag-related subjects, but the farm influence is pretty tough to ignore there (especially when you live in a dorm that is located between the cow barns and the pig barns). (Or maybe it's just in my blood. I come from a long line of ranchers and farmers.)
After I graduated, I moved to the SF Bay Area in search of cooler weather, better employment opportunities, and a place that didn't roll up its sidewalks at 6 pm. I lived near Union Square in for several years, and then moved to Oakland to be closer to my job (which decision was vindicated by the Loma Prieta quake closing down the Bay Bridge later that same year). After the apartment towers of San Francisco, the detached houses (with trees and parking) in the Rockridge district seemed positively suburban.
In the summer of 1992, I bought a bungalow on a 70' by 120' lot in Berkeley. Now a lot size of approximately a quarter-acre is nothing much in most parts of the country, but in coastal California - especially in the more urbanized bits - this is not half bad.
So the place was christened "The Farm" in honor of my Central Valley roots, my education at what used to be the "University Farm", and a silly but memorable ad campaign by a local dairy called "Berkeley Farms" - their slogan is "Farms in Berkeley? MooooOOOOOOO!". I got a little ribbing from my brother, who, like our dad, got his Official Paper at Cal Berkeley, since St*nf*rd calls itself "The Farm", but that, as they say, is another story.
The Farm became the Berkeley Farm and Pleasure Palace after the neighborhood was improved considerably by Good Vibrations (SF's world-famous clean, well-lighted place for, um, toys) opened up a second store about five blocks away from the place. Well, it almost didn't get opened (an indication of how the times, they are a-changing), but that's yet another story, and it's become the anchor for a quite thriving little shopping district in what used to be a dodgy part of town.
Will it ever not be "Under Construction"? Well, those of you with older houses know that there is always something to tweak. It's been an adventure, since I had barely held a screwdriver before. (Fortunately, I have friends who are good at this kind of thing and are happy to share their knowledge.) As I write this, the kitchen is being rebuilt (by professionals, I have neither the time nor the ability). This is a major step; most of what I've done so far has been of the "paint and drapes" variety. Feel free to send sympathy notes and microwaveable casseroles to me at the Farm.