Agriculture provides a good long-term source of food and healing herbs, due to the time difference between sowing crops and harvesting them (around 8 weeks). Crops start to become ready in late summer through to late autumn, though exact times differ depending on the species of plant. All crops except for cereals can be simply picked up, but plants and cereals must be threshed to obtain seeds.
However, a character cannot survive solely on plants. Due to their low nutrition value when raw, plants must be processed in order to be useful. Crop yields can be greatly variable, and plant foods must be supplemented with protein from meat or fish to stop starvation.
In order to start farming, land needs to be prepared with a shovel. This land needs to be fertilized with the remains of a fire. Due to the limitations of the game, it is advisable to plant large (20x20 or even bigger) fields two or three tiles away from your main settlement. A fence can be built around large farms to prevent foreign traders from triggering the item overflow bug, though this is a lot of work.
As of v315p1, the bug will appear if your field contain more than 1600 growing plant tiles And a few piles of items.It is recommended that you shouldnt go beyond 1000 planted tiles each sector to prevent it happening. And the trappit-and-fence doesnt prevent foreign traders invading your sector since they can climb fence.
As of v318, the bug is ameliorate in two ways. When you get near the item limit, there will be warnings. The warnings is provided way before the actual limit is reached so you have some leeway. There is no hard number about the limit, but after warning, it's hard to transform items in the map (eg fire-> burnt out fire) so it can be inconvenient in some way. So it's a strongly recommend to do your farming far away from your storages of loots and foodmaking area. Good news is, a hardworking farmer wont get this bug even if you farm half that sector.
Steps to planting a square:
- Light a fire on a square and let it burn out
- Stand on the square with the burnt-out fire
- ALT-A to open the Agricuture Option and Prepare the Soil (you will need a shovel)
- Wait until the ground cools (Takes a day or so)
- ALT-A to Plant/sow
This is the schedule for a farmer
CHANGE: from v3.18 onward seasons' names are changed but the below still keep both names for ease of use across all versions.
(to be added: Nettle, Sorrel, Meadsweet, Golden Rods, Yarrow) Note: This is unknown to be bug or not but there's are two bugs associated with planting. One is that the hunger meter wont change. Nutrion level change like normal (from start to finish change Good-Temperate but hunger and thirst meters arent changed. Second is that there's little time pass. The early morning period of 1st of April I manage to plant 100 fistful of broadbeans (=400tiles) and 287 hemp seeds (=287tiles). These two bugs are fixed in v318. It's now considered agricultural activies are heavy and lengthy type.
Planting: Broadbeans, Hemp, Clayweed (since 20th)
Time to prepare new soils if you see there's more seeds than planned.
Planting: Peas, Turnip, Barley(try to finish until 10th), Rye(until the last day of May), Hemp(until the 20th)
Priority: Barley, Hemp, Rye, Peas, Turnip
Precise planting: Sorrels, Yarrows, Nettles no sooner than the 20th.
Still can plant: Peas(until last week), Turnips, Broadbeans
Prepare new soils if you feel like more turnips
Harvest Turnips, Sorrel (last week)
Still can plant: Broadbeans (first week) Turnip (until last week)
Harvest Broadbeans, Barley Turnip, Peas, Hemp, Nettle
Withered: Barley Turnip, Peas (at day 2 of 3rd week before winter season)
Withered : Broadbeans
As you can see, Turnips, with great effort and care, can give two crops a year.
I will add more when my experiments with agriculture provide more data.
A popular method is to arrange firewood in a rectangle like the diagram below:
2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 etc.
where the numbers represent how much firewood is on the tile. Light the tiles with 2 firewood on them, and wait. Of course, other types of fuel can be chosen, but firewood is often used for its quick burning time. The soil can then be prepared with a shovel. Because the soil must be prepared before the remains of the fire disappears, the soil should be prepared in batches of around 40 tiles each time. Once the remains of the fire disappears, crops can be sown on the tilled soil.
Sowing fields grants the largest skill gain. The rate of plant growth is affected by rain and sunshine, and the earliest time a plant can be harvested is around 8 weeks (v3.13). In winter, no plants can grow, and when snow falls all plants are automatically destroyed.
v3.18 institute hard and lengthy agricultural actions, so it's now not easy to prepare a big field at once as before. To prepare at suitable pace, a small field of about 50 tiles should done each time, or the burnt grounds will be lost.
Rhys' tips for large fieldsEdit
Firstly, it essential to have fertilized land for your field. This can be obtained easily, especially if the player's settlement is in a wooded area. Here is a simple guide to get quick and good results:
- Clear the area. If there are any grown bushes, then harvest them. If there are any trees, fell them. Do not worry about large rocks, they will not have an impact on the field itself.
- The field you are preparing will be 8 tiles wide, so make sure there is some clear space either side of the field (fences and buildings can be set alight very easily).
- Line a single column of tree trunks down one side of your field.
- Chop all of these into blocks.
- Run down the line from top to bottom, moving 7 of 8 blocks to one side.
- Continue in this way until all tiles of the field only have a single block upon them
- Set fire to the top row as shown above, with the ones at each side also set alight
- Have a nap or do some cooking, but stay in the same area and don't leave for more than 3 or 4 hours
- Start preparing the soil in rows, remembering to keep at least 1 row away from fire
- Every time you take a 3-4 hour break, you will be able to complete a couple of rows. You will notice that as you keep on top of this, the burnt soil behind you will start to revert to normal tiles. This is why the short breaks are essential, rather than long ones.
Using this guideline, you can easily create and 8 tile wide, but very long field. I have previously created field that are as long as the 100m wilderness tile with little effort. This process will, however, take you a few days depending on the size of the field - so do make sure to have plenty of food before you attempt it. I am not implying that this is the most time efficient method of creating a big field, but it is definetly one of the easiest and has never let me down. Plus, you will use a lot of tree trunks but if you are in a wooded area, you will also chop a lot of trees down for firewood over winter, so you may find you manage to complete several tasks at once!
Comments: This method depended on lots of trees in the area. However, if you choose to plow up some slaver's camp, or cleared areas, there wont be enough trees for that to work. Also, in that case, moving blocks from maps to maps is time consuming. Another alternative is cutting down small trees into slender trunks, then make them into stakes. 1 young tree = at least 3 slender trunks = at least 3*8 stakes. You can carry at least 70 stakes at once. At each tile just need one stake, and the major lines to create fire can have 2 each if you feel the need. Imagine a field of 8*X with one stake per tile, with two bold lines intersect each other, with 3 stakes each on that line. Last alternative is using firewood. Choose method to suit your gameplan.
You can pick the crop by hand. Still, if you have cutting weapons in inventory or nearby, just press Alt A then choose Harvest to do it properly. Harvested crop will fall to the ground, and need to be picked up.
Even withered plants like heather, for example, still can be harvested using this command. (Not sure. In 318stable can not harvest withered turnips).
After dropping harvested crops onto one tile, stand on that and Alt A, choose Thresh. The grainflail nearby will be used to separate the grains from the seeds and leaves.
Note: as of v3.18, flail can be increased during threshing.
Now enjoy your fruit of medium term investment and hardwork.
Rhyscoombs 21:16, April 15, 2010 (UTC)