Today, we'll be looking at various strategies others have implemented in starting their farming career. We will only be covering actual Farming starts, so the 'fishing first, then planting' strategy, while perfectly viable, isn't going to be something we'll be discussing here. We will be looking at the pros and cons of each strategy, how they place you for future growth, how much energy they consume and what that energy might otherwise be used for, and xp gains for certain benchmarks as well as profit. We will only be going as far as the Egg Festival in our looking ahead, as we are strictly looking at openers here. The latter half of the month is going to be largely based on factors such as how much investment you have on mining, how many sprinklers and what sort of sprinklers you have, what other benchmarks you want to hit, and so forth. In other words, there are too many widely divergent paths once the Egg Festival happens to be able to meaningfully calculate. Also, of note is the 9 cauliflower seeds you get as a reward for 5 relics/minerals handed in to Gunther. You really are going to want to get that done before the middle of the season so you have enough time to plant and harvest them. Planting them on fertilizer gives you a good chance of at least one gold-star Cauliflower, which gives you the 'best' response from the Luau in the summer, assuming you don't just want to sell them. It's also worth 207 xp, which is not too shabby at this stage in the game, and can be the difference between Farming 3 and Farming 4. If you don't care about the Luau, you may consider planting in a 3x3 for the outside chance of getting a Large Cauli for double profits. 15 parsnip This is what I like to call the 'first timer's opening', because it just involves planting the 15 parsnip seeds you find in your house Spring 1st, and not getting any more. It's not... horrible. You save endurance by not watering a large plot and you aren't risking anything with newer strats that involve a Day One bean starter and cauliflower, but it's also not that great either. You still have your 500g, though. So if you are looking for a Fishing start, there's far worse things to do. Basically, plant your basic parsnips, keep your cash, try to get your 2k by Spring 3rd so you can get your Fiberglass Rod and as much Bait as you can get so you can double-down. And 500g is nothing to sneeze at as far as cash-in-hand this early in the game. If nothing else, that's a lot of bait you can pick up. Having said that, if you aren't planning on going fishing-heavy... this opener is probably not the one you're going to want to opt for. 40 Parsnips The next strategy we'll be exploring is the 40 parsnip opening, that is going to Pierre's on Day One, purchasing as many parsnip seeds as possible, and planting them all before doing anything else. This strategy accepts the inevitable loss of a few crops to Crows, but simply doesn't care since there's so many parsnips to be had that losing a couple isn't going to substantially damage anything. And since parsnips aren't individually that valuable, either in terms of xp or profits, it doesn't cost you nearly as much as losing more valuable profits to the feathered felons. Assuming all 40 parsnips are harvested (which, again, they won't be), that would be a total of 320 xp. Unfortunately, it requires 380 xp for level 2 farming, so we miss this benchmark, which means growing something else after the scarecrows are up on the following day. An advantage to this strategy is that it is complete the soonest, by day 5. And you get Level 1 Farming as early as possible as a result. This lets you get this phase out of the way and lets you get on with planting more serious crops to follow. A disadvantage to this strategy is that it requires a considerable amount of endurance every day watering them (except Day 3, which is guaranteed rain). This is somewhat offset by the fact that mines don't open until this crop is grown, so it won't impact mining depths, and fishing tends to be endurance-positive as you can always eat some of your catch so that's going to be less impactful. So really, the only thing this strategy might impact is the number of trees you can chop down, either to farm Foraging xp or to collect the acorns needed for an Oak Stand to tap for later kegging, or making of chests for the mines, arrowhead island, and mountain lake island to optimize your gains in these areas. It would also impact the ability to get the beach bridge to the tidal pools area in your first week, if that is important to you. Other than that, the impact seems fairly minimal overall, unless you're wanting to rush Foraging 4 to obtain double yield from Salmonberry season and logging is a major factor in Foraging xp gains to hit that goal. Another advantage to this strategy is you now have many parsnips in your pocket. You can sell them if you want, but a better use might be to eat them as you really hit those mines as hard as you can. In short, it's not a bad start, although not particularly impressive. It does place you quite close to Farming level 2, so if that is your goal, you can simply plant enough parsnips to hit that goal, safely under cover of scarecrows this time, and hit Farming 2 before the Egg Festival. In fact, a couple days before the egg festival. If you planted just enough parsnips to hit Farming level 2 as well as a crop of Kale or Potatoes, you could possibly even hit Farming level 3 before Egg Festival. Even barring that, it would increase the amount of quality crops you get from your harvest, and also open up the possibility of Basic Sprinklers as discussed in another thread. 15 parsnip, 25 Tulip This is an all-new opener that came from discussion about a Tulip opener. The arguments for this are basically that Tulips are really great endurance per dollar, so you'll be able to eat them as you hit the mines. Ultimately, I wasn't convinced that the straight Tulip opening was worth bothering with, however this hybrid version, hot off the presses, shows at least some merit. You can afford a couple of parsnips eaten and still get Farming 1 on Day 5 as per the previous openers, accept the fact that Crows are going to eat a couple of crops like the 40 parsnip opener, and use the Tulips as a better food item when they come up on the 7th to empower your diving. At 45e and 20h, it's almost twice the stats of a parsnip, so as a mining dive food, there's a lot to say for it. The big downside is xp. If you're wanting to hit Farming 3 by the Egg Festival, this is going to hamper your efforts. Tulips actually are worth less xp than Parsnips are. Bummer. I don't know how viable this is yet, as I haven't really done any testing. But considering you can plant Kale after day 6 and still reap your crops before the Egg Festival, I don't see it really hurting you that much. 13 parsnip, 1 bean starter, 1 cauliflower This is a newer strategy that has come out of the knowledge that you never have to worry about crows if you only have 15 or fewer crops planted. This nets you a Cauliflower just before the Egg Festival, opening up the possibility of turning in all four Spring Crops for the Spring Crops Bundle and the 20 Speed Gro reward so you can plant your Strawberries on it for a third yield before the end of the season. This does, however, start you off at an xp deficit, as compared to the 40 parsnip opening. 13 parsnips barely gets level 1 at 104 xp, leaving you with a sizable gap before you hit Farming 2, meaning the 40 Kale (worth 680 xp) follow-on barely lets you hit Farming 3 (at 770) with the 104 xp from the 13 parsnips. This is an opening that requires some tricky timings because if you plant any crops before you get scarecrows the day AFTER your initial parsnip harvest, you're risking crows eating your cauli or your green beans and ruining your entire start. So the followup to this is going to be 40 Kale on Day 6, harvesting on 12 to get Farming 3 by the time you hit Egg Festival. Which means planting a lone potato somewhere to keep up with the bundle, because 40 potatoes won't get you there. That also means you're going to be behind the curve on endurance, because you won't have as many parsnips heading into the mines. Of course, it will mean 20 extra Strawberries up by the end of the month, so there's that. In Conclusion The 40 parsnip opener is the one I had suggested in my previous guide, and it's a pretty solid opening. The 13 parsnip, 1 cauli, 1 green bean opener is the new kid that shows a lot of promise, and can be used for the early 20 speed-gro for basically 20 extra strawberries for the season. The 15 parsnip, 25 tulip opener is a new, untested, untried tactic that might work for helping descend the mines faster by providing better stamina recovery. All of them involve getting Farming 1 by day 5. So, anyone else have any openers they'd like to share with the class? Thoughts and opinions? I open the floor to healthy and meaningful discussion.