Tree Fertilizer and early access

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ShneekeyTheLost, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. ShneekeyTheLost

    ShneekeyTheLost Black Hole Surfer

    So, I'm working on my new Farmer's Build Order (no longer called 'powergamer's build order' because it's not particularly powergamer-ish anymore) guide, and something that I feel will substantially assist in getting keg production up and running is oak trees, and a great way to do that is the new Tree Fertilizer.

    When you use Tree Fertilizer on a tree, it is guaranteed to grow one stage per day until it reaches full growth. As we want to obtain large quantities of Oak Resin very early game, this is MUCH faster than the current method of 'plant and hope for the best'.

    However, Tree Fertilizer cannot be purchased from Pierre, it can only be crafted, which is learned at Foraging 7.

    Now, Foraging 6 was already in the previous guide, because Lightning Rods. However, this pushes it further AND is generally required sooner. So... I'm trying to figure out ways to grind Foraging in your First Spring.

    * Obviously, picking up foragables on the ground yields 7 xp. Even if you then have to immediately trash them, just for the foraging experience.

    * Planted foraged items, such as from 'spring seeds', only give 3xp each, making this a bad deal all 'round. Even if you planted all 30 you get from the Spring Crops bundle completion, that's only 90 xp, and has a huge time and endurance investment in planting and watering everything. Better to just sell them for the cash.

    * Spring Onions south of Leah's Cottage will give 3 xp each, however refresh daily instead of weekly and don't count to the limit of foragable items per 'zone'. Plus are an excellent source of very early stamina, when it is needed the most.

    * Shaking berry bushes grants NO xp at all, so collecting all those Salmonberries won't grind your Foraging skill at all. However, they're going to be critical in keeping your stamina up, so you should pick as many as you can anyway.

    * Fruit items in the Farm Cave (assuming you picked Bats) gives 7xp each. However, Mushrooms (assuming you picked Mushrooms instead) give NO xp. Thus it is strictly better, from the perspective of grinding Foraging, to pick Bats over Shrooms.

    * Beachcombing produces foraging experience? Correct me here if I'm wrong, but I think the various shellfish and coral and such on the beach and tidal pool areas count as foraging experience?

    * Chopping down trees, but not stumps, produces 12 experience. Plus provides much needed wood.

    * Chopping Stumps requires a Copper or better axe, but produces 25 xp. Potentially viable on the Forest farm.

    * Chopping fallen logs requires a Steel or better axe, still only produces 25 xp, and is a gate for the Hidden Forest area with six stumps that grow each day. Not sure how viable this is for spring, simply due to the cash cost involved in the upgrade, but it couldn't hurt.

    The big problem here is that chopping things down takes up energy, a LOT of energy. When you're already trying to mine-dive, the Hot Springs aren't open yet (first spring), and making Field Snacks (typical strategy) is counterproductive because you need all those acorns to plant. Spring Onions and Salmonberries can only go so far.

    Let's do some number crunching on how much effort Foraging 7 is actually going to be:

    It takes 4,800 xp to hit Foraging 7. Yikes.

    The Forest Farm has 8 stumps that regrow daily. So with a Copper axe, that's 200 xp/day. That's not nothing, but due to the strict limit of how many can be hit per day, it isn't something you can spam. But suffice to say, we can count on 200 xp/day from this source once the Copper Axe is attained, assuming you use this farm layout. By itself, it'll take 24 days to hit Foraging 7, from zero. And since we won't be starting at zero foraging xp when we get the Copper Axe, that's a highball figure.

    Needless to say, the Copper Axe is going to be an enormously important upgrade for this strategy. And since this will also involve hitting level 80+ in the mines in your first spring, you'll also want at least your copper if not your steel pickaxe upgrade. During which time, you can spend the whole day chopping.

    Upgrading your pickaxe during Salmonberry season makes a lot of sense. You're wanting tons of Salmonberries already for the stamina gains, and you've probably got the cash by this point to do it. As you go foraging for Salmonberries, you can also go chopping trees. Every sixteen trees you chop down to a stump is an effective day less the stumps need to provide you. And you're going to be scouring the forest for salmonberries anyway, so why not bring your axe along? You're going to want the wood and sap regardless.

    With these strategies in mind, it shouldn't be too hard to hit Foraging 7 by the third week of Spring, assuming you can get the copper axe upgrade in time to have it available for Salmonberry Season when you upgrade your pick.

    Thoughts? Questions? Improvements?
    • WilliamZ

      WilliamZ Phantasmal Quasar

      I believe that forest farm is a must if you want to rush, also focusing only on the axe instead of upgrade the pickaxe first, since we can reach lv40 with the regular pickaxe, fishing can provide the necessary money for upgrading if you're good at it, maybe we have to sacrifice the unlucky days for fishing instead of rushing into the mine, seems reasonable. We also receive 30 wild seeds for the first community bundle, that would be 300xp.
      • Pangaearocks

        Pangaearocks Big Damn Hero

        Play the game. Have fun. Don't grind. Don't power-game.

        I understand people feel an urge to play like this after hundreds and maybe thousands of hours with the game, but I wish the forum didn't have so much focus on it. The game is essentially a sandbox. Embrace it.
          FickleRhubarb likes this.
        • One More Day

          One More Day Cosmic Narwhal

          Each morning from day 2 onwards, prioritise collecting fallen acorns and chopping down only oak trees that drop two seeds. Yes, I know this means a reset each day to check which ones drop two, but it's worth it. The standard farm starts with about 27 mature oak trees, plus the two in the bus stop and five by the spring onions, and with drops and chopped trees, it's quite possible to have 50-60 acorns planted by the end of the first week; I think my PB on this is probably over 80 acorns down. I like to do them across the top of the farm, three or four rows on either side of the greenhouse, and there's only one large stump in the way, which can be chopped later. Getting them planted as early as possible means most of them will be fully grown by the end of spring anyway, and you don't have to then force Foraging quite so hard. Just chop the tops of the oaks, and leave the stumps until you need the space, and they will continue to spawn acorns on the ground.

          Or this.
          • WilliamZ

            WilliamZ Phantasmal Quasar

            I don't think that there is a problem if people keep things civilized, the topic was created with this intent anyways.
            As for the game being happy-going and casual I disagree, CA moved away from this mentality in the moment that he made the Skull Cavern semi-impossible for casual players, not to mention the endgame items like the golden clock that requires a mass amount of grinding for the players be able to purchase it, increase in the prices of Robin and Clint by the second year because of people that abused from it. Just for you know, I'm a casual player and never tried to rush things and I do everything on my way, but I like to see and discuss game strategies and a lot of things that people do here I try to incorporate in my game to improve myself. I believe that CA could implement difficulty settings and new Steam archievements for the players that want more challenge instead of punish the casuals because a minority of players are abusing the system.
            • ShneekeyTheLost

              ShneekeyTheLost Black Hole Surfer

              There is no 'wrong way' to play this game. I don't criticize you for your playstyle. Don't criticize mine.

              For the record, I like to push the possible because I enjoy the challenge. I work out crazy stuff just to see what I can actually pull off. Just like back in D&D 3.5, I frequented the CharOp boards on the old 336 forums. I would never consider playing any of the optimized builds I posted in an actual game because it would be horridly unfair to anyone, least of all the GM. It was a thought exercise to see just how broke things can get.

              Bluntly... what I do or do not do in my game does not in any way impact you. I was asking for advise from other like-minded individuals who frequent this forum. If this doesn't apply to you, swipe left and move on. Hostility helps no one, and is simply a polarizing force that destabilizes communication.
              • UnexpectedParole

                UnexpectedParole Phantasmal Quasar

                30 wild seeds x 3 xp each plant is 90 xp? Od did I misunderstand something?

                I think we might need to re-visit the strategy Where shourkey rushes the stables..

                Which I think might be the way to go even with forest farm. And, frankly I'd like to also discuss without forest farm if possible as well as I don't care for that one really. I also would like to look at doing it without passing out if possbile. But for this discussion obviously, it's a bit open for interpretation

                You've already listed the xp gain from most things. Now my viewpoint on the argument would be to look at which of those things fit into to old plan as suppliments and those that have to be replacements. Spending salmonberry season chopping trees while upgrading pick seems like a good start. is it possible to get both copper pick and steel pick upgrades in that time?

                4800 xp / 20 days is 240 xp a day. 20 trees @ 12 a pop. 20 trees x 10 chops x 2 E/chop = 400 E. We've got to find alternative sources of E to go this route.

                I like to also think about XP / E cost. XP / G cost and XP / time cost.

                7 xp for no E picking up foraging is the clear winner here. Obviously (for me) any plan modifications would want to look at always picking up foraging when you see it. And looking for ways to maximize coverage of the map. But xp vs time hurts if you are always scouring the map and getting only a few forageable items a day.

                So questions/ideas to go along with this train of thought.

                Regular map resets on Sunday. So if I understand that correctly, the amount of XP generated by those spwans is "fixed" for the week, and you just need to get them once. Or, is there a chance that picking somethings on Monday might free up a spawn on say thursday and thus net you 'more' xp ? - related to the "zones" limit I guess.

                Spring onions are daily re-spawn and reset? Meaning if I don't go down there until tuesday then I don't get what is generated on sunday and monday?

                Tidal pool foraging is daily spawn. Is it also daily reset?

                Seems like the 300 wood for tidal pools and hitting the beach daily might be an option for starting.

                more later when questions get answered and I have more concrete "numbers" and thoughts.
                  Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
                • One More Day

                  One More Day Cosmic Narwhal

                  Fishing. Every cast, bar the occasional trash item, brings in more E than it costs. In spring you want to be eating chubs and smallmouth bass for the best E gain per g lost, and always eat the highest available quality, because E gained increases faster than the value increases

                  If you pick stuff up, it frees up space for more spawns later in the week

                  They respawn daily. So if you don't go that day, you lose them. I think the average total spawn is usually about 200 in the whole season

                  No, tidal pools reset on Saturday night like other areas. BUT, they aren't capped at six items and also they count as a separate forage area from the main part of the beach

                  The trouble with scouring the whole valley every day is that it eats up a tremendous amount of time, and at least for me, I don't think it's worth it. The same with having to go to the secret woods every day for hardwood, time is just slipping away. I think you can get whatever tree seeds you need, as long as you are fastidious about picking them up each morning for the first week to ten days. I know I talked about oaks and acorns earlier, but the same would go for maple seeds if you were mass producing beehouses, or pine cones for whatever use pine tar has aside from rain totems, idk
                  • WilliamZ

                    WilliamZ Phantasmal Quasar

                    GOD! You know when you're so focused on one thing and do another? xD Sorry lol.
                    90 exp for watering 30 crops is out of question, better put that energy watering something else and make money, considering that you can purchase cauliflower in day one and plant it you will have 12 days to prepare for the mines and manage to get all the items for the minecart, that would save a lot of time going into the beach but I also see the horse as a better alternative, the problem isn't the money itself but the 100 hardwood pieces, 300 wood can be bought from Robin for 3k for repair the bridge is manageable until saturday before forageables resets.

                    The problem with this plain is money, I think that reach farming lv2 for regular sprinklers and focus on fishing is more safe than reach lv6 farming with a lot to do, then the rest of the strategy will flow as usual.
                    • UnexpectedParole

                      UnexpectedParole Phantasmal Quasar

                      Thanks for the answers. I don't think every day is a good idea either. But from what I understand, barring spring onions you really only need to scour it once each week on Saturdays then. It sems well worth a farmer's time to chase down the foraging on a sat.

                      The hardwood in secret forest is for the major xp boost. If you can afford the stables then the time is nearly given back.
                      6 foraging per week per area?
                      What areas are we talking about here?
                      Pelican Town
                      Bus Stop?
                      Tidal pools
                      Secret Forest?

                      8x6x7 = 336 xp just for the one day wihout any E cost? Plus harvest of trees? I'm liking the sound of that. E can be spent easily dropping trees for more xp as you go.

                      I'm also open to your strat of just harvesting acorns and more "hoping" but that seems like a different thread so I would be happy to discuss it there. Especially that the fertilizer for me sounds more like a good way to get harvestable lumber, over and over and over not a way to plant trees put tappers on them and walk away.
                      • One More Day

                        One More Day Cosmic Narwhal

                        There's also the backwoods path that goes from the top of the farm to behind Robin's house, and the desert can also spawn forage.

                        Once you reach Summer 3, the railroad also opens up, and that is also a separate foraging area, but there is only a tiny amount of space available for spawns.

                        Not including the bat cave, the farm itself doesn't spawn forage items, unless you're on the Forest Farm, in which case the forage on the farm will stay until the end of the season, it doesn't just vanish every Saturday night

                        6 is the maximum per area, but it's not guaranteed. Particularly in smaller areas, there might be fewer than six by the end of the week. Also, any forage item in the path of an NPC will be destroyed when they walk through.
                        • metalax

                          metalax Subatomic Cosmonaut

                          Chopping down normal tree stumps have given 1 xp each since 1.3. Not that it really effects the strategy.
                          • ShneekeyTheLost

                            ShneekeyTheLost Black Hole Surfer

                            This has been a lot of useful information, thank you everyone for contributing!

                            I've also started watching a speedrunner on twitch by the handle TheHaboo that does a 'CC completion' run in under three hours. While the base strat isn't too useful (he spends most of his time sleeping), his mining dive strategies are really interesting, even if all parts of the strategy is no longer viable (he uses an RNG manipulation to get a weapon from a certain barrel on a certain level, but those calculations were massively overhauled in 1.4), there's still a lot that can be picked up from his general mining strategies that I can reasonably implement to help even a fairly casual player hit 20 levels a day consistently.

                            The 'fishing then plant' guide is interesting, and it has some things to definitely consider, but I'm actively trying to avoid leaning on fishing for more than just getting bundle collection. The guide is written for players who want to do more, but haven't gotten a handle on things, and I don't want to assume competency with the Fishing minigame. But the timing on the axe in that guide is definitely what I'm looking for. I may incorporate some of the other first-week strats that guide espouses as well. Definitely something I'm going to need to rethink.

                            With a Copper Axe, it takes 7 chops for a Stump and 8 hits for a Tree. At somewhere between 1 and 2 energy (depending on your skill level) a chop, that's painful for energy, so there will definitely need to be some sort of additional energy consumption.

                            Here's an idea, something the speedrunner did... instead of selling the parsnips, you save one for the bundle, then eat the rest? 12 parsnips (save one, plus one cauli and one bean sprout), at 25 energy each is 300E. That's not shabby. They only sell for 35g/ea, so it's not a bad hit to your wallet, and the only reason you plant them really is for the Farming level.

                            The big problem, however, is the mining dives. in my back-of-napkin calculations, I'll be both mine diving and chopping at least stumps to hit my goals. That's a LOT of energy drain. Like a hella lot. Especially if I'm expecting people to hit 10-20 levels consistently.

                            OneMoreDay also has a point that it may not be necessary to hit the foraging level for Tree Fertilizer if I get enough saplings down quick enough. I'd like to try to avoid mandatory resets in my guide if possible, but it's certainly a possible thing.

                            Foraging the various zones is a timesink. Optimizing the pathing for maximum forage is going to be a huge thing. Getting the onions daily is one thing. Hitting up various zones is going to be another entirely, if you still want to do other stuff as well. Before you get the mines unlocked, you might be able to afford some timesinks, but if you go out of your way to forage, you can kiss your attempt at mining goodbye. So it's going to be a delicate balancing act as to what you do when.

                            I'm going to be doing some routing and calculating to see what I can do, to see what is actually possible, and to see what one can reasonably expect from a guide aimed at players who are wanting to become more optimized in their play style, but haven't made very great strides yet. I may simply be asking too much of what the guide is intended for, and may need to dial it back a notch.

                            There seems to be a huge gulf between 'casual' and 'hardcore' players. This was designed to bridge that gulf. To show that anyone can make millions in their first year. That you don't have to be some top-tier speedrunner to get good returns. But also that it is okay if you don't want to do that. It isn't intended to be a 'you should do this', but merely a sort of 'if Yan can cook, so can you!' sort of thing.
                            • Elenna101

                              Elenna101 Subatomic Cosmonaut

                              Lol yeah most of my powergaming comments come from watching Haboo :) although I haven't had much time for Twitch streams recently.

                              He wasn't manipulating RNG to get the weapon, in the sense that he didn't do anything differently to increase the chance of a club - it was mostly just a cool trick so he could say "hey, I got/didn't get a club" before actually breaking the barrels. It was just (real-life) luck that the days where he went mining coincided with days when there was a chance of a club. Anyways, as you say, it doesn't matter in 1.4 (although from what I understand CC speedruns may stay in 1.2 for faster jar processing times).
                              • UnexpectedParole

                                UnexpectedParole Phantasmal Quasar

                                Oh I agree the super max strats are above what I want to do as well. But taking the idea(s) and tweaking what works and what doesn't and try to fit it in.

                                I don't make tons of money fishing. None of my stats involve catfish fishing or staying out until 2am. But it might make sense to turn a bad luck day into a foraging run whith chopping trees down followed by fishing to raise the energy and then run back to the chopping to expend the energy after. And save the mining for good luck days with a good pick.

                                I too have been eating the 1st 13 parsnips as well to fuel chopping and mining sprees. I've had such bad luck with spring onions I nearly never go after them.

                                I'm routinely getting 20 sprinklers for summer 1.

                                However, it does appear that success can be had by focusing on improving the tools, and benefitting that way.

                                Has anyone else tried hoeing seeds to replant? I've had files where I have cleared under some trees and stumps and then been able to go day after day and hit the new seeds under them with the hoe, and viola, a new seed to re-plant where you want it.
                                • Shepherd_0

                                  Shepherd_0 Astral Cartographer

                                  May I ask where I can find that guide? I'm interested.

                                  The best way to get a lot of sources of energy in the early game is, you guessed it, fishing. You can either eat the fish directly or sell them for money to buy salads. I used to be a bit sceptical about spending so much money on energy, but it saves you a lot of time looking for spring onions and salmonberries that you can easily make up for money by using that time doing mining, farming or more fishing.

                                  I don't really considerer myself a powergamer, but with the help of the latest posts from One More Day in the powergaming thread, I can fairly consistently get fishing 4 at the end of day 2. This means that I can fish for catfish without having to rely on trout soup, which saves time because I don't have to go to Willy's shop. I like to fish at the river in Cindersap Forest because you can catch chubs there, which give a little more exp than the smallmouth bass from the town river. Chubs are also pretty good sources of energy. If you fish the entire day here, you can hit fishing 6 at the end of the day. And at fishing 6 you will pretty much always get gold quality fish on day 4. All this isn't really 'hard' to do. I guess anyone can do it, but the thing is that not anyone likes to do it. Realistically though, I don't think there's a 'better' way of spending your time in the first week, if you care about making money at least.

                                  After fishing for three days, I usually end up with about 10K, give or take. If you spend 2K on the bag upgrade, you still have 8K left for seeds and important traveling cart stuff, which is a lot. 8K is 160 potatoes, which is the exact amount of spaces of a '20-sprinklers-around- scarecrow-layout'. Now that amount of potatoes is likely way more than you can manage, so I think it's save to say that you will have some money left for buying salads. Also consider that I'm still playing on 1.3 (cries in switch), so on 1.4 you will probably make even more money from fishing.

                                  Considering all this, you do a run where you fish on day 2,3 and 4 to get money. Day 5 you go mine diving using the parsnips as food. Then on day 6 you can buy lots of potato seeds and maybe like 5 salads.This allows you to plant and water all the potatoes you just bought, while still having enough energy in the form of salads to cut down trees for the rest of the day. Depending on how much money you made fishing and depending on how much you spent on seeds and traveling cart items, you might even have enough money left for a tool upgrade on day 6. In fact, if you spend your day smelting copper and chopping trees until 4 in the afternoon, you can upgrade the axe right away on day 6, so really early. Then you can head to Pierre for the potato seeds and plant them in the evening.
                                  • One More Day

                                    One More Day Cosmic Narwhal

                                    Yes, this is an essential part of the early morning routine, gathering the acorns as early as possible.



                                    there's also a large thread here on the forums

                                    Personally, I prefer to fish in town on day 3, because I can get perfects basically every time on smallmouth, with the massive 2.4x bonus XP boost and now in 1.4, the quality boost to iridium as well. Chubs in the forest are quite a lot harder for me to get perfect at lower Fishing skill, so although their base XP is higher, I reckon I get way more XP with the smallmouth, and I really want to hit Fishing 6 as early as possible to give me a better shot at hanging on to whatever catfish I do get to bite. It's also worth noting that you get a slightly better chance of getting a bite from a catfish in the forest, but apparently only about 3% better, so I still prefer town because of the smallmouth. Also, now there's iridium, I think it also saves a fair bit of money when you have to eat fish.


                                    To get an idea of what's possible with acorns, here's a screenshot from my most recently started farm, as I wake up on day 8


                                    As you can see, most of the oaks have had their tops chopped off, and I've also had two acorns each from both oaks in the bus stop and in one visit I got nine acorns from the five oaks in the spring onions area; I decided to take the tree that only dropped one, rather than make another two hour round trip for one extra acorn. There are approximately 80 acorns planted across the top, some of which are sprouting already. In the screenshot, I can already see at least two more fallen acorns that are waiting to be picked up, and I also woke up with 2 more in my inventory, so I'll get at least four more down today. Within a few more days I expect to have extended the rows all the way to the left edge of the farm and be at around the 100 mark. Obviously it does require a reset each morning, after working out which trees will drop 2, and where the shakers and already fallen ones are, and then I have to plot the most time-efficient path to get them all. But with an 18 day average growth time for these, more than half of them will already be grown by the end of the season, and I won't have needed to get access to tree fertilizer.

                                    Getting this many after 1 week is better than almost all of my efforts in 1.3, but it's worth noting that in 1.4 CA patched the bug that prevented tree seeds from dropping for the rest of the day after you level up foraging skill, so now you can chop until you've got them all. As this is the first time I've had a go at this in 1.4, I don't know whether or not it's still a better than average run for this technique.

                                    As for the balance of the rest of the farm, I have the 15 (newly introduced) rice shoots watering themselves from the lake, which will get me to Farming 1 with almost zero effort. I haven't yet entered the mines, I'm waiting for a good luck day, but I already have Mining 1, so I'll have immediate access to cherry bombs when I do, and I might even break more rocks and force Mining 2 for staircases. All those oaks, plus foraged items, means I'm within a few XP of Foraging 3, I'll almost certainly get that today. Otherwise, I've almost exclusively been fishing, and I'll definitely hit Fishing 10 later today, which means that with the price boost, I'll have access to over 40k worth of fish when I sell to Willy in the morning.

                                    I already have the 24 slot backpack, and I've fished up or dug up approximately a dozen artifacts
                                    • UnexpectedParole

                                      UnexpectedParole Phantasmal Quasar

                                      I've referenced that guide a lot. I've only actually gotten the stables the one time and it was great. But I don't I don't sleep outside after 2am, and I can't seem to catch catfish even with high levels of fishing So I don't reach his levels of money. That leaves me choosing to leave the stables (and most of the rushed tool upgrades) out to buy crops and go a more .

                                      But thet begs the question now. I am assuming we are shooting for foraging 7 in this guide by the 20th. What farming level(s) are we trying to get and by when?
                                      My thought might be level 8 before the hops first harvest in summer. Are there any intermediate steps that need reached? Beehives? Tiller? This matters for which seeds we are planting, watering and harvesting - when. But I'll defer to the OP, this is his excercise.
                                      I'm contemplating ideas now where we throw down parsnips and or potatoes on spring 6 and just see if the rain will water them for the end of spring.

                                      I originally don't see how salmonberries are a time sink if you are already upgrading your picks the entire time. But since they are no foraging xp and if the alternative is money made from fishing to buy salads instead which store in the same single slot of inventory.. I 'll have to look at it and see what it would cost.
                                      A plus for salmonberries in the rush tree fertilizer plan is that you are making the runs for those 7xp forageable and maybe being able to chop trees as well.

                                      Actually rice shoots might be "the new 2nd planting" crop for me.
                                      If I can have a 6 day harvest crop that doesn't need watered planted on the 6th, that replaces nicely the potatoes I was orignially planintg day 6 and watering everyday until the 12. I have been originally just planting the rice as they came in and risking the crows until I place my scarecrow where it'll cover both sets of crops on day 6. but that was before I found out about the two day earlier harvest.
                                      • Elenna101

                                        Elenna101 Subatomic Cosmonaut

                                        But Y1 you can only get rice from treasure chests or monsters, right? I don't see how you get enough to grind farming xp, but maybe I'm missing something.
                                        • UnexpectedParole

                                          UnexpectedParole Phantasmal Quasar

                                          I've gotten it from artifact dig spots as well.
                                          I had 17 in one farm. 4 on another. More like 8 to 10 'reliably' so far.
                                          And no, it's not a major xp gain, but rice is better than potatoes days 6-12 for sure. If I'm already cutting down on my plantings for that period to allow for more foraging, fishing, and mining, then why wouldn't I go with rice instead of potatoes? If there are no plants the require watering (I've started to ignore the spped gro for strawberrires again) between the parsnips and strawberry planting, the when you choose to upgrade the watering can is much easier. Rice just gets you the xp while that is going on.

                                          So far I'm not seeing any real farming xp levels I need to hit between 1 for the fertilizer and 6 for the sprinklers, so it's possible I can just rely on later harvests, and not 'have' to put anything down as early as before. -Hence no need to grind farming xp ?

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