Farming is a three-step process of planting seeds, harvesting crops from fields and processing the crops into usable products.
- Tier specific seeds are planted in farmlands to grow fields. (eg, Apprentice Crop Seed is used to produce a Carrot Field, because it is an apprentice-tier recipe.)
- Fields are harvested to gather fair crops and some rare drops (eg, when harvesting Carrots, the field may produce a Sprig of Allspice in addition to Fair Carrot Crops).
- Fair Crops are processed to produce usable ingredients.
Farmers can also make some Housing decorations.
How To Plant and Harvest Crops
Acquire Necessary Items
- First, verify that you have the recipe for the crop you want to plant (eg, Carrot Field recipe).
- Next you need to talk to the farming NPC or supplier to purchase the materials to grow the crop. If you are unsure of which ingredients you need, you can open the crafting panel while speaking to the farmhand. However, the list will always include:
- Tier specific seed packets (in this example, Apprentice Crop Seeds)
- Buckets of water
- Handfuls of fertilizer
- (Optionally) Rivendell Soil, Lórien Soil, or Rich Soil. These optional soil ingredients are used to produce a critical success; namely, a well-tended field. (Farming is the only profession where the optional ingredient gives a 100% chance of critical success.) A well-tended field, in turn, has a higher yield rate (more crops produced per field) and a higher chance of yielding special products. For instance, berry fields can produce "juicy" versions of the berry that a Scholar can use to make dye; all apprentice fields have a chance of producing Sprigs of Allspice that can be usef by a Cook to gain critical success in apprentice cooking recipes, and so on. NOTE: You cannot use soil for a recipe until you have gained proficiency in that tier.
Proper Crafting Location and Tool
- Once you have your ingredients, you must go to the field required to grow the type of crop and tier you want (again, this can be found by selecting your recipe in the crafting panel):
- You must have a farming tool equipped. To equip the tool, find its icon in your inventory and double click it.
Sowing and Harvesting
- When you are standing in the correct field, with the correct ingredients in your inventory and a farming tool equipped:
- Open your crafting panel and select the field recipe you want to plant. If you have the optional soil ingredient on hand, check the box at middle right on the crafting panel to indicate you want to use that soil.
- Click the "Make" button to sow one field. Your character will be shown sowing seeds by casting them in front, and a field will appear directly in front of the character. After a second, the field will be ready to harvest by right-clicking on it.
- The simplest way to farm is to simply plant one field at a time, then harvest it. However, since this method is time-consuming, many farmers choose to plant 4 fields at a time. To do this, select the field recipe you want to plant. Next to the "Make" button, change the number of fields to 4, either by typing it in or by using the arrow button to increase the number. Then click "Make", and your character will sow four fields in a row before stopping.
- When you acquire higher-level farming tools that decrease the harvest time duration, sowing five fields at once is completely fine as well.
- Please note that, while a field cannot be harvested by another player, it will fade away after a short period of time (2 minutes), making farming more than 4 or 5 fields a difficult task.
- If your fields are atop each other, it will take a second or so for the harvested field to "clear" and the field below it to become available for harvesting. Make sure you harvest all your crops before sowing more, so that none of your fields fade away before you can harvest them.
- It can be helpful to rotate the character toward the four points of the compass between crafting (ie, watch the character sow one field. When the progress bar shows that the first field is finished, rotate the character 90 degrees. When the second field is finished, rotate again, and so on. This prevents the fields from being sown in the same place "on top of one another", and makes them easier to harvest.)
- Plant as many fields as you want following the guide above. Harvest all the planted fields before you go on to processing.
- Since farming tools are subject to wear and tear from use, they must be repaired periodically to prevent breaking them. Higher-level tools last longer than lower-level tools; if you have planted 50+ fields with a low-level tool, take a break and repair it before planting more. If you allow your tool to break while you have crops in the ground, the crops may fade away before you have time to buy a new tool, equip it, and come back to harvest them.
- Once you have harvested all your crops, repair your farming tool, and then make your way to a workbench (there are usually several near the fields).
Speedier Sowing and Harvesting
Instead of sowing then rotating, it is possible to sow and harvest 10 fields using keyboard shortcuts.
- As soon as the first field is sowed press the key to select nearest item (default is "delete").
- Once all 10 fields are planted press the use key (default "u"), then select the next item (SHIFT + delete). Repeat until you pressed "u" 10 times.
- There is no need to wait until you're done harvesting one field to press the keys as the commands will be queued up.
- It is helpful to count the number that the use key is pressed, especially when there are other players planting close by. Selecting and using one of their fields will make your character run to it immediately.
Processing the Harvest
Select the crop recipe for the field you just harvested (eg, Carrots).
- The crafting panel will inform you how much usable produce your crop will yield; it's usually 4 items per crop. For instance, one Fair Carrot Crop will normally yield 4 Carrots, but if you have a critical success while processing them, you may get 8 Carrots from that one Fair Carrot Crop. This ratio is important due to limited inventory space. If you run out of space in your inventory, you will not be able to continue processing crops until you empty your inventory. If you are short on inventory space, it may be wise to process only one stack of crops, rather than all of your stacks, because one stack of 50 Fair Carrot Crops takes up less space than two stacks of 100 Carrots (or more, if you were to get any critical successes).
- Decide how many crops you want to process. Choose that number and click "Make", or simply click "Make All".
- Remember that processing crops will incur wear and tear on your tool just like sowing fields, and make sure you keep your tool in good repair.
- When your crops have been processed, you can sell them on the Auction House, mail them to your Alt or a friend for use in recipes, or even sell them back to a vendor. However, selling to a vendor is not recommended, since farmed crops are always in great demand, and will certainly fetch a better price on the Auction House.
Fields are grown by Farmers when they plant seeds in the appropriate farmlands. These fields can then be harvested to produce crops. Critical successes on farmer field recipes result in well-tended fields, which are more likely to produce larger amounts of crops, as well as a higher chance of rare items. The chances of a critical success are guaranteed in fields sown with Rivendell Soil (for Apprentice, Journeyman and Expert fields) or Lórien Soil (for Artisan, Master and Supreme fields). Fields can produce additional rare items along with the crops. Some types of fields will yield rare ingredients for Scholars and Weaponsmiths, and some pipe-weed fields will yield necessary seeds for additional pipe-weed crops. It is also possible to harvest Cook critical success items regardless of the type of field, at a slightly higher rate than the other rare items.
Seeds are planted by Farmers in farmlands. Many, but not all, seeds can be purchased from Novice Farmhands and Expert Farmhands. Once planted the seeds will turn into fields, which can be harvested to produce crops. Crops can then be processed into ingredients for Cooks, Scholars, Weaponsmiths and Lore-masters (or anyone who wants to smoke!).
Fair Harvests are picked by Farmers from fields grown in farmlands. Well-tended fields are more likely to yield more harvests, as well as offer a better chance of receiving a rare item. Fair harvests can be turned into crops with the appropriate farmer recipe, and these are the majority of the ingredients needed by cooks. Cooks use the ingredients to create trail food, to cook food.