2.3 - First expansion
(a) Growing crops
As you saw, there are many more animals you can add to your farm and each one has it’s own particular requirements when it comes to food. In order to raise other animals you will also need to grow various crops and make certain products to support them.
The next animals we will have on out farm will be pigs but before we rez them we need to get the farm ready for their arrival since pigs don’t eat grass but do eat slop!
To make slop we need to grow some vegetables and we will start with potatoes. In the platform you will see two patches of soil a square one (SF Square Field) and a rectangular one (SF Small Field) which is the one we will be using.
Touch/right click it for the menu. You will notice that there are both the options Water plant and +AutoWater here (similar to the feeders) and you may choose to turn on the auto watering rather than having to do all the watering yourself. The choice is yours (since you can easily turn auto watering on and off you can try both ways and see what suits you).
Touch to get the menu and select Plant and you will see a list of all the plants this field supports. Select Potatoes and you should see them start growing. Plants go through three stages, the first being New. During this stage there isn’t much to do apart from make sure they stay watered. The percentage after new shows how far through this stage the plant is.
Follow the above to plant some Corn in the SF Square field (again there are lots of things you can plant, but corn is the one we will need soon !)
At this point there isn’t much else left for you to do – your animals hopefully are still happy and your potatoes and corn are growing. Now all we need do is to wait...
If you can’t wait you might want to skip to the next chapter and play around with some of the options available for animals!
(b) Nurture & Harvest
As we mentioned above, the first stage plants go through is New. After that they move into Growing. At this stage you can speed things up by adding manure. Manure comes from certain animals when they are adult, plus also from the compost bin. As our animals are still children, they don’t yet give us any manure, however you may notice that you do have a manure pile showing 4% The default setting for this store is to give you ‘portions’ of 2%, so we can take two lots of manure from here if we wish.
If you wish to speed up the growing process, touch the SF Basic Storage and from the menu select Get Product. From that menu select Manure. Then, like we did for the buckets of water from the well, touch the manure sack and it will move towards you and then follow you. Go and stand near the small field then touch it and from the menu select Add Manure. The manure will be added to the plant and you will see the percentage against the Growing stage increase. Depending on how far it was with the growing, it may hit 100%. If it doesn’t you can always add one more lot of manure, but do remember that’s all we have for now. Sometimes patience is most definitely a virtue when it comes to farming!
A short time after the crop gets to Growing 100% it will change to Ripe. Once ripe we can collect our harvest at any time. If we wait to long though and it gets to Ripe 100%, then a short time after that it will perish and we will get a Dead plant, which we don’t really want, so do keep an eye on your crops and harvest them any time during the 0 to 99% range. There is no advantage to harvesting them early or later other than perhaps helping you regulate how you manage and store items. Just make sure you do touch the plant and from the menu select Harvest before they die!
Once you have harvested from a plant, it’s ready for you to plant again. For the small field you can plant some more potatoes or if you fancy a change, plant some tomatoes.
You may notice there is an option for +AutoHarvest and if you select this then plants will automatically harvest themselves and then start growing the same item again.
(c) What to do with harvested items
When you harvest from a field, the crop appears above and you can move it around by touching it and having it follow you. Touch again to put it down.
IMPORTANT: Do not take crops into your inventory as they will become unusable.
Instead if we aren’t going to use the crop right away we can store it.
If you haven’t already, touch the potatoes so they follow you and go stand next to the SF Basic Storage. Then touch the storage unit and from the menu select the Add Product button. It should automatically detect the potatoes and show that as an option. If you don’t see it then you need to make sure the bucket of potatoes is close to the storage unit.
Click on the Potatoes button to have them added. You should see the value for potatoes go up by 2%. Congratulations, your first harvest!
The basic storage (as it’s name suggests) only holds the few items you will need with your basic farm. You may notice Meat and Skin as yes, animals do eventually die, hopefully from old age and nothing else if you treat them well!
As you grow your farm there are additional storage units you can add (in fact there is one platform just for storage items!) but for now the basic storage is all we need.
If you recall, we mentioned we were getting ready to have some pigs on our farm. Pigs eat slop which you can make from, amongst other things, potatoes. So let us have a go at making some!
(d) Making things
As well as rearing animals and growing crops, making things is an essential skill for being a SatyrFarmer! There are a huge number of things you can make but we will start with something basic but essential which is our slop.
We are going to use the SatyrFarm Kitchen to make our slop.
All ‘machines’ work the same way – we touch them for a menu, select the item we wish to make, then add the required ingredients. For some machines, we then have to sit at the machine to make the item but for others, such as in this case, we can leave it to make it by itself.
Start by touching the SatyrFarm Kitchen to get the menu and then click on the Make… button. This lists all the things that can be made but for now we just click on the Slop button.
You will then get a menu with buttons for all the ingredients that are required. At first glance you may think that it takes a lot of things to make slop! But actually if you look at the floating text above the SatyrFarm Kitchen, you will see that some items are shown together separated by ‘or’.
So for slop, we see we can make it with a bucket of water (which we get from the well) and a bucket of potatoes that we can take back out of the storage unit.
Touch the well to get the water, touch the bucket to bring it to you. Touch the Basic Storage for menu and select Get Product the select Potatoes. Again touch the potatoes to have them move close to you.
Make sure both those items are close to the cooking pot and then add them by clicking on the appropriate button (if the menu isn’t showing, just touch the SatyrFarm Kitchen again to bring up the ingredient buttons).
As we don’t need to do anything else, the slop should start cooking and we can see it’s progress.
When complete we will get our slop rezzed ready for us to either use or to put into storage.
You probably have it figured, but just in case, click the slop to have it follow you and then stand near the Basic Storage, touch the storage and add the product.
Depending on your patience level you can now turn more potatoes (or tomatoes) into slop and then store away, or just take a chance you have enough and move onto getting your pigs!
You will find the Pig Feeder near the windmill. Touching it will bring up the menu and you will see that it has options to add water and slop plus options to turn on auto water and auto food. Auto water, as before, takes water from the water tower but what about the auto food option? Well that is configured via a notecard that you can adjust (we will cover that in the next chapter) but for now we will go with it’s default setup which is to take slop from the Basic Storage.
So as long as you have enough slop in store, the pig feeder will automatically top itself up. Note though that unlike the ‘magic’ of water, you need to grow crops, harvest them and then make slop and store it away for the auto food mode to work. Now you see why we started with animals that like grass!
Actually we can reduce our workload even for auto food by using the NPC Farmer – more of that soon!
Okay so lets rez a couple of pigs. Like before, stand close to the pig feeder (or move the animal rezzer box close to it) and select Rez… button then Pigs.
Hurrah – our farm is really taking shape now!
At this point it’s worth mentioning that, just as in real life, expanding your farm is something probably best done gradually.
If you rez to many animals to start with you may not have enough food. If you try and grow to many crops at once, you may run out of water and so on.
That said, if things go horribly wrong, you can always delete and start again – such is the joy of virtual systems!
This work by Buzzy Cnayl is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://satyrfarm.github.io/