Welcome to Farming 101. Here you'll learn the basics of playing Harvet Moon: Back to Nature. Proper farming techniques, what not to do to your animals,
how to bag the girl of your dreams, how to finish the 3 year time span without getting booted off the farm and tips to maxmize your cash flow for every season.
Let's start with the basics: crops. Crops come in bags filled with 9 seeds, as with most Harvest Moon games you should plant them on an area of tilled soil that is 3x3 squares in size. The most important thing you must realize is that with your standard watering can you cannot reach the middle patch so you should take your ho and either use it to remove the seeds in that patch or on one of the middle patches on the outer rows. So they should looks something like the images below:
Once you have upgrade your watering can to at least silver you can reach the inside, but this is only useful for non-renewable crops. With renewable crops you still wouldn't be able to reach the middle crop since the plants would remain once you harvest them. It makes it quicker to water and harvest the plants if you are able to jump to the middle of the 3x3 grid. By doing so you are able to quickly water or grab 4 plants and it is less of a waste of daylight. Water the plants everyday and upgrade your rucksack and buy the basket from the General Store as quickly as possible. Having a larger rucksack will allow you to carry more crops which will eliminate a few trips. And that, as they say, is that.
Animals are your second biggest money maker. They are more complex then growing crops but you can have a steadier income from animals then you can from crops. As soon as you have at least 2,000 buy a chicken. Purchase the chicken for 1,500 and a few days worth of chicken feed. When buying the stuff always ensure that you have enough money left over to buy crops. The chicken will start producing eggs as long as you keep feeding her. Place an egg in the incubator to grow a chicken, and ship the eggs for a gain of 50. If you win the Chicken Festival your chicken will start to produce Golden Eggs which allegedly sell for 150, yet they don't always seem to sell for that much. You can throw your eggs into the side of the spa closer to the tree trunks and produce "Spa-boiled eggs". This is a good idea as a lot of the villagers like them and Popuri and Ann love them. You can upgrade your Chicken coop, details in The Extension section. Once you've upgraded you can buy the Mayo maker for 20,000 and a hunk of Admantite which can only be found in the Winter mine, info in the Mining section. Once you've earned at least 10-20,000 and have at least 5 bags of grass planted and cut, don't worry grass is eternally renewable, start buying cows and sheep. When the weather is nice keep them outside and you won't have to feed them, only brush and talk to them. If they aren't pregnant and are happy enter them in their respective festivals and if they win they will start to produce Gold milk and Gold wool. Keep in mind that if you leave them out in the rain they may get sick or if you miss feeding them they may get sick. This will cost you 1,000 to heal them and no that note when you leave them outside ensure that there is fully grown grass. If you leave them out without any grass to eat they will get sick. Thats about all you need to know on that subject.
If only the real world was like Harvest Moon...I'd be a pimp. Anyways, dating is important in this game as I will explain later in the "How not to get kicked off your farm" section of this page. The most important thing you must realize is that dating is important, but not essential. When it all comes down to it making money and caring for your farm is more important. But getting married is a way to keep yourself from getting booted off the farm at the end of your 3 year period. Anywho, this game makes it harder and easier then it has been in any previous Harvest Moon game. It's not so easy like in A Wonderful Life, where you can basically bag the girl of your choice in a week, but it's not so hard either. Unlike in most HM games that came before Back to Nature the gift giving system does not discriminate against multiple gifts a day. Simply put you can spend all day giving gifts and they will keep counting towards your total heart level. The secret to getting a girl in Back to Nature is giving them mass amounts of what they like and talking to them. Ann is the second easiest to make fall in love with you, as she likes Spa-boiled eggs and if you have chickens those will be in no way difficult to obtain. Popuri is also infatuated with Spa-boiled eggs making her a simple catch as well, Maria, oh sorry, "Mary" likes just about everything you pick off the ground. She likes Bamboo shoots, the different colors of grass and even poisonous 'shrooms. Elli is a little bit harder, unless you have a fully upgraded rucksack. Then she's simple, Elli loves all forms of flowers. So if you have a big rucksack just go to the meadow on Mother's Hill, grab 9 of the 15 some odd flowers in the place and give them to Elli. You can get her from black to purple in a matter of days and from purple to blue in roughly 6-8 days. Karen on the other hand is harder to bag. She likes almost nothing you can pick up off the ground, except for Truffles but those ship for a lot and you only get one a day during the fall, and she likes the expensive things. Karen likes wine and a few recipes you can make after you upgrade your house and have a kitchen. Of course you have to buy the cooking equipment first, so if you want to bag the best of the bunch, Karen, either give her items that she isn't all melty over and it'll take a bit longer or spend a lot of your well-earned money buying booze for her. Once you have the girl of your dreams up to Red heart and you have the fully upgraded home you can marry her by presenting her the Blue Feather which can be bought at both shops. Buy it from the General Store though, as Won overcharges. Once you've proposed the wedding will occur one week later.
Keeping the Farm
Ok, I know this is idiotic but apparently your grandfather didn't leave you the farm. He gave it to the village and they are only loaning it to you. And although the game says you inherit it they will still throw you off the farm that is legally yours if you haven't acheived what they see as rebuilding the farm. Anal retentive, I know. Ok, marriage is extremely important, since if you're married they won't boot your off the farm. But the best bet is to gain at least 30%, the amount can be seen on the top of the pause menu. Anyways the max you can gain is 98% and here's how it works: for every heart your horse and dog have towards you, you gain 1% so between the two of them thats 20%, for every heart your wife has towards you, you gain 1% so thats 10% from your wife. The same goes for your kid, and for every Power Berry you gain you get 1% so thats 10% there as well. For every animal you own you gain a % so thats a max of 30% from them and finally you gain 1% for every 8 succesful recipes you have in your recipe book. Thats all there is to it, but remember: the max you can get is 98% in some games and in some games 88% because the Power berries don't count for some reason. 30% is what you need, but aim higher.
Make money in every season
Money, money, money. Must be funny, in a rich man's world. Maximizing your profits is extremely important in HM and for 3/4ths of the year that will be done with crops. Spring is the time for turnips. Although turnips sell for less you can get more harvests out of them since they grow quickly and they cost less. It's your goal of the first Spring to have made at least 1,000, preferrably 3,000 or more so you can buy Pineapples for the Summer from Won. Before Spring is over have your collection of chickens started so you can make money off of eggs. Once you hit the last day of Spring go to the Inn after 1:00 in the afternoon to find Won. Buy however many bags of Pineapples you can afford, they go for 1,000 a bag, and plant them on the first of summer. Do this because there is a festival on the first day of Summer and you'll miss the chance. Pineapples will sell for 500 a piece and are renewable. You can get two harvests out of them so for one bag of them that is 4,000 a harvest and a total of 8,000 for the season. I always but at least 3 so I can make 12,000 a harvest and 24,000 for the combined season, for the first year anyways. In the second Summer I buy about 9 so I can make 36,000 a harvest and 72,000 a season. Anyways once you enter fall invest in Sweet Potatoes. Sweet Potatoes are fast growing and renew very quickly, they sell for 120 a piece. Also you can get a temporary part time job with the Vineyard to harvest grapes for 1,000 a day. For Winter you should have been preparing grass and cutting it for fodder since your only real means of money will be animals, unless you have a hothouse. Take good care of your animals in the Winter and keep them inside since there is nothing for them to eat outside. Enter the Winter mine to load up on Admantite and the other rare ores so you can upgrade your tools and have the Blacksmith make the Mayo maker, Cheese maker and Yarn maker. If you at least 20,000 I would suggest investing in either the Cheese Maker or the Mayo Maker since your Cows and Chickens will be producing milk and eggs to fuel the two machines. And that as they say is that, just stick to this advice for your first year and you should hopefully have at least 30-40,000. Unless you, like me, spend about 34,000 of it upgrading your farm and tools and buying gifts for Karen.