Farming: Gathering, Crops, Irrigation & More

Agriculture is among the most important primary industries in OC, and farming is generally needed to feed any significant population.

Summary

  • Foods and drinks in OC are items, and, like all items, they are comprised of materials.
  • Most food and drink items call for some fruit, vegetable, or grain material that’s derived from farming or gathering.
  • Crop plants function identically to wild plants in OC.
    • They begin life as seeds in the ground, sprout into small plants, and grow according to the species’ growth pattern.
    • They require certain temperature, moisture, and elevation conditions to thrive.
    • Like all plants, crops can be harvested. This yields raw materials that can be used in manufacturing.
  • Any plant species can be farmed. While common crops, like grains, are designated as such, there’s nothing stopping you from gathering cactus seeds and building a cactus farm to mass produce cactus juice. Tree farms for lumber or tree fruit can be made or grass farms for animal feed can be made. If you can plant a seed and create the conditions it needs to grow, you can farm it.
  • Water pipes can be used for irrigation in dry climates. If a plant is located next to water pipes and needs water, that water will be drained from your water grid and used to grow the crop. Crops can consume large amounts of water, and water supply can be one of the prime challenges to operating in an arid environment.

Farming Strategies

Like most activities in OC, there’s a good deal of strategy that goes into farming. You’ll have to select the right crops to grow based on the climate you’re expedition inhabits and the cultural and personal preferences of your expedition personnel. You can dedicate vast resources to building elaborate gardens full of exotic plants, or you can farm just enough grain to make gruel for your workers. There is no single best approach, and you’ll have to weight options when deciding what’s best for your expedition.

Planting Crops

The mechanics of planting crops are simple. First, select the crop planting tool from the toolbar, pictured below.

PlantCrops_Icon

Next, select the locations in the world where you want the crops to be planted. When you’ve selected the locations, the seed selection interface will appear. It’ll show you all the plant species that your expedition can grow from seeds and is based on the plant seed content of your expedition’s stockpiles.

Seed_Selection

Seed selection in crop planting.

Once you’ve clicked OK, NPCs with the farming activities enabled will get to work planting. When a location has been successfully planted with the crop, its ground cover will changed to tilled dirt. Inspecting the tile will reveal the presence of a planted seed.

Planted

Results of crop planting. Note the presence of seed and the tilled earth.

As long as the conditions are suitable for growth, the seed will germinate and a sprout will appear. Over time, this sprout will grow into a mature plant that can be harvested for its materials.

Harvesting

Expeditions will automatically create orders to harvest mature crops, simplifying the management of cultivated areas. If you want to explicitly direct the gathering of plants, you can use the harvest tool and click on plants that you want harvested.

Harvest_Icon

This is particularly useful for harvesting wild plants. Some wild plants, like the oorel bush, can yield fruits and vegetables of their own. The screenshot below shows the result of harvesting an oorel bush, which has yielded both oorel berries and seed. The berries can be gathered and used in food preparation, and the seed can be gathered and used as the basis for starting wild berry farm.

Harvested_Bush

Results from harvesting a wild oorel bush.

Irrigation

While some hardy crops, like zronen, can grow in dry conditions, most desert farming will require irrigation. This is accomplished by building rows of pipes, connected to your water supply, and planting crops alongside them. Water will automatically be drawn from the pipes as necessary to supply the crops. An example of irrigation in farming can be seen in the video at the top of this article.

Posted in Industry