[The Minecraft Diaries is an on going editorial that focuses around living through the highs and lows of the Minecraft world. Follow Geoff as he begins the game as a newbie to discover, create, and ultimately tame this incredibly deep game. New entries are posted every week.]
So last week, we built a real home. It wasn’t pretty, but it was functional, it was something that we created ourselves, and, overall, it worked out pretty well. Obviously, as you explore your own single player game you’ll probably have bigger and bolder ambitions for your home, but for the purposes of this series, what we’ve created looks pretty good.
Today, we’re gonna focus on something that most people probably don’t ever really think about, but it’s honestly one of the integral parts of the game if you plan on doing any open exploration at night. I mean, if you go out at night you’re gonna get hurt and the only thing that will heal you is food. So let’s get to farmin’!
Alright, so here we have our future farmland. It’s right next to our current walls in that sand area that we didn’t quite cover up the last time when we were extending our walls and building our home.
I chose this area primarily because it’s already sunken in a level which means I won’t have to dig anything up, I can just fill the area. The process is much faster this way.
Anyway before I start this I’m going to need water. Water is required to do any sort of farming. In order to get water, since I don’t have a water source nearby, I’m going to need to make a bucket.
The first thing we need to do to make a bucket is find and smelt some iron ore. This will turn the iron ore into iron ingots which can then be used to make items.
As you can see, arranging the ingots in a sort of bowl shape will make us a bucket which can then carry water. The picture is slightly misleading. The above ingots will actually make two buckets, not one. We’ll need two buckets of water to save on time.
Alright, now that we’ve got our buckets, let’s go find some water!
Now, when you start your journey to find water it’s extremely important you do one of these things:
1. If you fancy yourself good at directions, leave and head in a strait line away from your home. No not deviate from your line.
2. Use torches or some other obvious item that can be used as a breadcrumbs trail to get you back home.
Minecraft is huge, it’s beyond huge in fact. Getting lost is not difficult to do and if that does happen, in some cases, you’re better off just starting all over from scratch.
Anyway, continuing on.
After a short distance walking in any direction you should come across some sort of body of water, be it the ocean or a small lake/pond. Either way, it’s more than we need.
Actually getting the water is a simple process, just take your bucket and right click on the body of water and now you’ve got a filled bucket. Easy-peasy.
Now that both are full we’ll return home.
Okay so we’re back home and we’re just about ready to start on our farm but, unfortunately, it seems to be getting dark. It probably wouldn’t be the wisest thing for us to begin building our farm when monsters are on the precipice of spawning all over the place.
This is fine though, we’re gonna need more resources to build our farm anyway. Let’s use this opportunity to stock up.
Okay, it’s morning again, we have plenty of stone and dirt for today’s main event. Just to give you guys some further perspective this is where our farm is going to be.
Now, again, before we can actually start building our farm we are going to need yet another integral item: seeds.
So let’s head back inside and make ourselves a hoe. A hoe is not typically an item you’ll use very often, but it’s required to farm and get seeds.
Now that we have our hoe — which actually looks more like a sickle — we can begin tilling the fields to get seeds. This is a fairly simple process. Just find any grassy area and start clicking away. This does two things for you:
1. Every so often a seed will pop out. These seeds allow you to grow and harvest wheat.
2. You can only plant seeds on tilled land.
Okay, so you can see that we’ve kind of ravaged all the grass out here looking for seeds. It looks bad for now, but it’ll grow back and we’ve gained quite a few seeds because of it.
Now, seeing as our farm is going to be out here, and we’ll definitely want to be in there at night, we’ve got to extend our wall, yet again. You’ll be doing a lot of this in your game.
Wah-la. There’s our walled farmland. It’s not particularly pretty, but, then again, we’re not going for aesthetics in this series. This is functional, and it’ll work to keep the baddies out. Plus we can begin farming and tilling at night now.
Now that we’ve got our farmland, we need to make sure that the water has someplace to flow. That means irrigation canals. As you can see, the design I used was fairly simple. We don’t have much water, so we needed something small. This design will work perfectly and allow us to plant the most crops with the least amount of water.
Actually filling the channels is an important task. We need to make sure that the water flows as much as possible throughout the entire irrigation canal, but, as you can see, our current water only makes it so far before drying up.
Also take note, water never just goes away. We don’t have to worry about this water drying up. The only thing that can happen is if we take it away ourselves.
Be sure to also take a look at your soil as you’re doing this. Make sure all of your irrigated land is actually wet. Plants won’t grow in dry soil. Luckily the differences are fairly obvious.
Alright, so now our channels are filled! We’re ready to actually begin farming!
Notice how the area I’m standing on is different from the area the seeds are planted on. That’s the slight difference between normal dirt and tilled soil.
Also, and this is going to sound completely bizarre, those torches aren’t just there to supply me with light while I farm. Believe it or not, but plants can grow at night, you just need to make sure torches are close enough to give them what I call “firelight UV.” That said, I believe the plants still grow faster during the day.
And we’re done! Everything is planted and we have a nice little farmland going… but crap! I completely forgot to place more torches along the walls. We can do this but it’s just going to be slower. Make sure when you walk over your plants that you hold the “Shift” key to sneak. If you run over your plants you can destroy them.
And now we wait… Plants can take upwards of two full Minecraft days to be ready to harvest.
Still waiting. You can see some small growth in some of the plants.
Slowly, but surely.
We’ve had some serious growth in the last day or so, but they aren’t done yet so let’s keep waiting.
As you can see the plant nearest me on the left is brownish. This means it’s ripe and ready for harvest. But before we do that let’s give the others just a few more minutes.
Couple… more… minutes.
Okay well this is close enough, let’s just begin harvesting what we can.
Now, to harvest, just use any tool and take a swing at any ripe plant. As you can see, when we hit this one not only did we get some wheat, but some seeds also popped out. This ensures it so that we can always replant when we need to and we won’t have to go searching through grass again to do it.
Now that we’ve got wheat, we can make that into bread. One row of three pieces of wheat will make a single loaf. A single loaf of bread will cure two hearts in your health bar. This means we now have food to survive during the night should we decide to go out.
And, finally, just for some perspective. Here’s an overall view of the farm we’ve created. Not too bad eh?
So, now that we have our home, we have our mine, and we have our farm, we’re ready to explore the final frontier, so to say. Next time on “The Minecraft Diaries” we’re taking ourselves beyond the wall. We’re gonna go spelunking, and we’re gonna fight some zombies, spiders, and everything else that prowls the night. Which means we’re gonna need more food, armor, and weapons.
It’s gonna be fun episode. Stay tuned.
[Try/Buy, The Minecraft Diaries]
Read: The Minecraft Diaries: Building a Real Home [Part 3]
The Minecraft Diaries: Exploring and Surviving [Part 5]