The Minecraft Guide – 03 – Farming and Cooking
By Micah Moen
Minecraft is an enormous and expansive game
built on surprisingly simple mechanics, but with a lack of tutorials it can be confusing
for many newcomers. Follow me William Strife as I cover the basics
to the advanced of crafting, surviving, and building; welcome to the Minecraft guide. How you spend your first night in Minecraft
is up to you, no matter if you choose to expand your house, dig some mines, or maybe walk
away from the computer to get a cold one. Once the sun rises and the night ends though
you want to establish a steady food supply. There are multiple ways to gather food which
range from hunting, to fishing, to foraging, to farming. To start off there’s hunting, which is simple
and easy enough all you have to do is kill pigs, cows, or chickens; each animal drops
some sort of meat which you can either eat raw, or cook in a furnace.
Be warned though, some foods when eaten raw, like chicken, are likely to give you food
poisoning. Now while hunting is effective it isn’t very
reliable, at least not unless you corral and breed the animals.
Fishing is also an option, but it requires a bit of patience.
You first have to create a fishing pole out of sticks and string, which is dropped by
spiders when you kill them, or cobwebs when you cut them up with a sword.
With a fishing pole in hand right click while facing a body of water to cast a line, and
click again when the bobber dips. If you do it right something should come flying
out of the water at your face. What you get can greatly vary though.
The fish you can acquire range from a plain fish, to salmon, puffer-fish which are both
poisonous and used for alchemy, and clown fish which are a type of trophy for their
rarity. Alternatively though you can also dredge up
lots of other random junk, some of which is useful while others just a waste.
Just like real fishing though you can easily spend a lot of time simply sitting around
waiting for a bite. Foraging is also another option.
When destroying the leaves of trees every once in a while apples will drop.
There’s also collecting mushrooms, both brown and red, which can then be combined with a
bowl to create mushroom stew. The most reliable, and honestly best method
though is farming. In the long run it requires the least amount
of work, but the start up takes quite a bit of effort. Farming requires two things, a hoe and seeds.
To find seeds you need to cut or punch tufts of grass, which will occasionally drop seeds
when destroyed. You then right click dirt blocks with a hoe
to till the land, and pant the seeds by right clicking with them.
The crop will grow over time, and yield wheat, which can be turned into bread, a decorative
haybail, or used to breed some animals. When the crop is a distinct golden tone you
can harvest it, but if you don’t wait long enough and harvest too soon you won’t get
anything. That’s the basics of farming but there a some
details that can greatly increase the efficiency. The first thing is crops grow faster when
they’re hydrated, and one block of water will hydrate four blocks of farmland in every direction,
even diagonal. You can move and carry water with an iron
bucket, for which this is the crating formula. If you don’t have any iron don’t worry that’ll
be covered in another guide. You can pick up or dump water by right clicking
with the bucket. Only still standing water can be scooped up
though, as flowing water cannot be put into a bucket.
The second thing to know is farmland and crops can be trampled by you, animals, and monsters.
Just so long as nothing jumps on the crops there shouldn’t be a problem.
To be safe though it’s a good idea to fence off or enclose any crops you plant, as well
as properly light them to keep mobs from spawning on them.
Now a farm’s layout, or the pattern that crops are planted in, is a question of speed vs
volume. Crops grow fastest when planted in rows or
columns with bare farmland left on either side.
This takes up a lot of space though, which is the price for growing crops quickly.
Alternatively an ultra compact farm takes up much less space and produces more crop.
The trade off for this layout is how, when farms aren’t planted in rows or columns and
flaked by tilled soil, they take nearly twice as long to mature for harvest.
In the end if you’re not certain which way to plant a farm then stick to the rows and
column layout. It has the fastest turn around, which will
help you in the event you find yourself with nothing to eat.
No matter how you plant though, make sure the fields are completely lit up.
Because like being watered they’ll also grow fast when bathed in light. That’s everything for how you set up a farm,
but there’s one small caveat depending on what biome you call home.
If you spawn into a jungle or snowy tundra, there are extra things to know.
In the jungle you’ll be forced to do a certain amount of landscaping before you can make
a farm. The reason being that there’s simply very
little open ground in a jungle biome. As for snowy locations standing water will
freeze solid, preventing the farmland being hydrated.
To keep the water from freezing you’ll need to place a torch on a block right next to
the water so it stays warm. Now moving on, while wheat is all good and
well there are other plants you can grow as well.
Carrots and Potatoes, which grow just like wheat, are also an option.
On average they take roughly the same time to mature as wheat, with the final stage being
distinguishable by the very top of the pant barely showing above the soil when it’s ready
for harvest. Before you can plant ether though, you have
to find them. The best bet is to locate an NPC village,
as it’s very likely the crops they grow will include carrots and potatoes.
However, it’s also possible, though relatively uncommon, for zombies to drop either when
killed. As far as uses go both carrots and potatoes
can be eaten, but potatoes can be cooked in a furnace so they restore more health, and
carrots can be used for breeding pigs and brewing potions.
Don’t worry both breeding a brewing are covered in detail in separate guides. Next up are pumpkins and melons.
Unlike wheat, potatoes, and carrots, pumpkins and melons grow in a slightly different manner.
They still conform to the same basic rules, having to be planted in tilled soil and growing
faster when watered. The distinct difference though is how they
require two blocks of dirt to grow; One for the seeds to be planted on, and another for
the pumpkin or melon to appear on. Also after harvesting them you can turn the
resulting pumpkins and melon slices into seeds by just placing them in a crafting slot.
Finding the first seeds to grow these plants though can be a bit more difficult.
Pumpkins can be found growing randomly around the world, while melons are restricted to
spawning in jungle biomes. Another way to acquire the seeds though is
by finding them in random loot chests in abandoned mines.
The last thing to cover is uses. Pumpkins can be used to craft jack-o-lanterns,
a source of light that works underwater. Pumpkins are also used to craft pumpkin pie,
which will be covered in a moment. As for Melons, you can obviously eat the slices,
but they can also be used to craft potions, and once again more on that during the alchemy
video. Now for how to farm an item that serves many
purposes, Sugar Cane. Sugar cane, also sometimes called reeds, bamboo,
or papyrus, only grows immediately near water and on shorelines.
Finding it can sometimes be difficult, especially in certain biomes.
Unlike other crops reeds don’t need to be planted on tilled land, and will only grow
when placed on a grass, dirt, or a sand block immediately next to water.
They’ll grow to a maximum height of three, and can be harvested at any time.
As far as uses for sugar cane go there are many, or more specifically it can be crafted
into things that are used in many recipes. Reeds can be turned into one of two things,
sugar or paper. Paper is used to make things like books, and
subsequently plays a major role in enchanting, which will be covered in detail in another
video. Sugar on the other hand can be used as both
an alchemy ingredient, and for crafting special foods, which brings us to some of the more
unique types of foods in Minecraft. If you’re interested in baking unique foodstuffs
to eat then these next three crafting recipes should have your attention.
First is pumpkin pie, which requires sugar, an egg, and a pumpkin.
If you don’t know how to find eggs don’t worry we’ll tackle that in just a minute.
Next are Cookies, which you need wheat and cocoa beans to make.
Cocoa beans are harvested from cocoa pods that hang off of jungle trees.
You can also plant your own cocoa pods by right clicking jungle logs with the beans,
no water required. You can’t plant them on any log though, coaco
beans will only grow on jungle logs. Also the pods will only yield multiple beans
when they are mature, and are orangish brown in colour.
Finally there’s the lie- I mean the cake, which is made of milk, sugar, wheat, and eggs.
Now eggs are produced by chickens at vaguely random intervals.
Every five to ten minutes they’ll pronounce an egg, and they’ll never drop eggs when killed.
As for collecting milk, all you need to do is right click a cow’s udder with an empty
bucket. Now gathering eggs and milk is all good and
well, but it can be a bit of a problem when there are no chickens or cows randomly hanging
around your base. Which is why it’s a good idea to raise livestock,
but that’s a subject for another video. That’s everything there is to farming in Minecraft,
but there’s plenty more to cover when when it comes to food and animals.
If you’re interested in raising livestock for additional food and craftig materials,
then check out the next part of the Minecraft guide.
Until then though I’m William Strife of the Yogscast, and a Minecraft expect I’ll see