Recommendations: Permaculture Farming
Created by joanofradius, Airyn, and the DSV community.
Prompted by discussions of colonial-style American/Western agriculture in vanilla Stardew Valley, this is a list of mods and playstyle ideas designed for replicating (as closely as possible) a permaculture farm with sustainability practices. Note: these ideas are intended for people looking to try a different or more challenging gameplay style, rather than dictating how the game should be played.
Vanilla Permaculture Ideas[edit | edit source | hide | hide all]
This is a collection of ideas inspired by permaculture and sustainable farming practices that can be used in the vanilla game.
Monocropping refers to planting a single species in one area, which strips vital nutrients from the soil, leads to increased risk of blight and invasive species, and reduces species diversity. Instead of planting your whole farm or greenhouse with a single species, plant a diverse range of crops all year around, including in winter if using modded crops.
- Crop Rotation
Replanting the same crop in one location year after year also depletes the soil of nutrients, as well as damaging soil structures and increasing risk of soil erosion. Plant different crops in different spaces each round of seasons (for example, corn in Year 2 can't be planted where corn was in Year 1).
Additionally, since Stardew Valley has a reduced calendar year, try to alternate land use each season by planting grass starter or leaving the ground bare in the next season.
Deforestation increases soil erosion, damages soil structures, and removes natural systems for capturing carbon emissions from the atmosphere, amongst many other effects. Only cut down a limited number of trees each season, including both foraging trees and fruit trees, and replant replacement trees.
- Food Forest
Food forests involve planting crops around and alongside trees, grasses, and other multi-leveled crops so as to provide natural shade and ground cover and minimise weeds and pests. Intersperse diverse crops with grass and trees by planting crops around trees and intermingling trellis crops, low-lying crops, and grass starter.
Bees and other insect pollinators are an integral part of the plant reproductive cycle. Only plant crops within range of a beehive and plant flowers in and around crops.
- Animal Integration
Animals provide natural fertiliser and help to control pest insects and weeds. Integrate animals into the crop rotation cycle by moving their grass areas and build structures such as chicken moats to allow chickens limited access to crops. However, make sure that animals have separate feeding areas so that each has enough to eat.
- Organic Fertiliser
Chemical fertilisers are quick-acting, but weaken plants, destroy soil biodiversity, and leech into waterways and the water table. Instead of using store-bought fertilisers, only use self-crafted organic fertiliser.
- Companion Planting
Companion planting involves planting particular species near each other so that they assist each other by attracting pollinators, repelling pests, providing needed nutrients, providing shade, or other similar benefits. For example, planting corn and beans together is a beneficial relationship as corn provides shade while beans stabilise corn and provide nitrogen to the soil. Plant crops alongside others that will be beneficial. See What is Companion Planting? for a list of companion plants.
Modded Permaculture Ideas[edit | edit source | hide]
This is a collection of mods that can be used as part of a permaculture-centric game.
Author: Jamie Taylor / jltaylor1
To-Dew adds a to-do list which can be edited in-game and is displayed as an overlaid UI element. Keep track of your daily tasks and easily remember your planned permaculture rules.
Mulch adds a mulch crop that "grows" in only two days' time and is designed to prevent tilled soil from disappearing at the change of season. Use mulch as part of crop rotation by planting mulch after harvesting and leaving it in the ground for a season.
- Fiber and Cavecarrot Seeds
Fiber and Cavecarrot Seeds adds crop versions of fiber and cave carrots. Grow fiber for composting, crafting, and to reduce the amount of clearing needed for gaining fiber.
- BFAV Bulls
BFAV Bulls adds bulls as a new farm animal that produces manure which can be processed into high quantities of fertiliser. Use the bulls as an additional method of gaining fertiliser.
- Composter (JA and PFM)
Composter adds a new compost machine that uses sap and fish to produce quality fertiliser. Use the composter as an additional method of gaining fertiliser.
- Compost Pests and Cultivation
Compost Pests and Cultivation changes farming gameplay so that crops are at risk of being eaten by insects; weeds, hay, crops, and forage can be composted over a season; compost is required to counteract the negative effects of the soil having been fallow for so long; and producing seeds from crops gives them positive traits for better growth. Use compost to improve the soil quality and protect crops from insects.
- Better Fruit Trees
Author: CatCattyCat and Strobe
Better Fruit Trees (Original) / (Unofficial Update) allows fruit trees to grow even if there are other things in the 3x3 square around them that would normally prevent tree growth. Plant crops in the shade of fruit trees to create a food forest.
- Better Mixed Seeds
Better Mixed Seeds allows every seed to be found within the mixed seeds pool of possibilities, including mod-added crops. Plant mixed seeds to promote increased crop diversity.
- Early Seedmaker
Early Seedmaker changes the seedmaker so that it's gained at Farming level 1 and only costs 25 wood and 25 stone. Keep a portion of your crops for next year's seeds.
- JA Wind Turbine
JA Wind Turbine adds a wind turbine as a new craftable machine purchasable from Clint that produces battery packs. Use alongside the default solar panels for more renewable energy options.
- Fertilizer Anytime
Author: stoobinator / lefthandedkid
Fertilizer Anytime allows fertiliser to be applied to crops that are already growing. Craft fertiliser when materials become available instead of needing to hoard materials.
- Winter Grass
Winter Grass allows grass to survive throughout winter, with options to either halt or continue growth. Plant grass in fall so that it can provide ground cover in winter.
- Medieval Buildings
Medieval Buildings has retextures for the junimo hut so that it looks like either a pile of rocks or an old tree stump and a retexture for the well so that it looks like a pond. Add ponds and natural homes for wildlife around your farm.
- Growable Hedge and Rose Fences
Growable Hedge and Rose Fences adds growable hedges that can be used as natural fencing. Avoid manmade fencing and section off land into zones with hedges.
- Aquatic Plant
Aquatic Plant adds 18 new crops for wetland and river biomes. Plant alongside river and pond edges to match plants to their natural environment and promote natural spaces.
- BeachSide Plant
BeachSide Plant adds 16 new crops for coastal biomes. Plant alongside the waterline on a beach farm to match plants to their natural environment and promote natural spaces.
- Some Hybrid for Vanilla Crops
Some Hybrid for Vanilla Crops adds 22 new hybrid crops which use Hybrid Crop Engine to create crossbred varieties based on the vanilla crops. Promote crop diversity by encouraging natural hybridization.
- Crop Regrowth and Perennial Crops
Author: Strobe / strobel1ght
Crop Regrowth and Perennial Crops changes crop growing periods so that some can grow in winter and others will grow all year around. Plant perennial crops to reduce soil erosion due to over-tilling.
- Bonster's Crops and Bonster's Rare Crops
Author: Bonster / rjgilber
Bonster's Crops and Bonster's Rare Crops and Oddi-Trees both add a large number of new crops and trees and in particular add several species indigenous to North America. Plant native species to promote crop diversity and help restore soil nutrition.
- Sam and Vincent's Cola Shop
Author: Calcite / CopperSun
Sam and Vincent's Cola Shop adds a small shop run by Sam and Vincent in summer where they sell various small things, including Joja cola, forage, invisible seeds, trash, and decorative items made from recycled materials. Support community-led clean-ups and recycling endeavors.
- Custom Critters Insect Packs
Author: spacechase0; Various
Custom Critters allows for content packs to add custom insects and other wildlife to fly around the farm and town. See Recommendations:_More_Wildlife for a selection of content packs. Promote biodiversity and pollination by creating habitats for insect life.
- Beetle World
Author: Ru / JoannaGruesom3
Beetle World adds 13 types of beetles that can be raised as "crops". Increase soil biodiversity by using insects to break down decaying matter.
Additional Sustainability Ideas[edit | edit source | hide]
Any trash found must be recycled. Where possible, avoid stockpiling items unnecessarily and use items gained by recycling instead of crafting or buying new ones.
- Sustainable Fishing
Only catch a limited number of fish per day. The exception to this is Demetrius's bulletin board requests related to overpopulation.
- Sustainable Fashion
Don't buy shirts and only craft one clothing set per season. Re-dye clothes rather than crafting multiple sets.
Further Reading[edit | edit source | hide]
A selection of articles I found while looking up information for this list which may be of interest.