Farming in Stardew Valley VS Farming in real life

G'day to ya!

As you may or may not know I am a farmer in the Northwest and Stardew Valley is a game about farming in a region largely based off of the Northwest, and so, Stardew Valley really made me feel at home playing it for the first time...and really any time after.

However, Stardew Valley does not hold itself up well in terms of accuracy, as you may have already guessed, this is a thread and post dedicated to educating people on the differences between farming in Stardew Valley and farming in real life.

Also, in no way is this a criticism towards the game, I really don't care if it's inaccurate to actual farming, this is all for fun and also to teach folks a thing or two about agriculture.

An obvious inaccuracy is the seasonal growth of crops and plants, for the most part, concerned ape got the seasons in which plants grow correct, and in a simple farming game like Stardew Valley, that's all that has to matter, however in real life, the time plants are planted and harvest is largely the same, in which during the summer and spring a farmer will plant the seeds, and it's only during the fall when they all grow. When it comes to seasonal crops like Cauliflower, Corn, and Pumpkins, this is usually the case, Cauliflower is often planted in the Spring, and becomes mature in the late summer or early fall, Corn and Pumpkins are planted in early summer and become mature in late fall, this is why fall is often referred to as the harvest season, as most crops become harvestable in the fall.

However, in real life, it is never that simple. In Stardew Valley, growing crops isn't all that difficult, keep the plants watered and rid of any critters and crows and she'll be grand. Now you'll remember I mentioned about how Cauliflower is planted in spring and harvested in late summer, but this is implying that the cauliflower even grows to begin with. Cauliflower is a sensitive plant and demands a consistent temperature, so this is why most farmers (Myself included) start growing cauliflower in early spring inside a greenhouse, early spring is far too cold for cauliflower in the northwest but it is economically smart to grow in early spring to get crops ready to harvest early and ready to sell, so greenhouses are very helpful in that regard, but even this doesn't guarantee the growth of the cauliflower, cauliflower is difficult to grow, even some of the most experienced farmers have trouble with it. It is a popular saying that if you can grow cauliflower, you can grow everything, which I believe to be true.

Corn is also a tough crop to grow, corn is a type of grass that requires good pollination to grow well, the yellowest corn is the corn that got the best pollination. So how do you maximize corn pollination? Well, unlike flowers and some other crops, corn doesn't get pollinated by bees and other pollinators, instead, they get pollinated in their early stages in life, pollen gets blown by the wind and into the soil that corn is growing, and this is why farmers tend to plant corn in flat open areas without trees or cliffs blocking them (though keep in mind that just about all plants have specific ways to be planted and cared for) corn also demands a good bit of nitrogen, it was always interesting to me why you couldn't toil the soil and plant seeds on grass tiles in the game because planting crop seeds in the grass is sometimes the best option depending on the crop you're planting, corn, for example, grows better with grass, and a simple way of growing corn would be to shovel up a tuff of grass, flip it over and then plant the corn seeds after that.

Now, this post is getting quite long, so I think I'll end it here, but I still have so much I want to talk about in terms of the farming aspect in Stardew Valley, so I will hopefully post more after this, I implore you to give topics or ask questions about the farming aspect, and how it differs from real life, now I'm no expert, in fact, I don't even own a farm anymore, but I will try my best to give you the things I have learned from my years of experience, from animals to orchards, until then, I hope you have a good day, and that you learned something interesting.:wchicken:
 
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With the upcoming update that'll include banana trees, is that technically possible in your region IRL?
No, and that goes for Orange trees as well, they are tropical fruits that only grow south of the equator, Stardew Valley has overly tropical summers so maybe it's not too hard to believe the world that Stardew Valley takes place in has a very wacky and weird climate for one region to hold the summers of El Salvador and the winters of Finland.

However, every other fruit tree in the game is possible to grow in the Northwest, though some trees may feel more at home than others. On the topic of fruit trees, one thing about them in Stardew Valley is how long they take to grow, about a month or more to grow, which makes sense, trees should take a long time to grow, however, it isn't at all close to the usual 6 years it takes for most fruit trees to grow in the northwest, and sometimes that time can be stretched out to 10 or even 15 years (Fun fact: For many people, working on an orchard is a good retirement plan, usually planting the seeds the appropriate time in advance, and they plan out the rest of their work years so that when the trees finally mature, they are ready to retire and work the rest of their days in that orchard) That time frame is often why people prefer to buy orchards rather than build a new one from scratch. You'll never see a local farm owning animals, crops, and fruit trees all in one, that is far too much work and far too costly in real life, which is why orchards are their own thing for people to farm and require completely separate skills to that of crop farming.

Something I found interesting about Starfruit in the game is that it's a crop, which is interesting as in real life star fruit grows from trees in tropical regions, it makes sense from a gameplay standpoint as star fruit are quite special, but compared to real life it may just be the most inaccurate thing related to farming in Stardew Valley.

Some other crops that realistically wouldn't be able to be grown in Stardew Valley are crops such as Rice, Melons, and Coffee.

I hope that answers your question and more! :wchicken:
 
Thank you for your insight! What do you think is the most accurate thing in the game?
That rainy days are the most glorious and happy days because you don't have to do any farming work.

I don't own a farm anymore, but I still own a garden and for the past few days it has been raining, which was great for me as I didn't need to manually water the crops.

When it comes to watering crops, it's a lot more complicated than pouring some water with a watering can and then calling it a day, in real life, even if you're starting off small, using a watering can isn't the best option, a farmer must learn about the watering preferences of the crop before manually watering it with a can, and it can be hard to be consistent, and you may be thinking that this is the reason why you would use sprinklers other than being efficient, but no, most farmers don't use sprinklers, instead we use underground watering systems, which water the roots of the crop, it isn't automated but it works great, and does a good job at water each crop well and consistently. :wchicken:
 

jellobean

Farmhand
Thank you for sharing! This is a really fun and interesting thread to read

I assume another inaccurate aspect might feeding all farm animals the same food? Also wondering if people actually keep different farm animals in the same building.
 
Thank you for sharing! This is a really fun and interesting thread to read

I assume another inaccurate aspect might be feeding all farm animals the same food? Also wondering if people actually keep different farm animals in the same building.
To answer your first question, you are correct! Hay does work as food for the majority of the animals in the game, and the only animal that actually eats hay as a common food, is the animal that you don't need to feed, your horse. Technically speaking, some of the animals can eat hay, but in real life, it's not the food you should be given to them, for cows, you should always feed them grass, and often times its regular growing grass out on the stable, the grass that cows eat turns into good fertilizer for the land on the other end, and, while I don't hope to ruin vegetables for you, I will say that natural fertilizer for most crops is animal droppings, aside from fertilizer and cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens all eat differently...oh, and rabbits and ducks as well...just don't ask me about
dinosaurs
because believe or not I have no idea how to farm those. Sheep eat grasses as well as cows, pigs eat whatever you give them, as they need good variety in their diet to stay healthy, chickens also eat anything, but most farmers get a special chicken feed from stores, rabbits eat specific vegetables, none of which are carrots, as carrots are unhealthy for rabbits, and ducks also eat a specific list of vegetables, none of the animals I mentioned would like to eat hay.

For your second question, you definitely could keep different animals in the same barn, and some ranchers do this, but usually different animals are kept in separate barns or at least separate areas in one barn, different species of farm animals aren't violent towards others, but they are wary towards each other and often keep away, it stresses them out usually if you make them live together, however, as I have briefly mentioned before, you could definitely house different animals in the same area and they would be fine, they just have to be really chill with each other. I say it's also important to note that animal farms (which are different to ranches) will only house one species of animal, the milk you drink comes from a milk farm that only holds cattle, and the wool you may wear comes from wool farms with only sheep. Now for some people, farming rabbits for wool may seem silly, many people think rabbits as pets to be loved up and be cute, but a surprising accuracy about Stardew Valley is that rabbit wool farms are real and have been a practice for thousands of years, if you've ever been to a ranch or an animal fair, you'll see cute fluffy bunnies, just hanging out, and they are held with other bunnies to be sheared for wool. I've never held rabbits of my own, nor have I ever worked for farmers that own rabbits, but I've certainly seen it at animal fairs, which by the way is one traditional celebration I felt was missing from Stardew Valley, every year in most rural areas (Including my own) the county holds a contest on the most productive animals in the county, though I suppose Pelican Town doesn't have enough ranchers for something like that. :wchicken:
 

Anhaga

Sodbuster
With the upcoming update that'll include banana trees, is that technically possible in your region IRL?
No, and that goes for Orange trees as well, they are tropical fruits that only grow south of the equator, Stardew Valley has overly tropical summers so maybe it's not too hard to believe the world that Stardew Valley takes place in has a very wacky and weird climate for one region to hold the summers of El Salvador and the winters of Finland.

. . .
SNIP
. . .

Some other crops that realistically wouldn't be able to be grown in Stardew Valley are crops such as Rice, Melons, and Coffee.
Actually, this depends on what part of the PNW you're in. I live in the southern end of the Willamette Valley in Oregon, and our USDA hardiness zone is 8a or 8b, depending on the year. We can grow hardy bananas here (I have neighbors about a block away who have multiple banana trees in their yard). Properly care for, you can also keep some varieties of lemon alive and producing, but it does take some specific methods. You wouldn't be able to grow either of these things in quantity, however, unless you had a really big greenhouse (I think it would be nice if CA restricted bananas to greenhouses).

We are also able to grow melons in specific parts of the PNW--I've got cantaloupes sprouting in my garden right now (yes, direct seeded) and my watermelons should sprout soon, I hope--we've had a rather weirdly wet and chilly spring. I'm pretty sure that some varieties of rice would also grow here; rice is a very versatile plant. The PNW has a pretty impressive array of microclimates, though; less than an hour away, the climate is two hardiness zones different.

In general, though, NickelPlateRoad, you've hit on a lot of things that make me twitch when it comes to farming in Stardew. The garlic growing in 4 days is a real I wish--I've had garlic taking up garden space since November. I hope to pull it before the end of the month, as it's just starting to show the signs that it's ready. Planting seasons overlap, and I have to say that I wouldn't mind that being part of Stardew, along with the ability to transplant some crops, or get a head start on them by starting them in the greenhouse. The occasional pest incursion would also add to the realism. I hate slugs SO MUCH. My kale is taking twice as long as it should to get to a good size because slugs.
 

Anhaga

Sodbuster
To answer your first question, you are correct! Hay does work as food for the majority of the animals in the game, and the only animal that actually eats hay as a common food, is the animal that you don't need to feed, your horse. Technically speaking, some of the animals can eat hay, but in real life, it's not the food you should be given to them, for cows, you should always feed them grass, and often times its regular growing grass out on the stable, the grass that cows eat turns into good fertilizer for the land on the other end, and, while I don't hope to ruin vegetables for you, I will say that natural fertilizer for most crops is animal droppings, aside from fertilizer and cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens all eat differently...oh, and rabbits and ducks as well...just don't ask me about
dinosaurs
because believe or not I have no idea how to farm those. Sheep eat grasses as well as cows, pigs eat whatever you give them, as they need good variety in their diet to stay healthy, chickens also eat anything, but most farmers get a special chicken feed from stores, rabbits eat specific vegetables, none of which are carrots, as carrots are unhealthy for rabbits, and ducks also eat a specific list of vegetables, none of the animals I mentioned would like to eat hay.
I've raised all the types of animals present in Stardew except sheep (and the spoiler-that-shall-not-be-named), and I have worked with sheep in non-farm settings. Rabbits do eat hay! For domestic rabbits, good-quality timothy hay with the occasional alfalfa supplement is the best base for their diet (the modern habit of feeding rabbits mostly on pelleted hay isn't great). It's also good to give them a range of leafy herbs (but not brassicas!) as supplements; when I had rabbits, mine were particularly fond of cilantro and dandelions. So cows, horses, rabbits, sheep, and goats could all be fed on hay with no problem; all need different sorts of dietary additions depending on their purpose (higher calorie grain-based feeds for animals that are being used for work, milk, or being fed up for meat), but grass and grass hays are the main base of their diets, and they all love fruit and veg for treats. All of these animals except rabbits can also be housed and pastured together without much difficulty so long as they're properly introduced. I wouldn't keep pigs with the other large animals because of their tendency to dig holes--horses and cows might break a leg. The pigs we had were really really good at digging up rocks and small trees, though. It could be fun to get to set pigs loose on a part of the Stardew farm that was covered with debris and come back every evening to gather loose rocks and pieces of wood that the pigs had dug up.

Chickens and ducks nowadays are generally fed a formulated pelleted or crumble diet. Left to their own devices, though, they both eat a range of plants and insects and sometimes small animals. Chickens will chase down, kill, and eat mice, small lizards, and small snakes. They also love getting to dig through compost piles to pick out insects and bits of leftover human food. Ducks are champion slug eaters; I would love to set ducks loose in my garden right now.

One of the things that strikes me the most about all the animals in Stardew is that they don't wander into your garden and eat your crops if they or the garden is left unfenced. That is utterly unrealistic . . . you all don't want to know the sort of havoc that can be wreaked on crops by wandering livestock (or, heck, even just a single meandering chicken).
 

Anhaga

Sodbuster
G'day to ya!

As you may or may not know I am a farmer in the Northwest and Stardew Valley is a game about farming in a region largely based off of the Northwest, and so, Stardew Valley really made me feel at home playing it for the first time...and really any time after.
What did you farm, when you were still in it, Nickel?
 
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I've raised all the types of animals present in Stardew except sheep (and the spoiler-that-shall-not-be-named), and I have worked with sheep in non-farm settings. Rabbits do eat hay! For domestic rabbits, good-quality timothy hay with the occasional alfalfa supplement is the best base for their diet (the modern habit of feeding rabbits mostly on pelleted hay isn't great). It's also good to give them a range of leafy herbs (but not brassicas!) as supplements; when I had rabbits, mine were particularly fond of cilantro and dandelions. So cows, horses, rabbits, sheep, and goats could all be fed on hay with no problem; all need different sorts of dietary additions depending on their purpose (higher calorie grain-based feeds for animals that are being used for work, milk, or being fed up for meat), but grass and grass hays are the main base of their diets, and they all love fruit and veg for treats. All of these animals except rabbits can also be housed and pastured together without much difficulty so long as they're properly introduced. I wouldn't keep pigs with the other large animals because of their tendency to dig holes--horses and cows might break a leg. The pigs we had were really really good at digging up rocks and small trees, though. It could be fun to get to set pigs loose on a part of the Stardew farm that was covered with debris and come back every evening to gather loose rocks and pieces of wood that the pigs had dug up.

Chickens and ducks nowadays are generally fed a formulated pelleted or crumble diet. Left to their own devices, though, they both eat a range of plants and insects and sometimes small animals. Chickens will chase down, kill, and eat mice, small lizards, and small snakes. They also love getting to dig through compost piles to pick out insects and bits of leftover human food. Ducks are champion slug eaters; I would love to set ducks loose in my garden right now.
Rabbits eat hay, I'll admit I've never heard of such a thing, and you are right with chickens and ducks, I was going to add in my original post about how some farmers give their chickens food scraps and sometimes let them out of the pen into the garden, for me, I do a mix of both, chickens are the only animals I currently still own.

What did you farm, when you were still in it, NickPlateRoad?
When I was a full-time farmer working in a full-time farm, it was mostly wheat and corn I farmed, and one horse that I used to ride (Who I really miss) but that isn't really where I gained my experience from, most of my experience comes from helping out on other farms, you see I sold my farm a long while ago to get enough money to take a trip around different places around the world, when I came back I took the time each year to help as many local farmers as I could with work, that's why I know a thing or two about most type of farms.
 
Actually, this depends on what part of the PNW you're in. I live in the southern end of the Willamette Valley in Oregon, and our USDA hardiness zone is 8a or 8b, depending on the year. We can grow hardy bananas here (I have neighbors about a block away who have multiple banana trees in their yard). Properly care for, you can also keep some varieties of lemon alive and producing, but it does take some specific methods. You wouldn't be able to grow either of these things in quantity, however, unless you had a really big greenhouse (I think it would be nice if CA restricted bananas to greenhouses).

We are also able to grow melons in specific parts of the PNW--I've got cantaloupes sprouting in my garden right now (yes, direct seeded) and my watermelons should sprout soon, I hope--we've had a rather weirdly wet and chilly spring. I'm pretty sure that some varieties of rice would also grow here; rice is a very versatile plant. The PNW has a pretty impressive array of microclimates, though; less than an hour away, the climate is two hardiness zones different.
That definitely sounds more possible to do near Eugene than in the rocky, uneven, cold lands of the Columbia river...maybe it's not impossible. I've worked on banana plantations in my fatherland of El Salvador before, so I'm curious, what is like growing bananas in Southern Oregon? I imagine it's difficult and the bananas that produce wouldn't be the same as bananas in the south.

I've actually grown melon in the pacific northwest before, so I don't know why I listed that as something you wouldn't be able to, thank you for pointing that out.

Oh, and no need for formalities, call me Nickel.
 

Anhaga

Sodbuster
That definitely sounds more possible to do near Eugene than in the rocky, uneven, cold lands of the Columbia river...maybe it's not impossible. I've worked on banana plantations in my fatherland of El Salvador before, so I'm curious, what is like growing bananas in Southern Oregon? I imagine it's difficult and the bananas that produce wouldn't be the same as bananas in the south.

I've actually grown melon in the pacific northwest before, so I don't know why I listed that as something you wouldn't be able to, thank you for pointing that out.

Oh, and no need for formalities, call me Nickel.
Yeah, Eugene's microclimate is pretty mild! I'm still getting used to snow being unusual . . . my expectations got messed up when I spent about a decade living in the Great Lakes region of the US with its lake effect snow. My in-laws live in Klamath Falls, so we get to go over the mountains to the cold bits a few times a year.

I'm not sure what kind of bananas the neighbors are growing. The plants are really gorgeous in the summer; they get really tall and the leaves are huge. I've never seen them harvest the fruit that appears so it might be one of the ornamental bananas. Whenever we get our first hard frost, the plants die back to the roots.

Apparently there are a lot of bananas that can handle zone 8? I just did a quick search and found this list at Willis Orchards: https://www.willisorchards.com/category/banana-trees There's even Cavendishes on that list!

When we start putting in fruit trees, maybe I'll buy a banana or two! That could be a neat thing to have, even if it takes some coddling.
 

Anhaga

Sodbuster
Rabbits eat hay, I'll admit I've never heard of such a thing, and you are right with chickens and ducks, I was going to add in my original post about how some farmers give their chickens food scraps and sometimes let them out of the pen into the garden, for me, I do a mix of both, chickens are the only animals I currently still own.


When I was a full-time farmer working in a full-time farm, it was mostly wheat and corn I farmed, and one horse that I used to ride (Who I really miss) but that isn't really where I gained my experience from, most of my experience comes from helping out on other farms, you see I sold my farm a long while ago to get enough money to take a trip around different places around the world, when I came back I took the time each year to help as many local farmers as I could with work, that's why I know a thing or two about most type of farms.
Chickens are pretty awesome little creatures, though vicious. We're saving up to get a secure enough pen to keep the chickens confined and the random critters out . . . once we've got that set up, we're going to get some chicks. I lost too many chickens to foxes when we had land in Virginia, so I'm a little paranoid now.

And I hear you on missing your horse! I grew up with equines--we had a horse, a pony, and a bunch of riding mules--but I haven't ridden in 20 years. Some day I hope to have the resources to have a horse or mule again. I miss riding.
 
Chickens are pretty awesome little creatures, though vicious. We're saving up to get a secure enough pen to keep the chickens confined and the random critters out . . . once we've got that set up, we're going to get some chicks. I lost too many chickens to foxes when we had land in Virginia, so I'm a little paranoid now.

And I hear you on missing your horse! I grew up with equines--we had a horse, a pony, and a bunch of riding mules--but I haven't ridden in 20 years. Some day I hope to have the resources to have a horse or mule again. I miss riding.
Interesting, all the chickens I've taken care of were all pretty chill, the hens at least, the roosters were out for blood, currently, I only own two ameraucana chickens, Olivia Grant and Lola Lee, though I consider them to be like pets rather than farm animals.

I loved my horse, William I called him, and he was someone to talk to when I lived alone...and still do, he's still alive, just somewhere in an El Salvadoran ranch with my family, I haven't had a chance to visit since.

Anyhow, back to the main topic of this thread. :wchicken:
 

Anhaga

Sodbuster
I just had another difference between Stardew and real life occur to me: squirrels and rabbits. Also crows.

Those cute little squirrels and rabbits that periodically dash up or away from trees in Stardew are, in real life, an utter menace to gardens. They will eat your plants, dig them up, randomly bury other seeds in your garden bed (I have so many oak seedlings popping up in mine right now!) . . . they are terrible, evil little garden chaos monsters. Crows, on the other hand? The worst problem I've had with crows is that they will try to hide food in my garden beds by placing it on top of the dirt and covering it with leaves or dried grass. Very, very occasionally one of my crow neighbors gets into a snit about something and yanks at one of my plants while yelling at the top of his/her little crow lungs. They don't really bother the plants or seeds otherwise, though. Not like squirrels and rabbits. My husband has a vendetta against both; the only reason they're safe in our yard is that we live in the city and we are not allowed to take them out (and eat them; both are pretty tasty).
 

SgtPickles

Farmhand
As someone who works in game development / game design, and lives on a farm on the very edge of the greater Seattle area, I'm glad Stardew Valley is not accurate when it comes to how farming really is. This would make the game more of a simulation, than a video game. While a game should reflect real life, it should only do it to a certain degree. It's a balance between something relatable, and something that is simple and fun. Of course, the definition of a "fun" video game will differ from person to person.

To contribute to how real life farming really is, I'll throw in the biggest thing that most don't exactly think of: How messy, smelly, and potentially livestock is. Even ducks and chickens (though, these are not so dangerous, more smelly than anything). These little dinosaurs (YES, THEY ACT LIKE LITTLE DINOSAURS WITH ALL THEIR BEHAVIORAL B.S.) poop quite often. Currently, I have Indian Runner Ducks roaming the farm to control the invasive species of slugs that are in the PNW. These slugs eat our crops, so we have ducks eating the slugs. As you imagine, they also produce eggs so it's a two-for-one deal.

The real smelly, messy animals are the larger livestock. Cows, horses, etc. Cows can be the worst in terms of smelly my experience, especially if they're not being fed correctly. Cows can also be extremely dangerous. You do not want one stepping on your feet. This is an animal that weights 1600 lbs / 720 kg. They can attack you, if they feel threatened. If they have calves I would avoid them.

Horses, though not as smelly from my experience, fall into the category of smelly, but more so dangerous as they are not fully-domesticated animals. A farmer that handles horses must know about the biology (and psychology) of a horse to a certain degree in order to handle the horse safely. For example, their eyesight is unique, where they can see almost everything around them. Up to 340 degrees to be specific.



But only 65 degrees of this is Binocular Vision, everything else is a monocular vision. This means at the sides their depth perception sucks and can be very unreliable. This can get dangerous for you, as if you were to approach from the very edges of the side you will appear larger than normal to the horse. If you approach from behind, silently, you will get kicked and the horse will defintely get spooked. Depending on the breed, they can weigh from 840 lbs to 2200 lbs (380 kg to 1000 kg). A lot of that weight is muscles. They can trample you, but you're more likely to be injured / killed by their kick. IIRC, best method of approach is from the frontal side, walking calmly and calling out to the horse (announcing you're there). Do not approach the horse in a speedy manner.
 

Anhaga

Sodbuster
Horses, though not as smelly from my experience, fall into the category of smelly, but more so dangerous as they are not fully-domesticated animals. A farmer that handles horses must know about the biology (and psychology) of a horse to a certain degree in order to handle the horse safely. For example, their eyesight is unique, where they can see almost everything around them. Up to 340 degrees to be specific.

. . . snip . . .

But only 65 degrees of this is Binocular Vision, everything else is a monocular vision. This means at the sides their depth perception sucks and can be very unreliable. This can get dangerous for you, as if you were to approach from the very edges of the side you will appear larger than normal to the horse. If you approach from behind, silently, you will get kicked and the horse will defintely get spooked. Depending on the breed, they can weigh from 840 lbs to 2200 lbs (380 kg to 1000 kg). A lot of that weight is muscles. They can trample you, but you're more likely to be injured / killed by their kick. IIRC, best method of approach is from the frontal side, walking calmly and calling out to the horse (announcing you're there). Do not approach the horse in a speedy manner.
If by "smelly," you mean smells wonderfully of horse, sure (poop is poop, of course, and that always smells a little even if it's herbivore poop). I suppose that is a smell that takes some time learning to like . . . I grew up with horses and mules, and I miss the way both types of equines smell (they do smell different, interestingly). :happy:

With horses and their blind spots, it can be a good idea to think of moving around them as being like moving around a busy commercial kitchen; you never want to sneak up on anyone, and you always want to make your presence known so that nobody backs into you when you're carrying something hot, delicate, sharp, etc. With horses, making noise as you approach so they're aware of your presence without being surprised is always a good thing. If they're your horses, and they like you, that can have the beneficial side effect of having them recognize that it's you so they don't go on alert. Horses on alert are dangerous even when they don't mean to be.

One of the things that I've always found interesting about horses and cattle is that even though they're big, they're relatively non-confrontational unless they're trying to protect something/someone. Stallions "defending" their status and territory are jerks, and mares defending a foal can be very dangerous. Same goes for bulls and cows. If they're not protecting something, though, they're really easy to herd around simply by making noise and waving your arms. So long as they don't get cornered, they'll just keep moving away from you. I learned pretty early on in life to move our equines around with voice and body movements even though I was a lot smaller than them!
 

Jack Of Shades

Sodbuster
This is actually interesting, and I understand the farming vs digital aspect to the game. I grew up in the south [Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida] and I'm around farms and such quite a bit. So I had family that used to farm and I would see how it was done. Tomatoes, corn, purple grapes, melons, cauliflower etc. And I enjoy this topic because it's really cool to understand the differences and learn a little something!
 
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