Ferme du Vieux Chêne

When I say ‘In the next post’ it doesn’t usually mean that literally. But on this occasion I need to continue the story because we are about to reach a key point in the farm’s development. But first, lets talk about March.

The first week of March and, with some early weeds growing on other farms, spraying jobs have started to appear. I hired equipment and took on one of these jobs in a large field using a Berthoud sprayer…

…It’s a nice bit of kit! But a bit beyond my budget and needs currently although, with this job type reappearing, I should probably purchase a smaller one for my farm. When I completed that work, it was back to my own field.

I wanted to sow Oats in my field in the first week of march and looking at the in-game weather forecast, that was the best week for sowing anyway. With as much of the preparation work done as seemed reasonable, I loaded up my Amazone seeder and set to work…

…You may be wondering what that green bar and orange wheel on the left are. That’s a ridge marker and many items of farm machinery are fitted with them. It provides a guide for where to position the tractor for the next row. In the case of this Amazone seeder, you have to line up the centre of the tractor with the mark in the soil. On others you may need to line up the wheel nearest to the previous row. They are a handy guide to doing the sowing job efficiently but are less reliable on uneven fields and with bulky pieces of machinery. For example…

…This potato sower I used on a hire job has only left intermittent marks to guide me.

I took a fertilizing job after sowing my crop before bringing the spreader back home and applying the first coat of fertilizer to my own field. Then I bought my own sprayer, because it is only a matter of time before I will have weeds of my own to contend with!

There are a number of options in the game including back-pack and towed types. There are also some mods. I opted for one of the mods – the Kverneland iXter B18…

…a back-pack type. It holds 1800ltrs of kill-juice and you can opt for 3 different maximum widths – 18m, 24m and 28m. I chose the 24m version and opted not to buy an additional tank. Above, I’m spraying another farmers weeds.

I now have just about all the machinery that I need to run my farm. But the cost has meant that I still only have the one small field. I did 2 potato sowing jobs in mid-March and then hit the ground running at the end of March with a glut of fertilizing jobs…

…The spreader putting in a good stint. That pushed my money in the bank up to €60K – a long way from the amount I will need to buy that next field and get a shed for my equipment. I think by now I have shown just how much of a grind playing on the Start From Scratch setting is on this map. I could continue in much the same vein as I have so far, detailing job after job through the rest of this farming year and into the next before I get to buying that next field, etc. – but it will be highly repetitive and I think that is not ideal for a blog post. How can we change that?

There are a number of options. Firstly, I could go into the game menu and change the Economic Difficulty setting…

…The fact that you can do that suggests that Giants recognise that players may need to alleviate the grind while still wishing to start from scratch with very little money. I’m not going to do this (at least not yet!). Another way is through a mod called ‘Government Subsidy’…

…Quite a reasonable option given that the European Union does have farm subsidies. I might try that in future – possibly on another farm if I’m running a series of story posts😉 Yet another option would be to buy some generators – Solar and Wind are available to add to your farm. They give hourly returns too but they cost money – which is what I haven’t got. Again, something for a future farm! There is a final option that will give a one-off cash boost. It’s finding the collectables on the map😎

Collectables are an in-game bonus of sorts that used to be in Farming Simulator 17 but were not implemented in 19. They have returned to FS22. They take the form of toys on the US map and game cartridges on Haut-Beyleron. Each one you collect will give you €50K. So, after a morning’s fertilizing, I decided to spend my lunchtime seeking out some of these to boost my finances.

It’s amazing what you find as you wander around the map looking for the collectables – there are a number of Easter Eggs like this shopping cart full of stale Baguettes…

…I found another baguette elsewhere half buried in concrete🤣 Anyway, here’s one of those games cartridges…

I collected 6 which has given me a €300K boost. There are 14 more out there but I don’t need that money just now, so I’ve got what I came for and it’s time to get back to farming👍

That afternoon I bought field 14 across the tracks from my farmhouse…

…If you look closely at the mini-map in the bottom left you can see both my fields with blue numbers. I spent the rest of the afternoon removing the stones before heading home across the railway line…

I will begin April by building my vehicle shed on the land behind field 14 and hopefully I can build a workshop in my current yard too. Then it will be time to sow a crop in my new field. To be continued in a few irl day’s time😉

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