Best Healing from Farmed Food (Another Greenhouse Thread)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by gchristopher, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. gchristopher

    gchristopher Subatomic Cosmonaut

    With the nerf of Ancient fruit, fruit trees and hops have emerged as the most profitable items per available Greenhouse square, assuming you have a ridiculous number of kegs. A minor caveat to that is that if you are holding both a starfruit and hops and are standing in front of a keg, it's still smarter to put the Starfruit into the keg. But mostly, hops are the new super money crop. (Or rather, they were always a super money crop, but the other good ones have taken a beating.)

    But if you're the kind of person who pays attention to things like that, you may no longer view money as your biggest problem. What if your real problem is a rapidly diminishing health bar in the Skull Caverns? It might be worth considering how to best put farm space to use to produce the most health-replenishing food.

    For example, Autumn's Bounty restores 88 health and requires a Yam and a Pumpkin, whose growth together takes up 23 Days of occupied Plot space. (Plot-Days). So it's healing/farming efficiency is 3.82 Health/(Plot-Days), which isn't very good.

    For fish, animal, and foraging-based recipes, it's hard to work into this formula, but let's assume you're terrible at fighting and inhaling dozens of healing foods every trip. Or assume you hate petting animals. Either way, we won't attempt to include those recipes just yet.

    Using this metric (and limitations), here are the top few cooked foods:

    Bean Hotpot: 50 Health, 6 Plot-Days to grow, Efficiency: 8.33 (Also free, since green beans regrow)
    Eggplant Parmesan: 70 Health, 9 Plot-Days to grow, Efficiency: 7.78 (Also free)
    Fruit Salad: 105 Health, 14.33 Plot-Days to grow, Efficiency: 7.33 (Plus 80g of seeds)
    Vegetable Medley: 66 Health, 10 Plot-Days to grow, Efficiency: 6.6 (Plus 20g of seeds)
    Red Plate: 96 Health, 15 Plot-Days to grow, Efficiency: 6.4 (Plus 140g of seeds)

    But don't forget raw foods, notably:

    Hops: 18 Health, 1 Plot-Day to grow, Efficiency: 18.0 (Even better with Silver/Gold)
    Fruit (Any): 15 Health, 1 Plot-Day to grow, Efficiency: 15.0 (Reliably better with older trees)
    Blueberries: 10 Health, 1.33 Plot-Days to grow, Efficiency: 7.5 (Better with Silver/Gold)

    It's much harder to rate foods requiring fishing, foraging, or animal products, because those don't scale as easily as crops, but many other cooked recipes can be dismissed out of hand purely on the cost of their farmed ingredients. A few that might be worth considering, if you assume a surplus of their non-farmed ingredients, are:

    Farmer's Lunch: 80 Health, 4 Plot-Days to grow, Efficiency: 20? (Assuming free eggs+milk, which seems a stretch)
    Pepper Poppers: 52 Health, 3 Plot-Days to grow, Efficiency: 17.33 (Even with free cheese, not as good as raw hops)
    Spicy Eel: 46 Health, 3 Plot-Days to grow, Efficiency: 15.33 (And who really has unlimited eels?)

    If you go back to assuming unlimited Kegs, no-star Hops are slightly more Healthful, but Tipsy probably isn't worth it.

    Pale Ale: 20 Health, 1 Plot-Day to grow, Efficiency: 20 (Matching our mostly-free Farmer's Lunch above.)

    So, unless there's a rationale for considering foraged/fished/animal/purchased products to be significantly cheap and scalable, not only are Fruit Trees and Hops the most powerful economic choices, they also provide better health when eaten than any cooked food, per time*space spent producing them. And if the healing method requires purchases, you're back to the original goal of making money, so Hops and Fruit Trees remain the strongest Greenhouse option.

    Since both hops and fruit trees block movement, the next best health foods are Green Beans for Hotpot, Eggplant/Tomato for Egg Parm, and raw Blueberries. All three of those regrow and are in the neighborhood of half as good as eating raw Hops. (Yum yum!)
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    • Doc Savage NDMF

      Doc Savage NDMF Orbital Explorer

      How do the seed snacks compare to this..? For a bit of time in the morning I get a bunch of free seeds, combine together and get a snack. Also sells for $20 bucks, which is handy as the hot place in the very early game. If you cut the trees and leave the stumps while clearing your farm, you can pull 5-10 of each seed every day. For free. Eat, sell, just free stuff to sustain both you and your wallet. I'm curious to know how the time doing this versus the time tending an early crop compares; if that's something you can pull out of your "mathic" hat...
      • ShneekeyTheLost

        ShneekeyTheLost Black Hole Surfer

        That's some interesting math there.

        Cheese still beats them all. Even regular cheese heals 50, gold-star heals 90 which would probably put Iridium star somewhere around the 110-120 mark. Furthermore, once the infrastructure is obtained (barn, cheese presses, and cows), the end result is churned out (pun intended) effectively for FREE, on a daily basis. Oh, and because it takes a full season to age wine, but only a week to age cheese, it might actually be worth aging your cheese up to iridium star. With a pouch full of iridium-star cheese, even a swarm of flying eels won't be able to take you down!
        • gchristopher

          gchristopher Subatomic Cosmonaut

          I don't know how to define an equivalence between the cost of a cow (space for a barn, daily chasing-down-and-petting, milking, probability of actually having milk), and the cost of a farm plot. Same goes for harvesting seeds, especially in the early game when energy is at a premium.

          I can't make a definitive argument on whether animal/foraged food is better or worse than crop-based items. But it was very possible to eliminate many cooked items that require both crop and other ingredients, if the space*time or cost of the crop was such that even if the animal/forage was free, the cooked item still performs poorly.

          Since gold-quality fruit gives 27 health/fruit and doesn't require chasing down, I think you could make a solid argument that beats non-cask cheese. Summer hops can be fertilized, with 25/32 health for silver/gold, so that's a easily scalable option.

          Though, if you assume the infrastructure for quality cheese getting into the 100-ish/item healing range, that's another very late-game option. Sadly, I don't have any way to incorporate that into a consistent cost/benefit framework, though.

          I think the salient point is that there's at least SOME argument for using green beans, eggplant, tomato, and blueberries as filler crops for space between hops and trees, based on their food value, but even by that metric, fruit trees and hops are the clear winners.
          • Kickz

            Kickz Space Penguin Leader

            I opt for after year 1. I can get all the garlic I need for the year in just 4 days. The snails just roll in with a few crabpots on your farm.
            • gchristopher

              gchristopher Subatomic Cosmonaut

              Oh, yep! With free unlimited snails, Escargot has a Healing/(Plot*Days) of 22.5 for the crop cost. Nice. I'll update the OP.
              • ShneekeyTheLost

                ShneekeyTheLost Black Hole Surfer

                What chasing down? Cows stay in the barn. It's not an early-game solution, not until probably Summer or Fall of the first year at least, but once you do, you will be rolling in Cheese, which is 2-3 times healthier than fruit. Once you get a deluxe barn with 12 cows producing 10-12 milk per day, most of them large once you get up to five hearts, you will have more food than you will ever eat. You can also sell the surplus for a decent profit, although nowhere near as profitable as hops or trees.

                Gold Star cheese (from Large milk with no casking) at 90 health is a very serious contender. That's three, almost four times the health of a fruit. Save your fruit for brewing up profits, eat the cheese. Really, it's probably going to come down to either fruit trees, hops, or cheese, as you point out.

                Personally, I'd have one barn full of cows producing milk for churning into cheese, and use the greenhouse for maximizing profits with something like starfruit or ancient fruit as my filler crop.

                Also, you can't use green beans as filler, because they are a Trellis crop, just like hops. Eggplant, Tomato, and Blueberries, however, might be viable from a food perspective if you care more about food than about profits.
                • gchristopher

                  gchristopher Subatomic Cosmonaut

                  I can't make a quantitative judgment on crops vs. chasing cows around petting and repeating the milking animation and hoping this wasn't a cow you've already gotten. For me, it was sort of fun the first playthrough, but more of an annoying daily chore in subsequent games.

                  One thing I notice about cheese is that it's an extremely valuable product, with a high sell value relative to its healing amount. There might also be an argument that it's even better as a profit item than as a healing item. I did a quick search and didn't find any unlimited-purchase item from any merchant that would be an easy conversion from cheese-cash to healing.
                  • ShneekeyTheLost

                    ShneekeyTheLost Black Hole Surfer

                    I still don't know where you are getting this idea of 'chasing cows' from. There is no chasing. They're all in the barn. They have always been in the barn. They will always be in the barn. No chasing required.

                    Cheese is better food than profit, but you can do some of both if you like. 560 for Iridium Star cheese with Artisan isn't bad. In fact, it's quite good for a daily income. Sadly, your cap is around 12 unless you want to get a ton of barns. But 560 per day beats out Ancient Fruit, and even starts to rival Hops and Pomegranate trees in a greenhouse.

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