Stardew Valley Foraging Guide
Foraging is one of the five major skills in Stardew Valley. With a bunch of seasonal items, foraging is the process of gathering these goods.
Initially, I thought this guide would be the shortest and simplest guide in the Stardew Valley series but quickly found out that was wrong. Behind crop and animal farming, foraging has quite a bit to offer, especially considering that most foraging activies just kind of happen (unlike fishing, where you have to go out of your way to do).
Early in the game, you should find yourself spending most of your time foraging. It's rather lucrative and requires no energy (just time running around looking for items) and the beach is especially useful in the spring and summer of your first year. Once you've spent all of your energy tending to crops on your farm or mining in the mines, take some time to run around Pelican Town and the beach looking for goods.
Foraging is leveled by cutting down trees and each level increases axe proficiency by one (1), reducing the amount of energy spent by 1 at level 10.
To differentiate from fruit trees, this guide refers to pine, maple, and oak trees as wild trees. Unless fruit trees are specifically mentioned, assume any time this guide refers to a tree that it's talking about wild trees (pine, maple, or oak).
TLDR: Gatherer -> Botanist
Leveling foraging to level five (5) gives you an option between forester and gatherer. At level ten (10), if you chose forester, you'll have the option between lumberjack and tapper, or if you chose gatherer, you'll have the option between botanist and tracker.
|Level 5||Forester - Wood worth 50% more.||Gatherer - Chance for double harvest of foraged items.|
|Level 10||Lumberjack - Normal trees occasionally drop hardwood.||Tapper - Syrup is worth 25% more.||Botanist - Forged items are always gold quality.||Tracker - Locations of foragable items are revealed.|
Forester is a reasonable choice, any profession that increases the value of a good by 50% is always worth looking at; hardwood is also affected by it, but the biggest problem is that trees take a while to regrow so the benefit of the profession falls off rather quickly. In addition to that, lumberjack and tapper aren't very good level ten professions. Hardwood is easy enough to gather from the Secret Woods and tapper is a little too specialized (if it increases the value of oak and pine resin as well, it would be a somewhat different discussion).
Gatherer is the better choice for a few reasons: (1) the level ten professions are really good, (2) since foraging is finite every day, getting double yield occasionally is nice (especially for coral), (3) along with the second point, this makes it easier to craft items, and (4) gatherer affects crops grown with wild seeds (more on that later). At level ten, tracker displays arrows to lead you to foragable items (go to your settings and zoom out all the way instead), so the better level ten choice is botanist for two reasons: (1) it effectively says foraged items are worth 50% more since gold quality items are 50% of the normal value and (2) reduces inventory clutter dramatically (foraged goods always take up one inventory spot instead of up to possibly three).
There are three types of wild trees in Stardew Valley:
These trees can be found throughout the game and regrow every 7-14 days. After getting level one in foraging, trees occasionally drop seeds as you chop them down. These seeds can be used to craft field snacks or grow trees on your farm (more on both of those later).
Tree stumps do not regrow, so remove the entire tree, including the trunk, when chopping down trees. There is no reason to leave stumps as it really just blocks a tree from regrowing in that spot.
Unlike fruit trees, wild trees can be grown in a much more dense area. Only the area surrounding the seed needs to be clear and that area can overlap with other trees. This means that seeds can be planted in an "every other" pattern and trees will only have one space between them.
Once the tree is fully grown, you can place objects, paths, plants, etc. in that area.
A tapper can be crafted after reaching level three (3) foraging and requires the following materials:
- 40 wood
- 2 copper bar
Considering that seeds are dropped when cutting down trees and that tapping does not require a tree to be replanted, does not need to be watered, and produces year-round, this is a great way to make money on your farm without expending much energy.
|Maple Syrup||Maple Tree||7-8 days||200g|
|Oak Resin||Oak Tree||6-7 days||150g|
|Pine Resin||Pine Tree||4-5 days||100g|
Maple syrup is the most profitable tapped product. For crafting purposes, maple syrup is used to make bee houses, oak resin is used to make kegs, and pine resin is used to make looms.
Wild seeds are crafted during each season using a recipe that is unlocked as you level foraging. These seeds produce seasonal items (spring produces wild horseradish, daffodil, leek, and dandelion). All wild seeds take 7 days to harvest.
Note: Both the gatherer and botanist professions affect wild seed growing. This means you have a chance at double yield on harvest and all crops will be gold quality (essentially worth 50% more).
Spring seeds can be crafted after level one (1) foraging with the following materials and produces 10 seeds (can only be planted in the spring):
- 1 wild horseradish
- 1 daffodil
- 1 leek
- 1 dandelion
The average value of spring seed is 42.5g (5.3g/day).
|Wild Horseradish||7 days||50g|
Summer seeds can be crafted after level four (4) foraging with the following materials and produces 10 seeds (can only be planted in the summer):
- 1 spice berry
- 1 grape
- 1 sweet pea
The average value of summer seed is 71.6g (8.9g/day).
|Spice Berry||7 days||80g|
|Sweet Pea||7 days||55g|
Fall seeds can be crafted after level six (6) foraging with the following materials and produces 10 seeds (can only be planted in the fall):
- 1 common mushroom
- 1 wild plum
- 1 hazelnut
- 1 blackberry
The average value of fall seed is 57.5 (7.1g/day).
|Common Mushroom||7 days||40g|
|Wild Plum||7 days||80g|
Winter seeds can be crafted after level seven (7) foraging with the following materials and produces 10 seeds (can only be planted in the winter):
- 1 winter root
- 1 crystal fruit
- 1 snow yam
- 1 crocus
The average value of spring seeds is 95g (11.8g/day). Considering there is nothing else to plant in the winter, these seeds provide pretty good value.
|Winter Root||7 days||70g|
|Crystal Fruit||7 days||150g|
|Snow Yam||7 days||100g|
Warp totems teleport you to the stone statute in the given area. The beach totem warps you to the statue with the blue gem, the mountain totem warps you to the statue with the orange gem, and the farm totem warps you to the statue with a grey/sky blue gem.
The warp totems are especially useful when exploring the Skull Cavern/Calico Desert. You can spend an extra hour or two there when you have a totem with you to get back to your farm before the day ends at 2 AM (but it's best to get back before 1 AM).
Warp Totem (Beach)
The beach warp totem is available after level six (6) foraging and can be crafted with the following materials:
- 1 hardwood
- 2 coral
- 10 fiber
Warp Totem (Mountains)
The mountains warp totem is available after level seven (7) foraging and can be crafted with the following materials:
- 1 hardwood
- 1 iron bar
- 25 stone
Warp Totem (Farm)
The farm warp totem is available after level eight (8) foraging and can be crafted with the following materials:
- 1 hardwood
- 1 honey
- 20 fiber
In addition to the tapper, wild seeds, and totems, foraging allows you to craft a few other items, like field snacks, charcoal kilns, and lightning rods.
The field snack is unlocked at level one (1) foraging and can be crafted with the following materials:
- 1 acorn
- 1 maple seed
- 1 pine cone
This recipe is particularly useful during the first half of your first spring before berries are readily available. Field snacks provide 45 energy and 18 health and basically allow you to endlessly chop down trees. Use field snakcs to make the best use of your time early on in the game when energy tends to be an issue.
The survival burger is unlocked at level two (2) foraging and can be cooked in the kitchen with the following ingredients:
- 1 bread
- 1 cave carrot
- 1 egg plant
It's not particularly useful because it shows up too late in the game. While is provides +3 foraging, by the time you can make us of survival burgers, you won't need to worry about your foraging level.
The charcoal kiln is available after reaching level four (4) foraging and can be crafted with the following materials:
- 20 wood
- 1 gold bar
The kiln produces one (1) coal after placing ten (10) wood and waiting 30 minutes of in game time. This equipment isn't particularly useful since it's easier to just farm sprites in the mines for coal, but if you don't like the combat system in the game, the kiln gives you a reasonable way to get coal without buying it.
Lightning rods are available after reaching level six (6) foraging and can be crafted with the followign materials:
- 1 iron bar
- 1 refined quartz
- 5 bat wings
These rods make a battery pack 24 hours after getting struck by lightning, which sell for 400g (a solid return for almost no effort). You'll want to make a handful of these since battery packs are used to craft iridium sprinklers and crystalarium.
Note: Lightning rods do not prevent anything on your farm from getting struck by lightning.
Rain totems are available after level nine (9) foraging and can be crafted with the following materials:
- 1 hardwood
- 1 truffle oil
- 5 pine tar
Rain totems are a little too costly for the effect it provides. It's only marginally useful when upgrading the watering can, but that's a stretch (just watch the weather report and upgrade based on that).
The following items can be found throughout Stardew Vally during the specified seasons (particularly in the mountains, Cindersap Forest, and Pelican Town):
In addition to the generic items that you find in Stardew Valley, there are a few special areas in the game. The beach and mines are available very early in the game, while the Secret Woods and Calico Desert need to be unlocked.
The beach is found south of Pelican Town and an area to the east of the beach can be unlocked by reparing the bridge with 300 wood. This area often has large amounts of coral, sea urchin, and oyster (especially after storms).
The mines in the northeaster part of Stardew Valley and is unlocked around the 5th day of spring. The Mines has the following items available all year round:
The Secret Woods
The Secret Woods are located west of Cindersap Forest and can be unlocked after clearing the fallen log with a steel axe.
In addition to the items below, six stumps can be cleared every day for up to twelve (12) hardwood and a various amount of slimes can be found:
Calico Desert is unlocked by completing the vault (Reward: Bus repair) in the community center. The following items can
All in all, there's a lot more to forgaging than what the game initially describes. Making a small amount of trees on your farm available for tapping goes a long ways, especially for bee farming and brewing.