April 15, 2016 - stardew valley, stardew valley, guides

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).

General Information

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 Option Option
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).

Wild Trees

There are three types of wild trees in Stardew Valley:

  1. Maple
  2. Oak
  3. Pine

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.

Growing Trees

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.

Tree Tapping

A tapper can be crafted after reaching level three (3) foraging and requires the following materials:

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.

Item Tree Time Value
Maple Syrup Maple Tree 7-8 days 200g
Oak Resin Oak Tree 6-7 days 150g
Pine Resin Pine Tree 4-5 days 100g
Common Mushroom
Red Mushroom
Purple Mushroom
Big Mushroom ? 40g

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

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

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):

The average value of spring seed is 42.5g (5.3g/day).

Item Growth Time Value
Wild Horseradish 7 days 50g
Daffodil 7 days 30g
Leek 7 days 50g
Dandelion 7 days 40g

Summer Seeds

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):

The average value of summer seed is 71.6g (8.9g/day).

Item Growth Time Value
Spice Berry 7 days 80g
Grape 7 days 80g
Sweet Pea 7 days 55g

Fall Seeds

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):

The average value of fall seed is 57.5 (7.1g/day).

Item Growth Time Value
Common Mushroom 7 days 40g
Wild Plum 7 days 80g
Hazelnut 7 days 90g
Blackberry 7 days 20g

Winter Seeds

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):

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.

Item Growth Time Value
Winter Root 7 days 70g
Crystal Fruit 7 days 150g
Snow Yam 7 days 100g
Crocus 7 days 60g

Warp Totems

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:

Warp Totem (Mountains)

The mountains warp totem is available after level seven (7) foraging and can be crafted with the following materials:

Warp Totem (Farm)

The farm warp totem is available after level eight (8) foraging and can be crafted with the following materials:

Other Equipment

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.

Field Snack

The field snack is unlocked at level one (1) foraging and can be crafted with the following materials:

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.

Survival Burger

The survival burger is unlocked at level two (2) foraging and can be cooked in the kitchen with the following ingredients:

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.

Charcoal Kiln

The charcoal kiln is available after reaching level four (4) foraging and can be crafted with the following materials:

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 Rod

Lightning rods are available after reaching level six (6) foraging and can be crafted with the followign materials:

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 Totem

Rain totems are available after level nine (9) foraging and can be crafted with the following materials:

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).

Foraging Areas

The following items can be found throughout Stardew Vally during the specified seasons (particularly in the mountains, Cindersap Forest, and Pelican Town):

Item Spring Summer Fall Winter
Wild Horseradish Available - - -
Daffodil Available - - -
Leek Available - - -
Dandelion Available - - -
Spring Onion Available - - -
Salmonberry Available - - -
Spice Berry - Available - -
Grape - Available - -
Sweet Pea - Available - -
Wild Plum - - Available -
Hazelnut - - Available -
Blackberry - - Available -
Common Mushroom - - Available -
Winter Root - - - Available
Crystal Fruit - - - Available
Snow Yam - - - Available
Crocus - - - Available
Holly - - - Available

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

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).

Item Spring Summer Fall Winter
Coral Available Available Available Available
Sea Urchin Available Available Available Available
Clam Available Available Available Available
Mussel Available Available Available Available
Oyster Available Available Available Available
Rainbow Shell - Available - -
Nautilus Shell - - - Available

The Mines

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:

Item Spring Summer Fall Winter
Red Mushroom Available Available Available Available
Purple Mushroom Available Available Available Available
Cave Carrot Available Available Available Available

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:

Item Spring Summer Fall Winter
Morel Available - - -
Common Mushroom Available - Available -
Red Mushroom - Available - -
Fiddlehead Fern - Available - -
Chanterelle - - Available -
Holly - - - Available

Calico Desert

Calico Desert is unlocked by completing the vault (Reward: Bus repair) in the community center. The following items can 

Item Spring Summer Fall Winter
Cactus Fruit Available Available Available Available
Cocunut Available Available Available Available
Winter Root - - - Available
Snow Yam - - - Available

Closing Thoughts

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.