30 January 2016

Starting a New Farm in Family Farm Seaside

Last updated on 17 April 2016

Starting a New Farm
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Whether you are a veteran farmer who wants a second farm or a new farmer, the business of creating a new Farm may offer some challenges, especially if you are the sort of player who wishes to participate in every option as quickly as possible.

Having created a new farm recently in order to improve my guide, I became reacquainted with many of the difficulties a new farmer faces.

First of all, you really need to link your farm to a Facebook account. Recently, the rules of Facebook appear to have relaxed with respect to multiple accounts with the advent of the ability to use Facebook and be anonymous.  Creating a new Farm linked to Facebook will give you a reward of 4 RC immediately.  It will allow you to switch farms on a single device if that device is a Kindle simply by logging in and out of Facebook when you are logged into Family Farm Seaside.  Finally, for all those farmers who named their farms, 'Please Like!', it is important to recognise the fact that without being linked to Facebook, YOU CANNOT LIKE ANY NEIGHBOUR FARMS.  This is an option that is available only to farmers who have linked their farms to Facebook.  The avatars on FFS that show only a blank blue silhouette are Farmers who have not connected their farms to Facebook. They can be good neighbours but they will not be able to 'like' your farm.

The initial challenges that a new Farm will face include lack of funds and lack of Neighbours.  You can obtain Neighbours more easily now by using the new Drift Bottle option.  it is available I believe when you reach Level 5... certainly not at a very high level if later... and will remain available until you have obtained a total of 100 Neighbours.  it then disappears from the centre top of your screen.  It is an improvement to the game, and a way to connect to other farmers throughout the world.  Unfortunately, many of the Neighbours gained through this method are new farmers and most of them do not continue to play the game.  You therefore need to make certain that the Neighbours you obtained with the Drift Bottle do not become inactive.  A little golden horn is found on the top right of the screen of your Neighbour's farm if he/she has become inactive.  There are two stages of inactivity that are indicated.  The first is a lighter horn for players who have not played for 3 days.  The second is a darker horn for players who have not played for a fortnight or more.

The other way to obtain Neighbours is by joining a group on Facebook.  My Family Farm Seaside Freyashawk Group was created precisely in order to provide a list of good, active Neighbours for other Farmers, whether new or veteran.  Any one is welcome to join.  Simply do a search for it on Facebook and then ask to Join.  I try to access the group on a daily basis so you should not have long to wait.

Note:  If your Facebook Account is a recent one created simply to give you access to a second farm, you will not have any 'history' on Facebook.  If you send me a private message letting me know this is the case, I will approve your request to join the group immediately.  Otherwise, I may be reluctant to admit an individual who has posted no photographs of himself/herself and no personal posts on Facebook... one does not wish to admit hackers or people who join the group only to attempt to spam it with advertisements or unsafe links.

Family Farm Seaside Freyashawk Group
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Neighbours are an issue for many new farmers.  If you connect through Facebook, you can send requests to your Facebook friends, but I do not like to trouble my friends with requests for games if they do not play games.  You can share your Farm I.D. in a post on Facebook or you can join a Facebook group and share it there.  I have created a little Facebook Group for Family Farm Seaside simply for the purpose of publishing the Farm I.D.s of my readers on this site...  So look for a Family Farm Seaside Group called Family Farm Seaside Freyashawk and add your ID there if you wish.

Basically, success in Family Farm Seaside now is very much influenced by Neighbours and money, both Coins and RC.  You need Farm Aids to progress quickly and these can be purchased in the Market or obtained in the Cleaning Gift Boxes that you receive either from Neighbours who visit your Farm and clean your cleanable Decorations or by visiting Neighbours and cleaning their cleanable Decorations.  Other ways to obtain Farm Aids are by logging into the game more than once during the day to collect the Dedicated Farmer Bonus.  Sometimes this will contain even RC!.  Another way to obtain Farm Aids on a daily basis is by completing Tasks in your Daily Quests path to earn Treasure Chests.  The tasks that you can complete will depend on your Level, which is another reason to level up as quickly as possible.  Finally, the time-restricted Quests usually have two special Mission Gift Boxes as Rewards and these will contain specific Farm Aids.  Other Gift Boxes contain RANDOM items that include Farm Aids.

Once again, by joining a good group like my Family Farm Seaside Freyashawk Group, you have an instant opportunity to add over 100 Neighbours who all are active players.  Visiting Neighbours on a daily basis is the quickest way not only to increase your Level but to obtain Gift Boxes and earn extra Coins.

Why are Farm Aids so important now?  Well, when a Quest has a time limit, the ability to speed the growth of Crops and Tree Harvests as well as being able to use OP in Batch Production to collect products from Machines and Animals automatically can make a tremendous difference.  You still can do it all the old-fashioned way and wait for a Crop that takes 20 hours to mature to mature naturally but it can be daunting.  If you can plant a Crop and harvest it instantly, you then can replant...

Of course, it becomes tempting to use Farm Aids on a constant basis, but that can prove expensive in real money.  What I do ordinarily is collect Gift Boxes and then keep them in my Gift Box unopened until needed for a time-restricted Quest.  I do this with Power and OP that is in my Gift Box as well.

New Daily Special Deals and Weekly Special Deals
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These have proven invaluable both to veteran farmers and new ones.  You will find this tab at the very top of the regular Shop menu.

At this point in time, the Daily Special Deals are:

100 OP for 5000 Coins
100 OP for 1 RC

5 Power for 5000 Coins
5 Power for 1 RC

If you are just beginning to farm, you may find the Coin price steep but it is not difficult to earn Coins in Seaside and as soon as you can afford to do so, you should at least claim the 5000 Coin OP and Power deals on a daily basis.  You will find that you will need BOTH.

The Weekly Special Deals at present are:

Mystron Package: 2 RC
  This contains 5 of every colour of Mystron

Weekly Package: 2 RC
  This is a gamble that will give you ONE type of random farm aid.

Farming Package: 15 RC
  Although the price may appear high, it is a good deal, offering you a number of Farm Aids at a cost that is far less than you would pay if you bought them individually in the Market.  You will receive: 200 Organic Fertilisers, 50 Super Fertilisers, 100 Watering Cans, 25 Super Watering Cans

Rain package: 28 RC
  I am not keen on this one, because the price is high.  It does give you 1 Rain, 1 Thunderstorm and 1 Rainbow Rain, but my own method of farming would make purchase of Fertilisers and Watering Cans a better option as I do not harvest my entire farm at a single moment in time.

Unlocking new Options and Quests
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Coin Mystery Shop
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Mystery Shops in FFS have proliferated this past year and each uses its own form of currency.  The first to unlock is the Coin Mystery Shop.  It unlocks when you reach Level 11.  You can find Crops, Products and materials for Buildings and Machines (inter alia) in the Coin Mystery Shop when it is first unlocked.  If you do not have many neighbours, you may find a material you need... for example, you can find the Sink to build the Kitchen for 600 Coins in the Coin Mystery Shop.  All items that appear are random, however, so you have to be lucky to find the material you need at the time when you need it!

The next Mystery Shop to be unlocked is the Green Mystron Shop which unlocks either at Level 11 or at Level 12.  Here you can purchase a number of useful items, once you have collected sufficient Green Mystrons, including RC (you can buy 1 RC each day for a random price), Machines, Trees (both Premium and Coin purchases) and Avatars, among other things.

The Kitchen
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The Kitchen is unlocked when you reach Level 12.  You will have to place it on your Farm, as the first Building Plot only unlocks at Level 13.  Even so, try to purchase it as soon as possible as you will have to build it.  To build your Kitchen, you will need:

3 White Floors (Request or pay 1 RC for each)
3 Yellow Floors (Request of pay 1 RC for each)
1 Sink (Request or pay 6 RC)
1 Fireplace (Request or pay 8 RC)

As you can see, it is a good idea to have as many Neighbours as possible to avoid being forced to pay RC for the materials for this building!

Batch Production
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I believe that Batch Production may be unlocked at Level 12 as well... certainly it is unlocked by the time you reach Level 12.  Batch Production has become increasingly important in FFS with all the Quests and Activities that require a farmer to make a large number of items in a limited amount of time.  You will find Batch Production by tapping the arrow in the centre of the bottom of your Screen.  You will begin with two slots but you can upgrade to create more slots.  Tap on any Animal or Machine to place it in one of the slots, then choose the number of items that you wish that Animal or Machine to produce automatically.  You will need OP to use Batch Production but it is a better use of your OP than 'Automation' which is reached by tapping the icon of the two cogs in your Tool Menu at the bottom right of the page.  Automation uses 10 OP per item on the mainland continues until the OP is exhausted unless you stop it earlier.  Batch Production on the other hand can be controlled to make the precise number of items that you need.  It is cheaper as well in the long run.

The Warehouse
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At Level 15, you will unlock a very important building in the form of the Warehouse.  Unfortunately, this is rather meaningless until you have unlocked the first three Building Plots as the Warehouse now is situated on the third Building Plot in the same way that the Cooking Stand is situated on the first Building Plot and the Magic Bunny and Water Well on the fourth Building Plot.  Once you have unlocked the appropriate plot and completed consturction of the Building, you can move it, but until you unlock the plot on which it is situated initially, you will have no access to it.

The Warehouse allows you to store almost every type of item, from Animals and Machines to some other Buildings like the Tree Greenhouse and all Decorations.  It allows you more space on your Farm.

The Calendar
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The Calendar gives a reward each day you log into the game.  At the end of the Month, it gives a special Reward in the form of a Cleanable Decoration that gives a Purple Gift Box.  Note here that, on the day you create a new Farm, all preceding days on the current Calendar will be credited to you (not the rewards, but simply the days) which means that you will obtain the Decoration without having to pay to open days you 'missed' prior to the creation of your Farm.  This is a nice gesture and only fair.

Performing untimed Quests
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The untimed Quests in the game are usually intended to be tutorials of sorts.  Early Quests not only make you familiar with the various Crops, Trees, Animals and Machines but also give you extra Coins, XP and other Rewards such as Products and Fertilisers.  It is the quickest way, apart from visiting every Neighbour daily, to increase your Level and increasing your Level is the only way to unlock new options.

Gallery Registration
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Gallery Registration is very much part of the game now.  Almost every item in FFS can be registered in the Gallery.  Each has its own unique reward to offer and beyond this, registration of your items is critical to the monthly Farm Beauty Contests.

Some of the early Quests include Gallery Registration but there is nothing to prevent you from registering as many items as possible as quickly as possible.  You will earn Coins, Fertilisers, Power and OP by doing so.  When you are able to register entire Collections, you will earn RC.

Achievements
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Achievements are another method by which players can earn extra Coins, OP and XP.  There are many new Achievements that include the actions you take on your Neighbours' farms, so there is another incentive to daily visits now. Achievements are found in the little hut on the top left of your farm above the Gallery Building.  Whenever you have a new Achievement, you will see a Yellow downward Arrow indicating this.  Simply tap on the little hut to see all Achievements.

Daily Quest Path
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The Daily Quest path is found (with a lot of other information) by tapping on the Exclamation Point at the top left of your screen.  On the Daily Quest path, a player can earn up to three Treasure Chests but early in the game, you probably will only be able to reach the Iron Treasure Chest.  Nonetheless, it is worth doing on a daily basis.  Each activity that is unlocked will give you a specific number of points, taking you closer to the Treasure Chests.  Open the Chest to receive random Farm Aids that now include Lucky Tokens as well.

Time-Restricted Quests
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Many of the 'fun' options in Seaside, as with all online games are unlocked only when you reach higher levels.  For example, the fairly recent Farm Beauty Contests are unlocked only when you reach Level 16.    I do believe part of the reason for this is to prevent farmers from creating additional farms simply in order to vote for their primary farms.  Unless they are willing to work on the secondary farm and bring it to Level 16 at least, they will be unable to vote in the Contests.

The time-restricted Quests or Missions that are released every fortnight on Friday and consist now of 16 parts are unlocked at higher levels as well. Ordinarily now, the first half of the Quest sequence will be unlocked at Level 16, and the Collections Mission only at Level 18.  The second half requires a higher level, unlocking only at Level 26 or Level 28.   Many of the tasks in the second half require access to the Island.

I see new farmers as well as farmers who are unwilling to spend any real cash on the game complaining sometimes that they cannot perform the time-restricted Quests or raise their Charm Points by buying Theme Decorations.  You MUST remember that patience is part of the farming business.  You cannot expect to do everything at once.  Secondly, there have to be some rewards for those farmers who ARE willing to invest real money in the game.  This is a FREE Download.  You can play the game forever without spending any real cash but you will not be able to participate fully in some of the special Quests.  All the regular Quests can be performed without any real investment.

You can earn RC or premium Cash by playing the game.  There are machines that require a part that costs RC instead of Coins but you will earn 1 RC each time you advance one level.  By remaining in the game or logging into the game periodically throughout the day, you can earn the Dedicated Farmer Bonus which will give you 1 RC at a certain point.  (Not certain if it requires you to collect 10 times or more but it DOES give you 1 RC and you can earn this at least every other day if not daily.  The Achievements usually give from 1-3 RC when you reach the final 5 Stars.  You will find the Achievements Building in the top left corner of your Farm, above and to the right of the Gallery. It is ordinary farm actions such as harvesting Crops, Animals, Trees or Cooking and Fishing and processing items that earn you Achievements.  Having and visiting Neighbours regularly will earn you Achievements as well.

At low levels, you may find that it is difficult to earn sufficient coins to buy the Crops, Trees, Animals and Machines as well as completing Farm Expansions.  There is a solution to this early in the game, however.

Your best option is to visit your Neighbours on a daily basis.  Simply by doing this, you can earn Coins and XP, allowing you to advance to higher levels more quickly as well as being able to afford the items you need.  Furthermore, with the ability to clean one Decoration on each Nieighbour's farm, you can obtain valuable Farm Aids.  The Decoration that give the Blue and Gold Gift Boxes tend to contain the best rewards, but for a farmer at low levels, ANY Gift Box is valuable.  Once you are able to purchase or earn cleanable Decorations through Quests or advancing to higher levels to unlock them in the Market, you will have another source of Gift Boxes in that every Neighbour who visits to clean YOUR Decorations will give you the Gift Box that is associated with your Decoration.    I really cannot stress the value of visiting your Neibhbours enough.    Your neighbours are a potential gold mine.

A possible reward for harvesting mature Crops on a Neighbour's farm is the possibility that you will receive the Crop you harvested.  This is a way by which Farmers can obtain a Crop that has not been unlocked yet.  Another way to obtain items that have not been unlocked yet is by spinning the Wheel of Fortune.  You may think that the rewards received from the free spin are not that significant for the most part, but they can include both RC and Green Mystrons as well as items not yet unlocked.  Furthermore, 1 Spin of the Wheel of Fortune is one of the Daily Quests that will give you Treasure Chests containing valuable Farm Aids.

When you reach the Level when you can unlock the Kitchen, do so as quickly as possible.  No RC is required for the materials.  You can request all of them from your Neighbours.  Once you have completed the Kitchen, expand to the first Building Plot as quickly as possible to unlock the Cooking Stand.  This is another option that will give you Coins that are desperately needed in the early stages of the game.  By completing all the 'rounds' in any Cooking Stand Contest, you can earn a valuable cleanable Decoration that yields a Blue Gift Box.  Even if you cannot complete all rounds, however, the Cooking Stand is a wonderful source of income.  Farmers who visit your Farm will be able to collect a Cooking Bag containing Farm Aids as well.

New Options in Settings
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Whether again you are starting a new farm or a second one, there are some new options in the Settings (tap on the Cog Wheel on the right side of your screen to access it.)

This is where you can contact Support if you need to report a glitch or problem by the way.

From top to bottom, your options are:

Login/Logout from Facebook

Help and feedback

Notifications

Language

Gift Code

The last two are self-explanatory but the others should be explained a little.

Login/Logout from Facebook
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You can play Family Farm Seaside without any reference to Facebook but there are many advantage to linking your Farm to one of your Facebook accounts.  By doing so, you create a safety net for your farm if it is deleted from any of your devices or you lose it somehow.  When you first link a farm to a Facebook Account, you will be given 4 RC for doing so.  You  then have the option to use your Facebook Avatar if you wish for your Seaside Farm.

On the Kindle, you actually can share the same device with other Farmers/Farms if you have linked all the Farms to Facebook Accounts.

Help and Feedback
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This is how you can contact Support.  Find the little missal/letter icon in the top right of the screen and you will have the option of sending Support a message and of adding screenshots if you wish.

Notifications
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Some of these are new options.  The options are:

Combine Message
  I believe this allows the game to inform you of purchases made on the Internet, either through the Amazon shop or Goggle Play or whatever, but I am not an expert on this one. In my game, it is 'On' and I believe this is the notification that, once you have made a purchase, takes you automatically to your Gift Box to find it.

RC tips
  This one is quite important.  If you make certain that it is switched to 'On', you will receive a warning message before you spend any RC on any option in the game, whether it is the purchase of a premium Tree in the Market or an item from a Buddy's Share Box.

Kitchen Auto Switch
  I dislike this option personally as I think it slows down the game for me.  What it does is move you automatically through production of an ingredient in a Recipe to the Recipe itself to produce that.  I will give you an example.  Let's say you wish to make Soft Dough.  You go to the Recipe for Soft Dough and find that you do not have the Cake Flour you need to make it.  When you tap on 'Make', it will take you to the Cake Flour Recipe but as soon as it is made, you automatically will switch back to the Soft Dough Recipe to make that.  This is fine as long as you only wish to make one Soft Dough, but I find it quicker if I can make multiple amounts of the ingredients before I make the final Recipe.  In other words, if I needed 12 Soft Dough and had none, I would make 12 Cake Flour and 12 Batter before I returned to the Soft Dough Recipe to make 12 of those one after another.  To do this, however, the Kitchen Auto Switch has to be turned off.

Mobile Internet Tips
  Again, I am not certain about this one, but I think it tells you when your connection to your Shop (whether it is Amazon or Google) has failed.

Production House Auto Switch
  I dislike this option as well for the same reason I dislike the Kitchen Auto Switch.  This one does operate a little differently.  It will take you from one Production Building to another on the Island automatically until you have filled them all with ingredients to make products. In other words, if you have 2 Hardware Stores, it will go from one to the other and then move automatically to the Glass Factory if you have one to fill that.   If you do not like that sort of forced action, you simply switch it off.

Kitchen Auto Switch

Mobile Internet Tips

Production House Auto Switch

New Buildings:  Coffee Shop, Stove House and Research Laboratory
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Unlike some of the Buildings in Seaside, these appear to have either no level requirements or very low requirements as I was able to buy the Coffee Shop and Stove House instantly on my new farm and the Research Laboratory was available as well at an early stage.  Some of the Research Laboratory upgrades and options require specific experience Levels but they are not terribly high.  You will find them listed in detail in the post that deals specifically with the Research Laboratory.

Research Laboratory
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I was reluctant to engage in the activities of the Research Laboratory initially.  It reminded me of all the reasons I became disillusioned with Zynga games frankly.  Unfortunately, it is becoming critical to the game and all three of the new options in the form of the Stove House, the Coffee House and the Research Laboratory are linked.  You can play Family Farm Seaside without participating in these options but I believe you will find it increasingly difficult to advance in the game.  Furthermore, the Buddy system is linked to these new options and again, without participating in that, you will find yourself shut out of many activities ultimately

I have written an extensive post on the Buddy System.  Once upon a time, in the days when I began to play Seaside, it was fairly simple for new farmers to understand how the game worked.  That no longer is the case.  I will have to revise my post on 'Starting a New Farm' because it is very important now to begin to build up Buddy relationships as soon as you unlock the option.   That, however, although relevant to the Research Laboratory, is not part of its workings.

Here is a link to my post on the Buddy System, which has been updated to reflect new addtions to the game:

Buddy System and Updates

Farmium is the basis of the Research Laboratory.  It appears in your pull-down menu at the bottom as a narrow vial filled with purple liquid.

Warning:  You can have a total of 600 Farmium initially.  If you earn more Farmium without using the 600 Farmium, it will be wasted.  The total does not increase.  It therefore is necessary to use your Farmium if you want the Farmium you earn by opening Daily Quest Chests to be given to you.  On a daily basis, you can earn 100 Farmium with each of the Daily Quest Chests that you open.  That gives you a total of 300 Farmium per day.

It is important to realise that the Research Laboratory is not linear in nature.  This makes it very different from other options in Family Farm Seaside where A leads to B and then to C... Missions are all linear in nature.  You complete one set of tasks in order to unlock a new set of tasks.

Where the Research Laboratory is concerned, however, you will find that an upgrade will unlock a number of DIFFERENT, sometimes unrelated options.  I am hoping that, in time, this little guide will allow you to study all of your options at any given point to determine which one you wish to pursue first.

The only time that the Research Laboratory is linear is at the very start when the only action you can undertake is 'Flight of the Bumblebee'.  You need to perform this 'Active Tech' again and again until you unlock 'Gold Finger'.  Once this occurs, you will find it beneficial to upgrade Gold Finger as well as the Research Laboratory itself.  This is fairly simple compared to the number of options that will be unlocked when you reach Research Laboratory Level 4.

As previously stated, you have to USE the first option, which is to have Bees gather honey from a beehive again and again before you can unlock any other options.  Note here that only a REGULAR Beehive will be able to be used.  Any of the special Beehives, even if they gather Clover for Honey like the ordinary one, will not be recognised.

The first level is Basic Research.  It uses 50 Farmium each time.  Tap on the Bee to use 50 Farmium to obtain 5 Honey.  The Active Tech is called 'Flight of the Bumblebee'.  You need to use it to reach 120 points to go to Level 2.  You can upgrade your 'Flight of the Bumblebee'  after five uses and 12 Honey, but that will not change the Active Tech.  It only will allow you to collect 7 Honey immediately instead of 5.  I am not certain that it is entirely beneficial to upgrade the actual Flight of the Bumblebee Tech because then you will be forced to have MORE ripe Clover on your Farm each time you wish to use it.  To unlock new options, you need to use Flight of the Bumblebee a certain number of times.  The lower the level of this Tech, the less Clover you will need for each use.  I think it may be better therefore, unless you are a low level farmer who really NEEDS Honey to wait to upgrade the Tech until you have reached Research Laboratory Level 4.

Note that there are some problems with Flight of the Bumblebee if you are one of those farmers who has multiple Beehives on his/her farm.  If you have ripe Clover, your Bees will begin to pollinate it before you use the Tech, so it is best either to store all but one Beehive before you activate this Tech or make certain that the Beehives each have three Honey stacked in them.  Otherwise, the Tech will not have sufficient Clover upon which to act.

A Beehive with three Honey in it can be activated and will produce Honey using the Tech.  I find this Tech a colossal waste of time personally but unfortunately you must use it again and again in the course of upgrading your Research Laboratory.  Perhaps it would have been better NOT to upgrade Flight of the Bumblebee, because the higher the upgrade, the more Clover you are required to have on the field.

One very useful component of the Research Laboratory is the Gold Finger Active Tech... this allows you to produce items without having the necessary ingredients in your Barn...  for example, when you use it on a Buffalo, no Cucumbers are required.  Use it on a Baker and no ingredients are needed... this is why many players use it on the Baker to make Corn Bread.  It is only at Level 5 that you will find that some of the Animals/Machines on which Gold Finger can be used do require ingredients... until then, however, you can use it without having the necessary ingredients in your Barn.

Gold Finger and Upgrade Ingredients
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At each stage of an upgrade of a Tech, you will find requirements.  Many of these are items that can be collected with Gold Finger.  For example, you will need 30 Sandwiches.  Use Gold Finger to collect Corn Bread from the Baker.  If you study the upgrade requirements below, you can coordinate your efforts in order to be able to use Gold Finger for specific requirements.

The upgrade to Level 5 for Gold Finger that will allow you to use it on ANY Machine or Animal requires Watermelon Yogurt.  The Yogurt Machine is an Island Machine and Watermelon Yogurt requires Level 3 Mastery.  If you have this, however, you still need Goat Milk from the Seaside Farm to make any type of Yogurt.  Use Gold Finger to collect your Goat Milk!

My Humble Advice
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From the outset, I made my dislike of the new Research Laboratory quite clear but I have to admit that the Gold Finger Tech is very useful.  For the ordinary farmer who is not that interested in exploring every possible advanced option, I suggest that he/she focus on upgrading the Gold Finger Tech and basically ignoring the rest until this is accomplished.  The ability to make items without having the ingredients is rather nice.

Please note that the entire business of Cropology and Treeology constitutes a very advanced option in the game.  Note as well that you will need to have purchased both the Cow Upgrader and the Cheese Upgrader as well as specific Gadgets that can be used only at specific levels.

Whenever you use an Upgrader, you CANNOT use Batch Production.  You have to collect products manually.  This takes time.  Do not be discouraged if you have not advanced in the Upgraders or the Research Laboratory.  I personally believe that the special Upgrader products will not be required in the usual time-restricted Quests.  They are required only for specific upgrades pertaining to the Research Laboratory.  As I mentioned previously, the best use of the Research Laboratory for lower level players is the Gold Finger Tech.

Finally, there are far too many activities now in Seaside for a low level farmer and even sometimes for high level farmers.  Focus on the ones that give you the best results.   It is difficult sometimes for low level farmers to obtain Decorations that yield Blue Gift Boxes.  You always will receive one if you complete a Cooking Stand Contest.  Purple Decorations both for the Seaside Farm and for the Island are obtained by completing the time-restricted Quests that begin every other Friday.  These are important activities if you are a Level where they can be unlocked.  Recently, the time-restricted Missions have required different Levels as you move forward.  They are divided now into four parts, each of which gives a specific special Reward.  There is a total of 16 parts.  The first two are linked solely to the original Seaside Farm.  The second two require access to the Island usually and higher levels of experience.

The Daily Quest path is another activity that yields good rewards in the form of Farm Aids.  Try to complete as many of these tasks each day as possible.

I think that the game has become rather overwhelming in some cases.  Do not be discouraged.  Ignore options that are too difficult or expensive for you.  As previously indicated, iuse the Research Laboratory for the Gold Finger Tech until you reach a higher level if you are a new farmer or a fairly low level farmer.

I do think it is worthwhile to purchase the Holstein Cow Upgrader and Cheese Master Upgrader and to begin to use them at the earliest opportunity.  One reason for this is that you cannot use Batch Production on any Upgrader.  A low level farmer, however, can use the Upgraders as easily as a high level player and by the time he/she reaches a Level of Upgrader that could produce the rare items required for the advanced Research Laboratory options, that farmer will be in a good position to decide whether or not to invest in the Gadgets that produce them. 



Prepare for the Future
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Any real Farmer will tell you that Farming requires patience and time.  Any farming simulation game that allows you to do everything instantly, offering instant gratification, is entirely unrealistic and somewhat pointless in my view.

What you need to do is to prepare for the future.  One way of doing this is by stockpiling Crops, Fruits, Animal Products and Machine Products in your Barn whenever possible.  Many veteran farmers keep 500 of each Crop in their Barns for use in future time-restricted Quests or Cooking Stand Contests.  it is a good strategy!

Earn Farm Aids for use in future Quests.  I do not even open my Gift Boxes until I need them during one of the time-restricted Quests.  They contain the Farm Aids that allow you to speed the growth of Crops and Trees, OP that allows you to complete production of a Machine or Animal instantly and Power that allows you to make more Dishes in the Kitchen.  I would suggest that you do not use them for ordinary Quests but instead exercise patience and allow harvests to occur at their natural time.  Ordinary Quests have no time limit.  Why use a Farm Aid that you will need to complete tasks later when you have only 11 Days to complete a sequence of 16 parts and therefore 48 tasks?!

In terms of the Kitchen, when you are not involved in creating dishes demanded by the current Cooking Stand Contest, begin to cook and stockpile the 'basic' Dishes such as Condensed Milk, Cake Flour, Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream, Coconut Milk, Batter, Butter and Cornmeal.  The way the Kitchen operates is different from other farming actions.  Each Dish you make takes 1 Power and your Power is limited.  it will replenish in time and you can earn Power as one of the Farm Aids contained randomly in the Gift Boxes, Dedicated Farmer Bonus Bags and Daily Quest Treasure Chests but why not take advantage of your Power when it is not needed for a current task?  You will need all of the Dishes I have mentioned again and again.  Prepare for the future and find satisfaction in your growing stocks of items.

You can ask for one Free Gift Item each day from each of your Neighbours.  I persoonally recommend that you ask for Honey, Wheat Flour, Milk and Cheddar Cheese when you are at low levels as these are ingredients in many, many Recipes in the Kitchen.  Some farmers ask for White Rose Bouquets or Wine in order to sell them for coins but a low level farmer with access to the Kitchen would be better served by taking the basic ingredients above, making them into a Dish in the Kitchen and then selling them if coins are needed, but otherwise storing them for the future.

Gallery Registration is another fairly recent option that can benefit farmers at any level.  Once you have unlocked the Farm Beauty Contests at Level 16, your Gallery will give you Votes from the Characters in the game, but registration takes time and you should begin it as early as possible.  As soon as you purchase a new Item in the Market, you should register it in the Gallery.  There are Rewards in the form of Farm Aids and even RC for Gallery Registration.

I should mention the Mystery Shop here.  It has been expanded recently to include departments for four different colours of Mystrons, a currency that is earned through various aspects of the game.  The Coin department of the Mystery Shop is unlocked first, however and allows Farmers to purchase items with Coins.  You can refresh the list of items offered once you have purchased them or decided you do not wish to purchase them.  I personally purchase as many as I can  usually as they often offer items you have not yet unlocked including fishing items.  I do not like fishing much in this game, so the Coin Mystery Shop offers me valuable chances to replenish my stocks of fish.

When you have unlocked the various Mystron sections of the Mystery Shop, you will be able to purchase Decorations, Premium Trees, Machines and new Avatars as well as other items not ordinarily sold in the Market.  Note that the Coin Mystery Shop is the source of new Flowers for your Botanic Garden on the Island.  Unless you actually are on your Island Farm, those Flowers will not appear in the List.  Finally, the Coin Mystery Shop randomly offers 1 RC for 5000 Coins, yet another way to earn RC in the game.

Being a Good Neighbour
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Not only can you increase your own profits and Experience Level by interacting with Neighbours, but you can help your Neighbours as well.  Make certain that you never leave your field empty of Crops.  Even if you wait to harvest the Crops, it is better to do that than leave the plots empty.  A visiting Neighbour can harvest mature Crops but cannot interact with a fallow field.

If you can plant new Crops, however, on every plot, you will benefit both yourself and your Neighbours as their fertilisation of your Crops will speed their growth.  Make certain that you do harvest any Tree that is ready as a Neighbour cannot interact with a Tree that is ready for harvest but CAN fertilise any Tree that is not ready, speeding the process for you.

As previously discussed, your participation in any current Cooking Contest, once you have unlocked the first Building Plot with the Cooking Stand, will earn you Coins whenever a Neighbour visits it to 'eat' a dish.

If your Farm is connected to a Facebook account, do 'Like' each Neighbour's Farm on your first visit. This is accomplished very simply by tapping on the 'smiley face' icon in the top centre of your screen.  A total of 300 Likes gives your Neighbour a final Achievement with an RC Reward which is why Neighbours beg for the action.  Personally, I think there is no need to beg for it.  Farmers should be aware of the option and perform the action without requiring that you eschew a proper farm name for the sake of a message begging every one for 'Likes'.  Rosewood does not have 300 Likes yet, but it should occur naturally in time.

What happens inevitably, unfortunately, is that some of your Neighbours no longer will play the game actively.  When any Neighbour fails to play for a total of 14 consecutive days, you will see a red horn at the top right of the screen when you visit that farmer.  If you do not have the maximum number of neighbours yet, there is no reason to delete that neighbour from your list, but if you do, it is better probably to delete an inactive neighbour in the interest of being able to add a new active Neighbour to your list.  To find inactive Neighbours easily, you should change the display option on the Neighbour screen temporarily to 'Call Back'.  This will bring up the list of farmers with a bullhorn on their farm that indicates they have not been playing every day.  Some farmers will only have a 3 day hiatus.  I would not delete those farmers.  Delete only the number of inactive farmers that you need to clear out in order to be able to add new neighbours.  There are valid reasons why a farmer may not have played for a brief time.

Naming your Farm and Choosing Your Avatar
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The name you choose for your Farm is your own affair but I see this error so often that perhaps it should be addressed here.  When you first begin a new farm and have the option of naming it, clear out the default name first!  So many farms are named My Farm's Farm simply because the default name was not cleared from the box before typing the new name.

A new option is that of the Avatar associated with each farm.  You can use the default Avatar which is a Clover or your Facebook Icon as your Avatar.  All sorts of new Avatars are offered now, however, in the various Mystery Shops.  They include Crops, Tree Fruits, Animal Products as well as items that were requrested in past Quests.  The only problem with this is the fact that so many Farmers choose the same Icon and in certain situations, this can lead to confusion about identity.  In particular, whenever a Neighbour places a Friendship Flower in your Garden, only the Avatar is displayed...  Another consideration is simply that of being unique.  The Iris is my favourite Crop in Seaside and I wish that they would add it to the Market on a permanent basis.  Apart from the fact that the Iris Avatar has not appeared once in Harvest Moon's Mystery Shop, I doubt I would replace my Facebook Icon, which is that of a hawk on one of the trees in our old garden, with the Iris, because I have at least 4 Neighbours now who use that Avatar.  I do have friends who love to change their Avatars in the same way that they change their outfits in real life on a daily basis but I am not one of them.  I would prefer that Neighbours should be able to identify me quickly in Family Farm Seaside.

Failing to give your farm a name that is unique can confuse your Neighbours and prevent you from receiving special rewards from them, such as Friendship Flowers.  Name your farm and give it a special Avatar! You can do this by tapping on the square portrait frame in the top left corner of the screen.  This takes you to a very useful Menu that includes the options to rename your Farm, choose an Avatar and see useful data such as how many points you need to reach the next level and how many visitors you have had within the past day.

How to Rename your Farm
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To rename your farm, tap on the little pencil icon at the top centre of this Menu.  The default name for any Farm is 'My Farm' or the equivalent of this in whatever language you have chosen for the game.   Some other languages are:  'Mi Granja', 'Mzr 'Atee', 'Ma Ferme'.  When you open the name box, you will be able to choose the frame for the name as well as typing a new name.  Make certain that you erase the default name first though, because often I will see a Farm named  ... Farm Farm because the player failed to erase part of the original name.  Use backspace to erase.  When you have finished, tap the green chequemark and you will have a new name!

Changing your Avatar
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To change your Avatar, tap on the square portrait icon in the far top left corner of the Menu.  The default Avatar is a clover.  You now can choose your Facebook Avatar or any Avatars that you have purchased or won in the game.   You can change the Avatar frame as well if you choose.

If you have not connected your Farm to Facebook, you will be unable to use your Facebook Avatar.  It is really important to connect your farm to Facebook actually as it prevents loss of your Farm if something goes terribly awry.  If they farm is connected to Facebook, you can recover it easily on any device.

The game basically was designed for anonymity, but I have found that one of the best aspects of belonging to a good group on Facebook is the ability to communicate with and become truly acquainted with your Neighbours on FFS.  Our members are wonderful, caring, active individuals.  We welcome new members and help one another as much as possible.



Other Tips
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Please see my old post on farming for more details, but I will mention a few farming tips here as well.  First of all, as a member of my group reminded me, having more than one Beehive is very useful.  As well as multiple Beehives, as soon as you unlock the option, build more than one Butterfly House.  Both the Beehive and Butterfly House are considered 'animals' and you will find them in that department of the Market, but they both operate more like the Collectables.   In many of the time-restricted Quests, you may be required to produce x amount of Honey or Nectar.  Having more than one Beehive and Butterfly House allows you to do this quickly.  Furthermore, Honey, although an item that can be requested daily as a free gift, is invaluable.  It is used in many Recipes and, when you have access to the Island, you will need it for more than one Machine.  You never can have enough Honey.  Nectar, while a little less vital, still is very useful and appears in Recipes.

Multiple Machines in general are a good idea until you have sufficient Farm Aids to speed production without spending RC.  Unfortunately, some of the Machines require materials that cost RC but if this is not the case, you have nothing to lose by a purchase or construction of a second Machine as well as purchase of a second Animal.  The game actually encourages you to purchase multiple Trees as having a specific number of Almond Trees or Lemon Trees as an example, are tasks in Quests you will encounter.  Ultimately, however, as your levels are increased, you will find that your Trees occupy far too much space on your Farm.  Always opt to sell those that can be purchased for Coins rather than those that cost RC.

The Tree Greenhouse takes a great deal of space and houses very few Trees but you can store your Trees now in the new Tree Nursery.  To actually grow them in the Nursery requires huge amounts of water (watering cans) but most players do like the option to store their Trees in the Tree Nursery in the Building Plot section rather than on their farms.

Mystery Shop
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I discussed this a little in an earlier part of this post, but perhaps it would be useful to write about it in more detail.

The Mystery Shop is a fabulous resource.  Your experience level will determine which departments are unlocked for you, but ultimately you will have access to all the Mystery Shop departments.  Access it frequently as you will find very useful items in all the departments.  The Coin Shop will offer a number of random items, including Crops, Materials and Avatars.  You can purchase fruits from premium or other Trees as well.  Importantly, it offers Farm Aids such as fertilisers and watering cans, OP and Power.   It even may offer 1 RC for 5000 Coins randomly.   At higher levels, once you have access to the Island, you can purchase flowers for the Botanic Garden in the Coin Shop.   The Green Mystron Department will offer RC for a different price each day as well as Trees, Animals and Machines that ordinarily must be purchased with RC in the Market.  The Yellow Mystron Shop offers Decorations that were Rewards for time-restricted Quests in the past.    The Purple Mystery Shop offers avatars and more importantly, materials for the 'special' Machines that were completed in the past by performing specific activities.  Currently, it is offering the materials for the Salad Machine.  It is only the Coin Department that can be refreshed to offer different items in a 24 hour period.  For the other departments, the offerings will change every day.

The new Red Mystron Shop is linked to the Buddy System, discussed below.

Note that, if you are a low level player who cannot afford to buy Farm Aids with RC, you should be able to find Watering Cans and Organic Fertiliser, OP and/or Power in the Green Mystron Shop daily.  It is Organic Fertiliser, Watering Cans and the Magic Stick that can be requested as a Free Buddy Gift that are used to tend Buddy Trees.

Green Mystron Prices:
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As indicated above, the RC sold in the Green Mystron Shop has a random price but there usually is one Tree and one Machine or Animal in the Shop every day.  Basically the conversion rate is 250 Green Mystrons to 1 RC for general values.  (Thank you, June Korrik!)   Here are some prices:

Mistletoe Tree: 1250 Green Mystrons
Matcha Tree: 1750 Green Mystrons
Dark Chocolate Tree: 1500 GM
Grapefruit Tree: 2000 GM
Quince Tree: 1750 GM
Sakura Tree: 1500 GM
Laurus Tree: 1500 GM
Wild Rose Bush: 2000 GM
Brazil Nut Tree: 1500 GM

I do not recommend buying the Machines that can be purchased with coins in the regular Market such as:
Sauce Machine: 450 Green Mystrons
Wine Maker: 81 Green Mystrons
Candy Machine: 626 GM

The Animals to buy are the ones that require RC to purchase ordinarily:

Provence Beehive: 6250 GM
Starline Beehive: 3750 GM
Pig Coop: 4500 GM
Reindeer: 1500 GM

The Provence Beehive is necessary if you ever wish to make Perfume as Provence Honey is the required ingredient in ANY sort of Perfume.  The Bees pollinate Lavender and then make the special purple Provence Honey.  The Starline Beehive, on the other hand, makes the same Honey as any other Beehive and the Bees pollinate only Clover the same way the ordinary Beehive operates.  It therefore is worth a purchase only if you are trying to complete your Gallery.  It is the Super Beehive that allows Bees to pollinate all sorts of different flowers.

The Machines to buy are the ones that require RC to purchase.

Popcorn Machine: 2500 GM
Coffee Machine:
Ice Cream Machine: 3000 GM
Chocolate Machine: 2000 GM

One Machine that is worth buying if you do not have one is the Toy Machine simply because it only occasionally can be purchased in the regular market.

Toy Machine: 100 GM?

There are some Premium Decorations such as the Mini Beach and the Market Stall that can be purchased with Green Mystrons as well.

Mini Beach: 4000 Green Mystrons
I believe the Market Stall costs 5000 GM but that is from memory and I could be mistaken.

When should you purchase RC?
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One question that new players often ask is when to spend real money and when to spend RC (premium cash in the game).

Real money is used to purchase RC, Coins or special items offered during Sales.  Sale items usually cannot be obtained in any other way and seldom are offered more than once.  There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, if you want a specific item offered in a sale, you need to purchase it during the sale.

What are the advantages of purchasing sale items?  Well, these items usually if not always are cleanable Decorations with a sum of RC included in the deal and sometimes offered with a premium Tree and some Farm Aids.  When cleaned, they sometimes will yield a special item such as RC or Yellow Mystrons for a specific number of days before they begin to give out the usual Gift Boxes.  As previously indicated, Gift Boxes are extremely important now in this game.  You need to have cleanable Decorations on your Farm if possible as well as cleaning Neighbours' decorations as often as you can.

Unlocking Cleanable Decorations
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By the way, on the new Kindle farm, it appeared that one only begins to unlock the cleanable Decorations that give good Gift Boxes upon reaching Level 17.  At Level 17, I saw one could purchase the Clothes Drying Rack, the Christmas Candle, the Chinese Pavilion, the Panda Lantern, Market Stall, Swimming Pool, Willow and Mini Beach.  Of these, however, only the Market Stall, the Mini Beach and the Clothes Drying Rack yield the best Gift Box in the form of the Blue Gift Box.

Do be warned that Cleanable Decorations that can be purchased for Coins usually yield no more than Coins when cleaned...   Nonetheless, it is important to purchase and place these as soon as possible for two reasons: one is to be able to enter them in your Gallery by registering them and the second is to be able to earn Buddy Points when your Buddies visit you.  A section on the Buddy System is located at the end of this post.

Sale Offers and the Millionaire Cow
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Note that the amount of RC that you obtain in a sale offer will be less than the amount you would receive for the same price if you simply purchased RC.  The advantages of a sale offer are in the special Decoration and whatever other items are included in the offer.  You do need RC to survive.  You will earn 1 RC for each level that you reach in the game.  Sometimes you can receive RC for logging into the game and the fifth and final Achievement of any kind usually gives you 1 or 2 RC.  Collection Registrations in the Gallery and sometimes the Registration of a special item can give an RC Reward as well.  Finally, there is the Millionaire Cow that, when purchased yields 1 RC per day.  All of these have their own advantages to a serious player.  Most players, including myself, find the Millionaire Cow a wonderful method of recouping RC.

Other items that can be to your advantage are those Decorations that yield Blue Gift Boxes, especially if you are at a  low level in the game.  As there is no Decoration that can be purchased in the Market below Level 17 that gives a Blue Box when cleaned, often a sale offer is the only way to place such a Decoration on your farm early in the game.

There are other offers that include temporary advantages such as a Decoration that will give 10 Yellow Mystrons every day that it is cleaned for a week or a Decoration that is combined with the offer of a premium Tree needed for a current time-restricted Quest.  Think before you refuse outright to purchase any item in a special offer but know that the game is offering far more preimum items than it once did and can become rather expensive before you realise it!

Skipping Tasks and purchasing Ingredients
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Your RC should be used judiciously, however.  Purchasing a missing ingredient for a Dish in the Kitchen is a bad use of 1 RC unless you have not reached the level where you can obtain it yourself otherwise.  Skipping a Task in a Mission is a poor use of RC unless you could not complete the Task because of your Level or any other reason.

Use of RC to complete Farm Expansions can be good or bad depending on the Task that you are skipping.  When your Farm is too small and crowded, you may be tempted to move forward by skipping an Expansion task.  That is your call, obviously.  If there is any way to amass the item required in a Task, it is better not to skip it.  A Level requirement usually is best met rather than skipped.  It is the Coin total requirement that sometimes may be worth skipping by paying RC if you are a fairly low level player, mainly because it is hard to earn Coins and you will need them for so many other purposes.  Better to buy all the Trees, Animals and Machines that you can, because they will be used again and again...

Cooking Stand Contests
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A very good way to earn Coins is by participating in the Cooking Stand Contests.  You do need to unlock the Building Plot that contains the Cooking Stand now and you must have a Kitchen.

The Cooking Stand Contests not only allow you to earn Coins and Buddy Points but also give you a chance to obtain valuable farm aids and a Cleanable Decoration that gives the most valuable Gift Box in the form of a Blue Gift Box.

Fishing
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Fishing has become increasingly important in the game.  Often, a material required to build a Base is linked to Fishing.  Many Recipes require ingredients that can be obtained only by fishing and there are many Tasks in Quests that require Fishing.

Raising Your Level
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Raising your Level is the key to unlocking new options, whether it is the Kitchen and Cooking, the Fishing Pier, the time-restricted Missions or access to the Island.  Unfortunately, the Island is a very expensive options and it requires a great deal of Level-raising and Mastery in order to be used with any degree of success.

Do not be too quick to use RC to skip Tasks to unlock new options such as the Island if you cannot afford to unlock any options there.  My Island Guide give the Level and the Mastery requirements as well as Tasks for every optiona and Island Expansion.  The Garden there as well as the Mine are linked to specific Expansions.  I think where the Island is concerned, patience is the key unless you wish to spend a great deal of real money on this.

As far as the time-restricted Missions are concerned, they now are divided between Seaside Tasks and Island Tasks.  You can complete half of the Quest sequence without having access to the Island. The second half of any time-restricted Quest now has a Level requirement attached to it as well.  I believe it only is unlocked either at Level 26 or Level 28.

Mystery Shops
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One point should be mentioned here.  The Mystery Shop has given players the hope of obtaining Decorations that were the Rewards for Missions from the past.  There are five different Mystery Shops now: a Coin Shop, a Yellow Mystron Shop, a Purple Mystron Shop, a Blue Mystron Shop and a Red Mystron Shop.  Even in the Coin Shop, you often can purchase items you have not unlocked yet, so access it and use it!  The Yellow Mystron Shop allows you to purchase some Decorations that are not available in the regular Market.  It is the Blue Mystron Shop that allows you to purchase the very special Decorations that were given as Rewards in past Missions but you need to complete the entire Reward Path for the Daily Order Board, earning all the special Sheep, before you will begin to earn Blue Mystrons.  Even then, one earns only 1 Blue Mystron for each Order filled, so it is a slow process!  Again, patience is the key here...

Selling Items from your Barn
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Should you sell as much as possible from your Barn?  My answer is in the negative now, because so many items are needed to complete the Daily Order Board orders, Recipes and so on.  Wait until a Task or Order requests the item before you sell it!  The best way to earn Coins is by visiting Neighbours and completing Quests really.

Buddy System
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Recently, a number of new options were added to the game.  One of these is the Buddy System.  This allows you basically to have up to 15 Neighbours as special friends who visit daily to perform the ordinary actions of fertilising/harvesting, cleaning any Decoration and eating at your Cooking Stand if a dish is available.  Beyond that, though, advancing to Level 1 in the Buddy System with even one Buddy will allow you to purchase, plant and grow a Buddy Tree.  Special 'heart' actions are performed on these trees to upgrade them and each 'Heart' action is worth Buddy Points as well.  When the tree is upgraded, the Buddies who helped will obtain a special Reward.  At level 2, you will have access to your Buddy's Share Box, another new option.

The Share Box is linked to the new Lucky Wheel which is a second Wheel that you can spin.  Unlke the first Wheel that can be spun at no cost on a daily basis, the Lucky Wheel requires Lucky Tokens.  The Rewards, however, can include Decorations that are no longer available in the Market as well as premium Trees, farm aids and even RC.  Apart from the Decorations, all other items are sold at discounted prices.  When a player obtains one of the items that can be shared, he/she can buy it or share it into the 'Share Box'.  This is accessible only to Buddies at Level 2 or higher.

Primarily, the Buddy System is designed to give you at least 15 visits per day, if you have the maximum number of Buddies.  Here, it is most important to have cleanable Decorations on your farm as even one that gives Coins delivers the same number of Buddy Points as one that gives a Blue Box. You need to make certain that you have crops on your plots, even if they are ready for harvest, because, once again, a Crop that is mature gives the same number of Buddy Points as one that can be fertilised.  What gives NO rewards is an empty plot.

Lucky Wheel Tokens
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The Lucky Wheel is a fairly new option.  When you purchase it in the Market, you now will find two Wheels.  The first gives you a free spin each day.  This is worth performing as it is one of the Daily Tasks on the Daily Quests path and it often will give you an item that you have not been able to make yourself especially at lower levels.  Some items can be sold for a good Coin price.

The Lucky Wheel is the second Wheel and requires Lucky Tokens to spin.  The first spin of the Wheel costs 5 Tokens and usually does not give you the best items.  You need a total of about 50 Tokens to make the spins potentially worthwhile.  Later spins often include Decorations that were associated with past Quests or Calendar Rewards as well as Avatars and premium Trees.  When you receive one, you either can buy it yourself or 'Share' it in your Share Box.  When you have a Buddy at Level 2 or higher, he/she can buy any items that are in your Share Box.  When this occurs, you will not receive the RC price, but you will receive Coins and Lucky Tokens.

Note that, on every spin, the FIRST chest you open will be free.  The first chest seldom contains a Premium Tree or Decoration but it has occurred for some lucky players.  When you open the other boxes in any round, you will have to pay either Coins or RC to keep the item yourself.

Unlocking the Island
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When the Island first was released, I unlocked it instantly by using RC to complete many of the Puzzle pieces simply because I needed to write a comprehensive guide to the Island for this site.  For players who do not have that urgency, however, it is far better to allow the game to give you many of the requirements for those puzzle piece tasks.

The Island is different from the mainland original Seaside Farm in many respects.  There, new options are unlocked only if your Development point total is equal to the requirement or your Mastery of a specific Machine allows you to make a new product.  You therefore cannot move forward on the Island simply by planting and harvesting Crops as you can to increase your ordinary XP.  Note that planting and harvesting Crops DOES increase your ordinary XP, but that will not give you anything new on the Island.

There are two fairly recent options on the Island that many players wish to unlock as quickly as possible.  These are the Botanic Garden and the Mine.  The Botanic Garden is not that difficult to unlock.  It is unlocked automatically when you complete one of the earlier expansions.  It then appears directly to the right of the Helicopter Pad area.

The Mine is another matter.  It will be unlocked automatically when you complete one of the three last expansions but the price of doing so in RC is very high if you lack sufficient Development Points or Mastery to make the required items.  The cost of unlocking the Mine instantly is a total of 120 RC.  If you do so without having sufficient Development Points to craft the items used to create explosions, you will find the Mine fairly useless.  What will be useful, however is the Volcano that sits on the expansion that is linked to the Mine and which is a 'collectable', which means that you can gather Power from it every four hours.

Even without unlocking the Mine, you can be chosen as a helper to explode in the Mines of your Neighbours if you have unlocked the Island.  If you are so chosen, you may receive some of the Explosives you cannot make yet if you have insufficient Development Points.

What is required to make explosives?

You need a total of 2500 Dev Points to craft a Pickaxe in the Sawmill.
You need a total of 2500 Dev Points to craft the Sawdust used to make Gunpowder in the Sawmill.
You need a total of 2500 Dev Points to craft Gunpowder in the Workshop.  Dynamite, Bombs and Barrel Bombs likewise require a total of 2500 Dev Points.

You therefore cannot craft any tools for the Mine yourself until you have reached the total of 2500 Dev Points.

The Botanic Garden
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Here is a link to a post that contains all information about the Botanic Garden on the Island:

All you Need to Know about the Botanic Garden


Here is a link to the post that gives ALL the information about Quests, Expansions and everything else about the Island:

All you need to know about the Island

Upgraders
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The Upgraders are another recent option and at this point in time, there are two of them:  The Holstein Cow Upgrader and the Cheese Master Upgrader.  These operate like the Bases.  You place the Upgrader on your farm and then 'move' the Animal or Machine onto it by using the Jigsaw House icon.  To upgrade the Upgrader to another level, choose the Move Icon again and then find the last icon showing a plot with arrows to perform the upgrade or at least see what materials are needed for the upgrade.

The following items are available for the Upgraders.  You can see that they will be found in a variety of different Market categories.  The original Upgrader for the Holstein Cow as well as the Premium Gadgets are under the Animal Upgrader section.  The original Upgrader for the Cheese Master likewise is in the Machine Upgrader section of the Market.  All other Upgraders are found in the Mystery Shop.  Where the price is in Blue Mystrons, you need to go to the Blue Mystron Shop.  Where it is Purple Mystrons, find those Gadgets in the Purple Mystrons Shop.

One aspect of all this that may be of interest to farmers involved in the Farm Beauty Contests is the fact that all the upgraders and their gadgets have Charm Point values.  Make certain that you register them as well to increase your Votes with the Characters who like a good gallery.

Holstein Cow Upgrader and Gadgets
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Holstein Cow Upgrader: 1000 Coins, 16 Charm

You will find this in the Upgrader section of the Animal Market.

Super Milk Container: 35 RC, Level 2 upgrade, 2 Charm
  Add and collect 2 additional products

Extra Milk Gadget: 25 RC, Level 5 upgrade, 6 Charm
  RANDOM extra products

Winter Theme Holstein Cow Upgrade: 150 Purple Mystrons, Level 4 Upgrade, 2 Charm

Milk Container: 50 Blue Mystrons. Level 2 Upgrade, 1 Charm
  Add and collect 1 additional product

Low Fat Gadget: 100 Blue Mystrons.  Level 3 Upgrade.  2 Charm
  Produce Low Fat Milk

Milk Powder Gadget: 150 Blue Mystrons.  Level 5 Gadget.  3 Charm
  RANDOM Milk Powder

Cheese Master Upgrader and Gadgets
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Cheese Master Upgrader: 2000 Coins, 20 Charm

Cheese Master Upgrader Upgrades
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Super Cheese Container: 35 RC, Level 2 Upgrade, 2 Charm
  Add and collect 2 additional products
  
Extra Cheese Gadget: 25 RC.  Level 5 Upgrade.  6 Charm
  RANDOM additional product

Winter Theme Cheese Master Theme: 150 Purple Mystrons.  Level 4 Upgrade.  2 Charm

Cheese Container: 50 Blue Mystrons, Level 2 Upgrade.  1 Charm
  Add and collect 1 additional product

Low Fat Cheese Gadget: 100 Blue Mystrons, Level 3 Gadget.  2 Charm
  Produce Low Fat Cheese

Blue Cheese Gadget: 150 Blue Mystrons.  Level 5 Gadget.  3 Charm
  RANDOM Blue Cheese

Mozzarella Gadget: 500 Blue Mystrons.  Level 3 Gadget: 3 Charm
  Produce Mozzarella Cheese

Increasing Upgrader Levels
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Each upgrade Level for the Holstein Cow Upgrader and the Cheese Master Upgrader has specific Materials that are required to complete it.

WARNING:  Every successive upgrade makes the item larger than the previous one, so you need extra SPACE on your farm in order to upgrade the Upgrader to the next level without forcing your farm into Edit Mode which can be very frustrating when you have no vacant space on your farm.  Clear a few extra spaces next to the upgrader on all sides before you perform an upgrade.

To upgrade the Holstein Cow Upgrader to Level 2:

Produce 250 Milk on the upgrader
8000 Coins
10 Soil Shovels  (5 Blue Mystrons each or pay 1 RC for each)
30 Soil Rakes  (Pay 1 RC for each or request from Buddies as Free Gift)

As previously indicated, to perform any upgrade on the Upgrader itself or to see what materials are needed, choose the Move Tool and then choose the final icon of the House with arrows pointing in two directions, then upgrade!

I have not spent much time on these upgraders.  They annoy me frankly with their space requirements.   It does appear that there are two different options to increase the number of products that you will obtain.  One is by paying RC for the Super Container (2 extra products) or Blue Mystrons for the Container (1 extra product) respectively.  As I save my Blue Mystrons on Rosewood for the Decorations that were given as Quest Rewards before my farm was created, I would probably opt for the RC purchase when I have sufficient funds, even though the price is high.



I do not know how helpful this post is, but I was disconcerted by the difficulty that new players now face in this game unless they are willing to spend a fair amount of money.  Neighbours really do help here and that is why I have formed the Family Farm Seaside Freyashawk Group.

Specific Guides
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The following are links to posts that address specific aspects of the game in detail:

Tips on Being a Good Neighbour

Comprehensive Guide to the Island

How to Speed Crop Growth and other Options

The Botanic Garden, Friendship Flowers and Gardening on the Island






Above are two photographs of the Botanic Garden at Level 30, which at present is the highest level.  You will see the four unlocked Neighbour plots on the left, all filled.  The two flowers on the far left are 'real' Friendship Flowers.  The one on the left is Level 3 in the form of a Mega Doughnut Flower and the one on the right is a Level 2 Super Doughnut Flower.  To the right of those two are the new Heart Friendship Flowers, the flowers that can be purchased in the current sale and sent to your Neighbours.  The larger plot that holds a total of 12 flowers is for your own Flowers that you either have purchased in the Coins Mystery Shop or obtained through crossbreeding.

At the bottom right in the top photograph you will see a fully mature Colourful Plumeria.  This is a Level 1 flower that originally was created as a companion to special sales flowers and only sold during those sales.  Recently, you will find it all the time in the Coin Shop.  It grows very quickly and therefore is a good match for the 'sale' Friendship Flowers that grow fast and usually give RC Rewards both to the owner and the host gardener when crossbred.

Please note that a recent addition to the Collection Set Rewards given for time-restricted Mission completion is the Clam Friendship Flower.  Some rumours have denigrated this flower, under the mistaken impression that when crossbred, it cannot give its owner a REAL Friendship Flower.  This is NOT the case!  Do not undervalue the Clam Friendship Flower.  It can produce a real Friendship Flower!


The Botanic Garden
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The Botanic Garden is situated on the Island and does not require any special Quests or expansions by itself.  It is unlocked automatically when you unlock the expansion next to it.  

When I wrote my Island Guide, there was neither Botanic Garden nor Mine.  These two options were unlocked automatically when they were released as I had all expansions.  I do believe that the Botanic Garden is unlocked when you complete the 6th Expansion as follows:

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6th Island Expansion
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Save 1000000 Coins to buy expansion
  (With 85000 Coins, it offered to allow me to skip the task for 15 RC, but the other tasks never allow partial completion so perhaps the price for skipping this task always is 15 RC) 

Have 300 Raisins to buy expansion
  Make these in the Dehydrator
  Skip for 30 RC 

N.B.  Your first Dehydrator is given to you in the previous expansion but other Dehydrators require 1200 Dev Points to unlock

Have 300 Peacock Hats to buy expansion
   Skip for 40 RC 

N.B.  The Hat Machine requires 1680 Dev Points to unlock

ONCE THIS EXPANSION HAS BEEN COMPLETED, THE LAST THREE EXPANSIONS ALL WILL BE AVAILABLE TO YOU AND YOU CAN CHOOSE TO EXPAND IN ANY ORDER:  

Note that the numbers I have given to the expansions are arbitrary, designated for each from left to right on the Map.



I believe this is the Expansion that unlocks the Botanic Garden automatically.  When I unlocked the Island and all Expansions, the Botanic Garden and Mine did not exist... when these options were released, I had all the Expansions.

Initiation into the Mysteries of Gardening
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This section is for beginners and those who do not understand how the Garden works.  Basically, with the monthly release of special sales of Friendship Flowers that carry RC Rewards, EVERY Farmer with access to the Botanic Garden can participate.  When the only Friendship Flowers were 'real' Friendship Flowers that one had to acquire by crossbreeding, many farmers who had not been tending their Garden long would not have any experience with them.

Basically, the Botanic Garden Quests are tutorials that show you how to raise a flower to maturity and how to increase Levels through crossbreeding.  They do take time to complete because a Level 2 or Level 3 Flower is not grown in a day or even a week, so be patient with those.

The Friendship Flowers that are offered in sales give farmers the opportunity to raise their Botanic Garden levels and to interact with their Neighbours in the Garden as well as earning some RC and giving some to a Neighbour.  Here is a step-by-step tutorial.

Try to BUY the Sale Flower when you are on your Island.  That way, when you are prompted to go to your Gift Box, you can send it to your Glasshouse instantly by choosing the 'Use' option.  Now it is in your Glasshouse ready to be sent to a Neighbour.

Go to your Glasshouse and find the Flower, then Choose 'Foster Care'.  A list of Neighbours who have unlocked the Botanic Garden will appear.  Here is where you can choose a Neighbour who has sent you a flower previously to 'pay' back the favour or a Neighbour who has a Level 1 mature flower on the right side of his/her Garden ready to crossbreed.  Time is not of the essence really but it is nice to have your Flower grown and crossbred as quickly as possible so both you and your Neighbour can earn the Reward.

NOTE:  NEITHER YOU NOR YOUR NEIGHBOUR WILL EARN ANY REWARDS UNTIL THE FRIENDSHIP FLOWER IS MATURE AND THEN CROSSBRED.

What this means is that, if a Neighbour has done you the favour of placing a sale Friendship Flower on the left side of your Garden, you need to have a mature Level 1 Flower to crossbreed with it or buy and place one from the Coin Mystery Shop as quickly as possible.  To tend a flower, wait until the icon above it appears.  It may be a trimmer icon or a spade icon for a Level 1 Flower.  When the icon appears, tap on the flower to tend it.  You must do the same for the flowers on both sides of the Garden.  The Sale Friendship Flowers ALWAYS are Level 1 Flowers which means that they can be grown quickly.  The Flowers sold in the Coin Mystery Shop ALWAYS are Level 1 Flowers as well.

To crossbreed a mature Level 1 Sale Friendship Flower, simply drag it from the left side of the Garden using the 'Move' Tool and place it on top of a MATURE Level 1 Flower on the right side of the Garden.  Choose 'Crossbreed' and you will have a result.  In the case of any sale Friendship Flower, you will not create another Friendship Flower, but you will get a Flower for your side of the Garden as well as an RC Reward usually.  BOTH parties will be given Rewards in this case.

Colourful Plumeria
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Originally, the Colourful Plumeria was placed in the Coin Shop temporarily when a special offer was available for Friendship Flowers not found in the Book such as the Ice Cream Flower, the Fire Chocolate and now, most recently, the Clam Friendship Flower that is a reward for completing the special time-restricted Quests.  These flowers when first released and used to crossbreed, never produced REAL Friendship Flowers.   This information was confirmed by the Developers at that time but matters have changed.  For a start, the Colourful Plumeria is available randomly at all times. Secondly, the Colourful Plumeria when crossbred CAN produce a real Friendship Flower randomly as can the Clam Friendship Flower.

Clam Friendship Flower
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The Colourful Plumeria is a flower that you can purchase in the Coin Shop and place on your own side of the Botanic Garden.  The Clam Friendship Flower, as its name suggests must be placed on a Neighbour's Garden.  It is given as a Reward for completing a timed Mission and completing registration of the entire Collection Set associated with that Mission within a specific time period.

The Clam Friendship Flower CAN and often DOES produce a real Friendship Flower when crossbred.  More often than not, however, it will produce one of the 'rare' Level 2 Flowers in the form of the Super Jagger Lips, Super Lily.

Introduction to Flower Levels
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First of all, the Level of any Flower in the Botanic Garden cannot be changed.  Bringing it to maturity will not change its level, and continuing to tend to any Mature Flower may give you special extra Rewards including Watering Cans, Fertilisers and Mystrons, but it will not increase its level.  The only way to obtain higher Levels of any Flower is through Crossbreeding, and in some cases, specific types do not exist at every level.

For example, there is no Level 1 Jagger Lips and no Level 1 Lily.  There is no Level 2 Rose nor is there a Level 2 Rafflesia.  The 'ordinary' Flowers are the Viola Tricolour, the Epiphyllium, the Venus Flytrap and the Chrysanthemum and these are the flowers that exist at all three Levels.

Friendship Flowers are those that can be 'fostered' by a neighbour.  They include the special premium flowers offered in the special sales:  Macaron, Ice Cream, Fire Chocolate, Snowflake, Heart, Coffee and Cocktail.  There is one Friendship Flower that can be earned by completing Quest Collection Sets in the form of the Clam Friendship Flower.  The other Friendship Flowers are produced SOLELY THROUGH CROSSBREEDING.  These are the three Levels of Cupcake, Lollipop and Doughnut.

This post gives ALL details about the Botanic Garden and the business of fostering, crossbreeding, tending, borrowing and lending as well as Flower Registration.

Botanic Garden Plots and Glasshouse
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There is a total of 12 places for flowerpots in the garden and four places for Neighbour flowerpots.  Only two of your own places will be unlocked at the start and one of the Neighbour plots I believe. At Level 9, you will gain another plot on your side of the garden.  Tools that can be used on flowerpots initially include trowels called 'spades' and trimmers.  These can be used at specific intervals only.  The final plot will unlock when you have Level 30 experience in the Botanic Garden.  One cannot purchase any of the possible upgrades for the Garden, whether in the form of more places for flowerpots or to unlock the 'Glasshouse'.  You only can unlock new options by growing flowers and engaging in other Garden actions.

Other tools apart from the Spade and Trimmer that will be unlocked at higher levels include Insecticide, a UV Light and Music.  Insecticide and UV Light I are unlocked when you have created at least 1 Level 2 Flower.  Music is unlocked when you have created a Level 3 Flower and can be used only on a Level 3 Flower.

Your Garden Level is displayed on a pillar with a five-petal flower or five-point star on top of it.  After planting a second flower and using 1 Trowel/Spade on each of the flowers, my Level remained Level 1 but I had earned 3 out of the 8 points needed to ascend to Level 2.  Each Level upgrade requires more points.

Your Botanic Garden Level has nothing whatsoever to do with your general Experience Level.  You raise it only by tending your Garden.  Initially the Greenhouse when unlocked had a limited number fo plots for your own Friendship Flowers and you had to unlock the remainder by increasing your Level.  When the developers began to issue special sale Friendship Flowers, however, I do believe all farmers were given the total of 5 Greenhouse slots.

This no longer holds true as of February 2016, however.  Although you will have one plot on the Neighbour side of your garden at the start to accept a Friendship Flower from any Neighbour, you will not be able to unlock the Glasshouse until you reach Level 5.  Initially, you will have one slot in the Glasshouse and at Level 7 will gain another.  Levels here refer to Botanic Garden Levels!

There are three little stalls to the right of the Pillar.  The first is the Mystery Shop.  The second is a Flower Book akin to your Fish Book, listing all possible Flowers and your own mastery of them.  The third is a help stall, indicated by a question mark.

Once a flowerpot is placed, tending the flower is time-based.  The time between tendings ALWAY IS RANDOM.  The icon of the Tool that is needed to tend the Flower will appear above the flowerpot and, provided you have the Tool ins question, all that is needed is a tap of a finger.  It appears that the actual Tool that is needed is random, although the UV Light and Insecticide require that you have brought a Level 2 flower to maturity and the Music requires that you have brought a Level 3 flower to maturity.

The Flower Book contains the following:

Ordinary Flower Chapter:
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Venus Flytrap

Viola Tricolour

Chrysanthemum

Epiphyllum

All ordinary Flowers can be purchased from the Shop.  You need to access the Shop regularly to see what is available on any given day at any given time.  Remember that you can refresh the list of Items offered for Coin purchase.

Each Flower has a different growing time and the time that must elapse before another Tool can be used is different in each case.  The Chrysanthemum is one of the slowest-growing flowrs.  The Viola Tricolour appears to be one of the fastest.  You need not grow two of the same type of Flower in order to complete the requirement to grow 2 Level 2 Flowers for the Mission.  Obviously you do not need two of the same type to create a hybrid.  As the Mystery Shop Coin Menu will change each time you refresh, you can choose to wait until the flower you want appears, even when you have an empty space in your garden.

Note that the special Colourful Plumeria although initially available for limited periods only in conjunction with a special Friendship Flower sale now appears to be available at all times.

I always believe that every slot on your own side of the Garden should be filled.  If I would like to purchase a specific flower but it is not for sale, I buy whatever is available and then simply sell it when the flower I want appears.  I lose a few coins but would rather do that than have an empty wasted space.

Super Flower Chapter
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Super Venus Flytrap

Super Viola Tricolour

Super Chrysanthemum

Super Epiphyllum

Super Lily

Super Jagger Lips

Super Flowers are obtained through cross breeding.  There is a low chance of achieving these.

Mega Flower Chapter
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Maga Chrysanthemum

Mega Epiphyllum

Mega Lily

Mega Jagger Lips

Mega Rose

Mega Rafflesia

Mega Venus Flytrap

Mega Viola Tricolour

Mega Flowers are obtained through cross breeding.

Extraordinary Hybrids
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Doughnut Flower

Super Lollipop Flower

Cupcake Flower

Super Doughnut Flower

Super Cupcake Flower

Mega Doughnut Flower

Meag Cupcake Flower

Lollipop Flower

Mega Lollipop Flower

These flowers are obtained on rare occasions through cross breeding.

Flower Book and Gallery
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When the Botanic Garden first was released, there was no option to register Flowers in the Gallery, nor indeed to register Crops.  Now you will find that you can register your Crops as well as your Botanic Garden Flowers and Friendship Flowers.  There is a big difference between the Flower Lists in your Flower Book on the Island Botanic Garden and the Botanic Garden Flower section of the Gallery.  In the Gallery, you will find ALL the special sales Friendship Flowers as well as all of the Flowers that are listed in the book.

The Flowers that are not listed in the Botanic Garden Flower Book but can be registered in the Gallery to date are:

Macaron Friendship Flower
Ice Cream Friendship Flower
Fire Chocolate Friendship Flower
Heart Friendship Flower
Coffee Friendship Flower
Cocktail Friendship Flower
Colourful Plumeria Flower

Apart from the Colourful Plumeria, all those listed above are all Friendship Flowers offered periodically in special sales.  When crossbred, they ordinarily do not create a real Friendship Flower but rather offer other special Rewards both to the Owner and to the Neighbour who hosts the Flower and crossbreeds it.  These Rewards often include RC as well as Blue Mystrons.  Only the Macaron Friendship Flower gives special Rewards in the form of Decorations to the Owner after a set number of these are crossbred by hosts.

Colourful Plumeria Flower

Although this Flower originally was 'temporary', it is now a permanent Level 1 Flower that can be purchased in the Coin Market and registered in the Gallery.  It is a fast-growing Flower that can be used to crossbreed with any Friendship Flower.  It can produce a real Friendship Flower when crossbred with a REAL Friendship Flower, including the new Clam Flower.

Lending Friendship Flowers
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At the end of this post, you will find an explanation as to how Friendship Flowers can be 'lent' temporarily to farmers solely for the purpose of Gallery Registration.

Island Botanic Garden Quests
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An Island tutorial Quest will teach farmers about cross-breeding:

Trading Places
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Trading Places I
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Darryl:  I made a bet with Felicia on whose tasks are harder.  Now I have to do all Felicisa's tasks for a day and she'll do mine!  And guess what?  I'll be working in the flowr garden all day!  No way, it's so girly!

Have 2 flowers in the garden
  N.B.  You will begin with one flower.  I was able to purchase a second flower using Coins in the Mystery section of the Market.  The items available in the Mystery section change daily and one can purchase 10 Trimmers for 8000 Coins.

Help 2 flowers with the Spade
  Skip for 3 RC

  N.B.  When you are able to use a 'spade' on a flower, the icon of a trowel will appear above the flower pot.  It really is a trowel and not a spade...

Help 2 flowers with the Trimmer
  Skip for 6 RC

Reward: 1500 Coins, 250 XP, 15 Dev Points

Darryl:  That wasn't too hard!  Especially with your help!  I wonder how Felicia has been getting on with my work!

Trading Places II
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Oh dear!  Felicia left me instructions and according to them, I have to crossbreed flowers.  I have no idea on how to do this!  Can you help me, so that Felicia won't laugh at me?

Have 2 matured Level 1 Flowers
  Skip for 6 RC

Crossbreed 1 level 1 flower
  Skip for 6 RC

Reward: 1500 Coins, 250 XP, 15 Dev Points

Darryl:  Wow!  Did you see that?  Look, we've got a special flower!

N.B.  The Chrysanthemum takes far longer to mature than the Epiphyllum.  When my first Chrysanthemum finally matured, I had been continuing to feed the Epiphyllum for a day or so at least.  Cross-breeding the two resulted in a Super Chrysanthemum in this case.

Trading Places III
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DarryL;  Oh!  I think I can even win the bet you know!  All we need to do is take care of these little flowers when they need something!  Look, I'll show you!

Have 2 Level 2 Flowers
  Skip for 6 RC

Help 2 Flowers with the insecticide
  Skip for 6 RC

Help 2 flowers with the UV Light
  Skip for 6 RC

Reward: 1500 Coins, 250 XP, 15 Dev Points

Darryl:  These garden flowers are so delicate.  I was scared about hurting them when I used the garden tools!

Trading Places IIV
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Darryl:  Remember the flowers which you helped me crossbreed for the first time?  We need to find another flower to crossbreed with this one!   I still need to learn how to do this!  Please help me one more time!

Have 2 matured level 2 flowers
  Skip for 6 RC

Crossbreed 2 level 2 flowers
   Skip for 6 RC

Rewards: 1500 Coins, 250 XP, 15 Dev Points

Darryl:  Yes, ow we have one more resident for our garden!  Grow, little guy!  Become big and beautiful!

Received a Mega Epiphyllum by crossbreeding a Super Epiphyllum and Super Chrysanthemum incidentally.


Trading Places V
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Darryl:  I was planning to run to  the fishing pier with my friends for a few hours, but these flowers need constant attention!  I give Felicia credit, this juob isn't as easy as I thought it would be!  But I still want to win the bet!

Have 2 Level 3 Flowers
  Skip for 6 RC

Help 2 Flowers with Music
  Skip for 6 RC
  Note that you will need a Level 3 Flower in order to be able to use Music.

Reward: 1500 Coins, 250 XP, 15 Dev Points

Darryl:  Nice!  All flowers have had their fair share of my attention!  Now I have some free time!

Trading Places VI
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Darryl:  We have enough flowers in our garden!  Time for some experiments!  I will corssbreed flowers and try to get a totally new type of flower!  Felicia will be stunned!

Have 2 Matured level 3 flowers
  Skip for 6 RC

Crossbreed 2 Level 3 flowers
  Skip for 6 RC

Reward: 1500 Coins, 250 XP, 15 Dev Points

Darryl:  It's so peaceful here in this garden!  No wonder Felicia spends hours here!

Trading Places VII
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Darryl:  I need to free up some space in the garden.  Can you help me decide which one I should sell?  I am so attached to them now that I won't be able to make a choice!

Sell 1 Matured Flower
  Skip for 6 RC

Reward: 1500 Coins, 250 XP, 15 Dev Points

Darryl:  Thank you for your help!  Now we have more space and more coins! Gardening sure is an awesome thing!

Last quest in sequence.

Mystery Shop
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The new Mystery Shop offers the opportunity to buy new Flowers for the Garden, more implements for the Garden, as well as items from both the original Seaside Farm and the Island Farm, provided always that you have unlocked the Island and the Garden.  If not, you will not see the Items from the Garden or the Island Items.   On my second farm initially, I had unlocked the Island but not made the expansion that allowed the Garden to appear.  I therefore saw only regular Island Items and Seaside Items in the Mystery Shop.  Note, however, that Crops and products you may not have unlocked yet WILL appear in the Mystery Shop from time to time, as well as a multitude of Sea creatures.  For players like me who dislike the fishing option, it is great to be able to buy seafood supplies in the shop now.

The Mystery Shop moreover, in terms of the new Coin option is on a timer that allows the player to refresh up to four times, depending on the amount of time that has passed.

Be advised that you can have only a limit of 99 tools of any kind for the Garden.  When you have 99 Spades, you cannot purchase more until you have used some of them.

Seeds for flowers cannot be stored.  If you do not have a spot to plant the seed, you cannot purchase it.

Greeenhouse/Glasshouse
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The Glasshouse is where your own Friendship Flowers are located, both the real Friendship Flowers and those that you have purchased in a special sale.  You can keep purchased Friendship Flowers in your Gift Box, however, if you wish to keep a slot or two open for a real Freindship Flower.

When  a Friendship Flower has been created in your garden, it immediately will go into the Greenhouse. You then need to open the Greenhouse to tap on the flower in order to find a Neighbour to tend it.  When you have chosen the Neighbour, you then need to visit his/her Island farm to place your flower on an empty Neighbour Plot by tapping on the plot.

There is a new option in Seaside that allows you to place a special welcome pink or red ribbon round your Neighbour plots to let your Neighbours know that you would welcome Friendship Flowers.  Although most farmers do welcome the chance to tend them, there are farmers who would rather not have the burden of what can be considerable labour, especially if the flower is Level 2.  Thus the new option.

If you find that your Neighbour is not tending your Flower, you should be able to take it back and place it on another farm.  If you do this, however, all growth progress will be lost to the flower.  It is not a step to be taken hastily.  Some farmers have more access to the internet and the game than others.  It may not be neglect but lack of access that makes one farmer slower to grow your Flowers than another.

More about Friendship Flowers
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As discussed previously, the Botanic Garden is on the Island and is tied to one of the Island expansions.  It has begun to feature in the time-restricted Missions so if you have access to the Island but have not made that particular expansion, you may wish to do so.

For players who cannot FIND the garden, you will not see it until you unlock the 5th expansion I believe... it then is unlocked automatically, the same way the Helicopter port is unlocked automatically.  The requirements for completing that expansion are given at the beginning of this post.

Ordinary Flowers
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There are three different types of flowers basically.  There are the ordinary Flowers that you buy in the Mystery Shop, grow on your side of the Botanic Garden and then crossbreed with another mature Flower os the same Level after it has grown to maturity itself.  These flowers all can be found in your Flower Book in the first three categories or chapters.

Real Friendship Flowers
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The second type of Flower is what call the real Friendship Flower.  All types appear in your Book in the final chapter for Friendship Flowers.  They can be produced only through crossbreeding and are a random result.  Usually, you will find that a Level 3 Flower crossbred with another Level 3 Flower is the one most likely to produce a Friendship Flower although it can occur with two Level 2 Flowers as well.  The Friendship Flower you obtain in this situation would be a level 1 Flower.

It is when a real Friendship Flower is sent to a Neighbour, brought to maturity and crossbred that you may receive a level 2 Friendship Flower.  Again, this is a random result.  Too many times, you will tend to the Friendship Flower a neighbour has entrusted to you only to obtain an ordinary Flower when you finally are able to crossbreed it.

'Ordinary' however does not mean that you could purchase this flower yourself in any Market. Among the 'Ordinary' Flowers that can be created by crossbreeding are the Jagger Lips, the Rose and the Rafflesia.

Clam Friendship Flower
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The Clam Friendship Flower is a REAL Friendship Flower now given as a reward for completing any timed mission's Collection Set within the period before it expires (or within a few hours of expiration!).  Even if you have not unlocked the Botanic Garden yet, you WILL receive a Clam Friendship Flower if you complete the Collection Set in time.  It will go into your Gift Box and can be used later.

Even if you have unlocked the Botanic Garden, you need to have reached Level 6 in the Garden before you will unlock the first slot in your Glasshouse/Greenhouse.  You then can transfer any Clam Friendship Flower you have earned from your Gift Box to the Glasshouse and from there, place it on any neighbour's farm provided that neighbour has space for it.  There is no time limit to placing Friendship Flowers.

Note that you now can completed timed missions that have expired from the Lighthouse but you cannot earn the Clam Friendship Flower once the original time period given for the initial registration of the Collection Set expires.  You still will be able to register the Collection Set for the ordinary rewards of 1 RC and 88 Green Mystrons but the Clam Friendship Flower will not be included any longer.

Special Sale Friendship Flowers
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Finally, there is the type of Friendship Flower that you obtain through purchase in a sale.  These, as of August 2017, have been of a number of different varieties: the Ice Cream Flower and the Macaron Flower, the Fire Chocolate Flower, the Snowflake Friendship Flower, the Coffee Friendship Flower and the Cocktail Friendship Flower.  The Ice Cream Flower gives higher RC when crossbred than the Macaron but the Macaron has two separate Decorations associated with it.  When you have opened your 8th Gift Bag from a Macaron Flower, you receive the Spoon Shovel Decoration.  When you open the 10th, you receive the Macaron Flower Decoration.  Both can be registered in the Gallery and give Blue Gift Boxes when cleaned.

Note that the Coffee Friendship Flower gives Pet Cards as rewards both to the host and the neighbour who grows the flower to maturity and crossbreeds it.

The Friendship Flowers that appear in sales are not included in your Flower Book and no one I know ever received a Friendship Flower or even rare Flower from crossbreeding one.  The real purpose of these is to share RC with a friend and to earn XP towards the upgrade of your Botanic Garden.  You can register them in the Gallery, however, with ALL Botanic Garden Flowers.

Now, Botanic Garden Flowers can be registered in the Gallery in a separate department and all of the special sales Friendship Flowers are included.


Colourful Plumeria
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Note that the Colourful Plumeria is tied to this type of Friendship Flower.  Originally, it only appeared in the Mystery Shop when the sales were running and were designed for use with  them.  Now they are found all the time.  I believe they became permanent because of the new Clam Friendship Flower that is a reward for completing the Collection Set associated with any timed Mission..  The purpose of this type is speed... it matures faster even than the Epiphyllum or Tricolour Violet.  It appears to be related to both of these actually as the flowers you receive when you crossbreed the Plumeria tend to be one or the other of these or a Super Lily often which is related to these as well, although it may be entirely random.  Originally, one could not receive a REAL Friendship Flower when crossbreeding any flower with the Colourful Plumeria. This has changed.

How to Crossbreed a Friendship Flower
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Any Friendship Flower, whether it is a 'real' Friendship Flower or a 'sale' Friendship Flower will be located on the left side of the Botanic Garden.  There is a total of four plots on the left side of the Garden.  You cannot place a Flower there or use the space for crossbreeding.  ONLY A NEIGHBOUR CAN PLACE A FLOWER ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE GARDEN.

There is a fairly new option for the left side of the garden where you can place a little pink fence to indicate your willingness to accept and grow Friendship Flowers.  Tap on the individual plot to place the little ribbon fence and you will see the option either to place it or to let your Neighbours know that you do NOT want any Friendship Flowers.  You must do this for each of the four plots separately.  These ribbon fences do expire.  When one expires, you will receive a notification.  Simply place a new one...

You tend Friendship Flowers in the same way that you tend your own Flowers located on the right side of the Garden.  The time between tendings is random, although Level 2 and Level 3 Flowers obviously take longer to mature and may have longer time spans between tending.  The sale Friendship Flowers can be tended more frequently than any other flowers.  As they usually carry special rewards in the form of RC and even on occasion a special Decoration, this allows these Rewards to be earned more quickly.

When any Flower, either on your side of the Garden or the Neighbour side of the Garden matures, you will see a message to that effect.  Once any Flower matures, you can crossbreed it.  It is essential to do so where the flowers on the left side of the Garden are concerned, because their placement is an act of trust on the part of your Neighbour.  If you fail to crossbreed a mature Flower on the left side of the Garden, the Neighbour who sent it has every right to take it back and foster it again elsewhere.

In order to crossbreed ANY Flower, you msut have a Mature Flower of the same Level.  If the Flower is on the left side of the garden, you will need a mature Flower on the right side of the Garden in order to be able to crossbreed.

Sale Friendship Flowers
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Sale Friendship Flowers tend to carry RC rewards with them but NEITHER YOU NOR THE ORIGINAL OWNER CAN RECEIVE THE REWARD UNTIL THE FLOWER IS CROSSBRED!  When any neighbour sends you a special sale Friendship Flower such as the Ice Cream Friendship Flower, the Fire Chocolate Friendship Flower or the new Heart Friendship Flower, you need first to tend it until it reaches maturity and then crossbreed it with one of your Level 1 Flowers in order to give the original owner the Reward and obtain the Reward yourself.  If you leave it in your garden after maturity, it will not benefit either one of you.

You need to crossbreed real Friendship Flowers as well once they reach maturity as this is the reason the Neighbour entrusted the Flower to you whether or not it becomes another real Friendship Flower that you can send back to the original owner or becomes a different flower that cannot be returned.  

Flower Levels
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I am adding this section because many farmers are confused by the nature of the Botanic Garden Flowers in terms of their levels.  A flower that you place ALWAYS will remain the same level and, unless a neighbour places a higher level of Flower on the left side of the Garden for you to crossbreed, ALL the Flowers that you place will be Level 1 Flowers.  Level 1 Flowers are ALL the flowers that you can purchase in the Coin Mystery Shop.  They include the Colourful Plumeria, which is not included in the Flower Book.  You can keep a Level 1 Flower on a plat forever, tending it whenever the tool icon pops up, even after it matures.  It never will change level, however!

There are Level 1 Friendship Flowers but they are the result of crossbreeding and are listed in the Neighbour section of the Book, to wit, the Cupcake Flower, the Lollipop Flower and the Doughnut Flower.  Although they are Level 1 Flowers, you cannot purchase them and only can obtain them through crossbreeding.  When you do obtain one, you will be unable to place it in your own garden, but must take it from the Glasshouse/Greenhouse to place it on a Neighbour's Farms.

You cannot crossbreed flowers of different levels.  You CAN crossbreed a Level 1 flower on the Neighbour side of your Garden with a Level 1 Flower on YOUR side of the garden and thus, can crossbreed a Level 1 Friendship Flower with a Level 1 ordinary flower.  Indeed, you cannot crossbreed two Level 1 Friendship Flowers because you never will have one on your side of the garden.

If you have two Level 2 Flowers, you can crossbreed them whether or not both are on your side of the garden or one of them is a Level 2 Friendship Flower on the Neighbour side of the garden.  Similarly, two Level 3 Flowers can be crossbred and they can produce another Level 3 Flower OR a Level 1 Friendship Flower, oddly enough!

Directions for Crossbreeding
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When any Flower on the left side of the Garden matures, you need to use the Move Tool to drag it to a Mature Flower of the same Level on the right side of the Garden.  Place it on top of the Mature Flower on the right side of the Garden and you will see the option to Crossbreed.  It only takes a moment to crossbreed any flower.  When complete, the result will depend on the type of flowers that were crossbred as follows:

If both flowers are on your side of the Garden, YOU will create a new Flower.  It could be a regular flower of a higher level, a special Flower of a higher Level or a real Friendship Flower.  By crossbreeding two flowers on your side of the Garden, you will free a plot there.  The new flower will go on one of the plots but the other will become vacant.

If one flower is on the left side of the Garden, you need to take it to the right side of the Garden to crossbreed.  The results will depend on the type of Flower sent by your Neighbour.

If your Neighbour sent you a 'real' Friendship Flower, the results will be one of the following:

A regular Flower of a higher Level
A special Flower
Another 'real' Friendship Flower

If your Neighbour sent you a 'sale' Friendship Flower, the results will be one of the following:

A regular Flower of a higher level
A special Flower

Random Results
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I remember when the fishing option first was released in Seaside.  We logged all the results of the position in which the bait was cast to try to discern the nature of the catch.  Utterly useless: results are random.  I firmly believe it is the same for the Botanic Garden.  We could log our results until the proverbial cows come home and still not have any way to make certain that we obtain specific flowers in crossbreeding.  I do hope that the developers will modify the incidence of obtaining the Level 2 Friendship Flowers when Level 1 Friendship Flowers such as the Cupcake Flower, Doughnut Flower and Lollipop Flowers are crossbred.  Even more time and energy goes into the tending of the level 2 Friendship Flowers and when one ultimately obtains only a common Flower after crossbreeding one, it is too depressing for words.  Not to mention how upset I am not to be able to send a rare Friendship Flower back to its owner after crossbreeding finally occurs.  I really think that this aspect of the game needs to be changed in our favour.

There are different probabilities, however.  Apart from the possible result of a Friendship Flwoer when two ordinary Flowers are crossbred, there is a possibility of obtaining a flower tyat is rare.  The rare types are the Jagger Lips, the Lily, the Rafflesia and the Rose.

In my own experience, the Lily appears to be associated with the Epiphyllum and Viola Tricolour while the Jagger Lips appears to be associated with the Venus Flytrip and possibly the Chrysanthemum.  I personally believe that although all the rare types are described as having a 'rare chance' of appearing in the Flower Book, it is the Rafflesia and the Rose that are the rarest of all.  No one I know ever has obtained one so far...

Here I am descending to the realm of pure speculation.  Is it possible that one only can obtain the Rafflesia or the Rose by crossbreeding two OTHER rare flowers such as the Jagger Lips and the Lily?  Time will tell...

It is possible that the appearance of the Rafflesia and Rose, although random, may be more likely if you are at the highest level of Experience in the Botanic Garden.  On the other hand, the Jagger Lips was a result on my lower level Rosewood Farm long before Freyashawk obtained it on the higher level Harvest Moon Farm.  The Botanical Garden is at a higher level there, in other words, than Rosewood's Botanical Garden.  So perhaps it is entirely random after all.

A little note here about the nature of the Rafflesia.  It is famous in the Animal Crossing series of games as a terrible weed that occurs if you neglect your village shamelessly and fail to pull your regular weeds... In the Rune Factory series, it is a 'boss' monster you must defeat.   In Seaside, it is a rare flower.

I have used the basic designation for the rare flowers rather than using the Level names.  In other words, there are Super Lilies and Mega Lilies, Super Jagger Lips and Mega Jagger Lips...

Finally, your ability to send Friendship Flowers out to Foster Care depends partly on your experience Level in the Botanic Garden.  Initially it began with two slots but when they released the sales with the Macaron Friendship Flower, they expanded the number of slots even for low level Botanic Farmers to four.  When you purchase a Sale flower, you can keep it in your Gift Box until needed.  I recommend this actually as I had a situation where a real Friendship Flower from a neighbour matured but I did not have any free slots in my Glasshouse.  I was uncertain if this would affect my chances to produce a Level 2 Friendship Flower as it would have nowhere to go.  I therefore had to wait until one of my existing Friendship Flowers on Neighbours' Garden plots matured in order to clear a space in the Greenhouse for the hypothetical Friendship Flower.

There is a question here as well.  Where should you send your Friendship flowers for foster care?  Well, there is a little reciprocal rule that is unofficial.  Where sale flowers are concerned, when some one sends one to you, it is good manners to send one to that farmer if you have any.  Where real Friendship Flowers are concerned, should you be fortunate enough to breed a Level 2 type, you really ought to send it back to the farmer who sent it to you for fostering in the first place.

Although there are many farmers who request Friendship Flowers, there are others who do not bother much with the garden.   The speed with which a flower matures depends partly upon the frequency with which you tend it.  I have a post in my Family Farm Seaside Freyashawk Group where farmers can post their Friendship flower requests and status.  Remember that any Friendship Flower has to be crossbred with a normal Flower when it matures, so keeping Level 1 mature flowers in the Garden is one factor that makes some farmers more desirable 'foster parents' than others.

Note that, if you feel that a farmer is not tending the Friendship Flower you placed in his/her garden, there is an option to take it back and re-foster it somewhere else.   Any progress made in its growth will be lost of course if you do so but if you see that the farmer truly is inactive, it is good to know that you can rescue your flower from oblivion.

Level 3 Crossbreeding
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The results for crossbreeding two Level 1 Flowers always consist of a Level 2 Flower.  The results for crossbreeding two Level 2 Flowers I believe always result in a Level 3 Flower but the results of crossbreeding a Level 3 Flower are totally random both in terms of Level and the flower you receive.  I have crossbred two Level 3 flowers and received a Level 1 Friendship Flower, a Level 2 Special Flower, Level 2 Super Flower or another Level 3 Flower!

Garden Strategies
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It is your Farm, your Island and your Botanic Garden.  How you choose to allocate your resources there is your business, but there are a couple of consideration that may or may not make a difference. First of all, there is a Quest sequence that is associated with the Botanic Garden.  Quest sequences on the Island give Dev Points and these are critical if you wish to have access to all options, including the Pizza Machine.

You do have a limited number of plots in your Garden and a limited number of slots in your Glasshouse.  You will reach a point ultimately where you may be forced to make some difficult choices.  Do you opt for the Friendship Flower strategy by keeping as many mature Level 1 Flowers in your Garden as possible or do you concentrate on your own Flower Book and the business of raising Level 2 and then Level 3 Flowers.  With the sales, I found that I was selling every Level 2 Flower that was obtained through crossbreeding instantly without tending it at all, thereby losing potential income and the ability to add another result to my book in the interest of replacing it with another Level 1 Flower for potential crossbreeding with a Macaron Flower from a Neighbour.  That was the choice I made but other players may make a very different decision.

Level 1 Flowers are the quickest to mature and each type has a different growth rate.  Level 2 Flowers take longer but the slowest are the Level 3 Flowers.  As you increase your Garden experience level, you will unlock new plots but it takes time.    The Botanic Garden really is a cosmic lesson in patience.

Registration of Crops and Flowers
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A recent update allows the registration both of ordinary Crops and all Friendship Flowers in your Gallery.  As with any Gallery Registration, the Rewards vary according to the item that is registered.

In order to register a Friendship Flower, it must be ON THE GROUND in your Botanic Garden.  In other words, the Friendship Flowers that you own originally and are in your own Gift Box or Glasshouse cannot be registered.

Because of this, our group began the practice of 'borrowing' and 'lending' Friendship Flowers to other farmers solely for the purpose of Gallery Registration.  Ordinarily, a Friendship Flower would be removed from your Garden before it matured only if you neglected to tend it for a long period of time.  Now we have threads in our groups that offer to 'lend' specific Friendship Flowers to farmers who need them for registration.  This lending is done on the understanding that the flower will be removed shortly after delivery and lent to some one else.