The farmer’s market in farmville is sometimes criticized by players because they experience lags in the game or out of sync messages when they harvest and they think that harvesting also takes longer when a farmer’s market is on the farm, since the plants are always checked whether they yield bushels, taking additional time and producing more pop-ups.
Although I have made the farmer’s market look pretty bad now, I recommend you use 5 stalls on your farm as soon as you can easily afford them and have harvested enough different crops to open them all. The reason for this is that the farmer’s market has four important functions for you.
The first one is that you can use bushels of harvested crops or get bushels from your neighbors to receive one more mastery point for every plot you harvest or one additional XP for every plot for mastered crops. The farmer’s market makes crop mastery twice as fast and gives you one more way to receive additional XP.
The second function of the farmer’s market is selling bushels of crops that you harvest to friends. Just as you can pick up 3 bushels a day for free from each of your friends, they can get bushels from you, too. However neither you nor your friends will lose bushels if someone takes them, you basically exchange copies of bushels. This is important for their masteries and crafting. You get an arrow over your market stalls when a friend has picked up a bushel and if you click on the stall you are automatically redirected to the bonus collection page. It lets you choose the reward you would like for the claimed bushels. You have the choice between fuel for 15 plots, 400 coins or 10 XP in return for each bushel. I recommend taking the XP if you want to progress fast.
The third way you can use the farmer’s market is to access crops that are normally locked for you. This used to be most important if you wanted to make as much money as possible in the game trying to grow the most valuable crops, before the greenhouse was introduced. Now the greenhouse gives you access to the more valuable seeds and to most of the seeds that give you the most XP as well. Greenhouse crops can only be unlocked in the market by growing enough mixed or collected seeds to master them first. Using a bushel of an unmastered greenhouse crop won’t unlock it in the market, but you will get the mastery bonus for harvesting unmastered greenhouse crops. But you might still want to unlock some crops that you couldn’t grow normally. You can use bushels from your friends, either from their stalls or the ones they share on the feed, to unlock regular crops that you can’t grow due to level or mastery restrictions. Using one bushel of the locked crop lets you plant the crop for the next 2 hours even if you normally can’t. This may be good for co-ops, too. I’m going to come back to that in the next part since you can take a new look at crops from the perspective of no level or mastery restrictions, provided your neighbors can supply you with the bushels you need. The only drawback is that you can’t get additional mastery points for unlocked crops, using more bushels will only unlock the crop again and again instead of giving you a harvesting bonus.
The fourth function of the farmer’s market is as a storage facility for bushels you harvest. This becomes more important when you start crafting since recipes for goods may require up to five bushels of the same crop for one good and you may be unable to pick up enough bushels from your friends if you have a fully expanded crafting building and craft several times a day. However it may still be a good idea to clean out you market stall once in a while and share bushels that you don’t need any more with your friends, especially if you don’t craft. You can only keep up to 100 bushels inside and if you pick up bushels from friends and your own crops the stall will fill up pretty fast. Quite recently the storage capacity of the farmer’s market stalls has been expanded. Now you get an additional storage space of 25 bushels for each additional stall up to the limit of 200 with the maximum five stalls. Since there are ways to increase the bushel yield of crops such as crop mastery, using a bag of fertilizer, pollinated seeds and the lush soil from the English countryside, expanding your storage space by buying more stalls when you craft is a good idea.
Basically the farmer’s market is a good way to get additional XP and it will probably be worth it to have 5 stalls open all the time so friends can pick up what they need from you. I make about 200 XP a day on five stalls, much more than I would get if I plant on the space the market stalls take. I hope you can make yours even more productive. The rewards only accumulate up to 120 XP while you are away, though. So in order to make lots of XP with your farmer’s market you need to come back to collect the bonus several times a day.
Since I’ll come back to crop mastery in section 7 I just want to give you a quick hint here: mastering crops will increase the time your market stalls keep selling the same types of bushels after you’ve harvested them. Unmastered crops will be sold for 24 hours and each mastery star keeps the stalls open for another 8 hours up to the maximum of 48 hours if you have already mastered all three stars and received your mastery sign. If all your five stalls are open and you harvest a new type of crop, you will get a pop-up asking whether you want to close the stall that will remain open for the shortest period of time. If you deny that, the new crop won’t be offered. You can also manually close one of the stalls prior to harvesting to get this to open with the new crop, for example a stall holding a greenhouse crop bushel that isn’t much in demand.
One way to always keep all the stalls stocked is by growing different kinds of crops at the same time. Normally I wouldn’t recommend it but it might make sense if you have to stay away from the game for a weekend to at least grow 4 or 5 different kinds of 2 or 3 day crops to make up for losing XP by not playing in the mean time. On the other hand not all the crops are really sought-after, especially the longer growing crops aren’t used much in crafting. The best crops to stock your market stalls with are the crops that are necessary for regular co-ops and, a lot more important than these, the ones that are used for crafting. You can check your crafting building and the farmville wiki which types of bushels are needed for goods. Usually the ones for the first recipes are more in demand since not all neighbors have fully expanded crafting buildings. So growing rice, wheat and white grapes at the same time to fill your stalls with popular crafting materials makes sense for example, since they all take the same time to grow.
4.2 Unlocking crops with the farmer’s market?
© Conny Streit, 2011