In Harvest Moon for the SNES, crops will be your main source of revenue for the most of the game. The only time you won’t be relying on crops is the time between seasons when you’re waiting for the new season’s crops to grow as well as Fall and Winter, the seasons that don’t have any growable crops. For those, you’ll have to rely on farm animal products and the few items that grow on the mountain and/or cave. This guide will show you best methods for making money in any season.
All calculations assume that you are planting in the optimal “C” Formation where you leave one edge space empty in a 3 x 3 square of crops since you wouldn’t be able to reach the middle crop otherwise. The ability to walk through crops or water entire 3 x 3 blocks of seeds would not be implemented until later installments of the series, if at all.
Note: If you want the best endings, you’ll need to ship at least 200 of each crop by the end of the third year. The best strategy is to focus on the most profitable crop of each season in the First Year to make the most amount of money possible. By the start of the second season, you shouldn’t have to worry about gold and you can focus on all the requirements to get the best ending like growing the less profitable crops.
Spring, First Year
For the first Spring, focus on growing Potatoes. Turnips may sound better because it grows faster, but for just two days more of growing Potatoes, you double the total profit you earn per bag of seed.
|Cost of Seeds
|Days to Grow
|Profit / Seed Bag
While you’re waiting for the crops to grow, the two options you have to make gold are foraging and fishing. Foraging involves picking up the seasonal fruit (when available) that grows on the mountain and shipping it for gold. In Spring, the forgeable items are the yellow grapes (known as the “Berry of the Wild Grape”) found in the mountain directly north of the mountain entrance. Each one sells for 150 G and if you’re fast enough, you can collect two of them before the shipping man comes.
The second option is fishing, with each fish selling for 300 G each. The problem is that fishing is not guaranteed, so you won’t always get a fish with each cast so it’s all up to luck. If you’re lucky though, you could make up to 600 G in one day with just fishing.
With enough Gold in hand, buy a chicken as soon as possible. The eggs can be grown into more chickens or their eggs can be used to make quick gold. Be sure to buy and plant 2 or 3 patches of Grass seeds as both Chickens and Cows will need Fodder to thrive and survive.
Summer, First Year
In Summer, the crops change in that they can be harvested more than once as long as you keep watering them. They have an initial growth period before they start producing the crop, and then they will continue to produce more every three days after that as long as you keep watering them. They will do this until the first day of Fall when all the crops need to be removed with a sickle.
For your first Summer, Corn will be the superior crop for pure profits.
|Cost of Seed
|Initial Growth Time
|Profit / Seed Bag
Summer is both the season where you can make the most gold and also the last season that has growable crops. The following two seasons will have no crops to grow and very few forgeable items on the mountain so do your best to not miss watering the crops or caring for your animals.
This is the season where you should also invest in your first few cows. Their milk, combined with the eggs from your Chickens, will be your only reliable source of income for both Fall and Winter.
Fall & Winter, First Year
Fall and Winter are seasons that don’t have any crops to grow but there will still be some things to forage up in the mountain. At this point, you should have a number of chickens and cows to provide you daily income with their eggs and milk.
The Poison Mushrooms can be found on the Mountain in Fall and sell for 200 G each in the Shipping Bin or 300 G if you sell it to the Peddler in the town on Sundays.
Winter has no growable crops or items to forage on the Mountain, so by this point you should have a number of Cows producing Medium to Large Milk and numerous Chickens to carry you through the season. If you are in desperate need of instant Gold, you can go to the Mountain Cave and sell the Cave Herbs for 200 G each. This is not recommended as it wastes a lot of time to get to these herbs and unlike other indoor locations in the game, time continues to flow even in the cave so only farm these if you need some gold quickly.
Second Year and onward
Regardless of the year, the strategies above will always work. After the first year, you should have enough gold that you can start pursuing the other requirements to get the best ending without worrying about whether you have enough gold.