While we always believed Hank had a successful farm, no one we know of has actually visited him or been there, so my dad cautioned that he could have been exaggerating to avoid any concern on our part. Not knowing the state of the farm, I've been tasked to travel up there and get the farm going, and as soon as income can support it the rest of the family will follow.
So the challenge:
- For each family member moving after me, I'll add negative daily income to my farmhouse, to correspond to -$166 per month. For the whole family, including me, that's $1.000 upkeep per month, or $3.000 per season (3 months). How fast can I get the farm into business so I can support the family, while still being able to advance the farm? When all family members are cared for, we'll work toward increasing this x4 for a decent living standard. (I use negative daily income to avoid the price rising over time as property maintenance, and to not have the number confused with property maintenance)
- The farm will have gear enabling some farming to start with, but otherwise I'll be close to bankrupt.
- Noone will dare loan anything to our poor family so loans are not an option.
- Hard economy, fast dirt, default fuel usage, periodic plowing, liming and weeds enabled. Crop destruction on, though I may end up doing an exception if having to do low working width harvesting where I have to drive in front, as none of the old tractors I've seen seems to have narrow wheels options in game, but they should still be able to drive between rows of potatoes for instance.
- 6 day season (2 days per month). Crop moisture, snow tracks and snow mode enabled.
- As the map is empty, I'll be cheating in money to develop the map when fitting as I go. (Adding on to a settlement to mimic more activity in the area and landscape and add stuff to the map that isn't mine, but which possibly can add a selling point or something).
Arrival at Dead Mans Valley
It's a beautiful day, but I left tarmac 80 miles ago, gravel 60 miles ago, and have been driving on dirt roads ever since. I have to stop every mile to dry and get dirt of my windshield to see where I'm going. I was far from sure I was going the right way, but coming over this hilltop this has to be the valley. I can spot a farm down there. That's gotta be it.
I got to take the family's trusty Ford F-100 with me. I've got my life savings of $793 with me, and to make sure I have enough funds to cover some initial expenses, I got some money of my dad, so I've got $1.364 in my pocket. Never felt this rich. But I have a bad conscience taking any money at all from him, so I hope I can pay that back as soon as possible.
After another hour I finally arrived at the farm.
Far from the modern farm I thought Hank was running prior to getting the letter, but while the buildings look worn, it looks like it could be a functional farm. There's only a very small field here though. Doesn't his plot of land allows more of a field than this? How did he survive with only that little field? Oh wait.. He didn't :/..
Well.. Lets see what we have to work with here.
We seem to have some animal pens hurdled together here. A very small chicken coop. It'll give me eggs for breakfast, but I won't be making much of a dollar on the few chickens I can keep there. A small horse pen seems to be able to hold 2 horses (I'm hoping there's a tractor here and that he hasn't been keeping those horses to pull plows). There's also two cow sheds here, which I guess can hold at least 15 head. From the looks of it, it seems that have had to have been his main source of income, though I'm unsure whether that small field can even grow enough to feed those cows.
There's also an old bale shelter up there, where half of it has been used as a repair shop.
In the storage area here we have quite a good storage setup, though it looks like it will need a lot of maintenance. Reading my uncles contracts I see that as the first farmer setting up here, he got a lot of help from the authorities covering the cost of the silos on the condition that he'd be sharing them with the other farmers setting up around here. It seems a few more have tried to establish a farm here, but it looks like they have all vanished.
There's a watertower here. Grain silos that can hold 200.000 liters, and silos for seed, lime and fertilizer. There's also a hay barn, a storage building which looks to have stored some crates of potatoes and various other stuff. There's also a fuel tank, and is that small area within the tires a primitive bunker silo?
Yikes.. What is all this old crap? At least they have 3 point hitches, so I guess he haven't been relying on horses for everything. We'll go into more details later, but it looks like it's tools for handling grass, and growing grains.
Hope this stuff still works.. Now I'm excited to look what's precious enough to be within the garage doors.
So what have we got here.. It looks like a manure spreader, a pullable harvester and some gear to gather grass. Not exactly top of the line models. But aren't there a tractor here. Help.. I don't have cash to buy a tractor.
Ugh.. Here it is.. Hope this is still running. Can that Fergie even pull that harvester trailer? Or was there a modern tractor that has been stolen or something? Well.. Lets hope it does because I have little other options.
Hmm.. No front loader? How have he been cleaning the pens? Or loading potatoes?
Ouch.. This looks like fun.. Not.. And I see we have a weeder there too.
So what's next.. I guess we'll have to try and figure out if those silos are empty or not and find a place to start. It's spring time, so there's no time to lose..