Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Growing Grains and Unlocking Seeds in Sunshine Islands


Sunshine Islands and Island of Happiness are based on the same fundamental rules where farming is concerned, but you will find that Grains are sold at Chen's Market from the very start of the game. If, therefore, you have a Seed Maker, you can purchase Soybeans, Wheat, Buckwheat and Rice from Chen and convert them into Seeds immediately. There are a few important facts that should be made clear, however.

First of all, there is no point in converting Rice from Chen's Market into Rice Seeds. You cannot grow Rice in an ordinary field. You need to raise Link Island, then Rice Island and build bridges from your Ranch to Link Island and then to Rice Island before you will have access to the paddy fields where Rice can be planted. Furthermore, as soon as you have raised Rice Island, Rice Seeds will be unlocked at Chen's Market.

In terms of growing Rice, there are a couple of important conditions that must be met. First, you need to set one Yellow Wonderful in your Hoe in order to till a rice paddy. You will not be able to till the paddies with an ordinary unaugmented Hoe. This is true BOTH in Island of Happiness and Sunshine Islands. Make certain that you CHARGE your Hoe before you swing it or the Wonderful will not take effect. Second, Rice MUST BE PLANTED IN SPRING in order to mature before the end of Autumn, when all Crops will die. Again, this is the case both in IoH and in SI.

Other Grains require no special field but take a fairly long time to mature. The grain that grows most quickly is Soybeans but here it is necessary to note that there are errors in the official descriptions both of Soybean Seeds and Buckwheat Seeds.

Here are the official Descriptions of all Grain Seeds. I have added the special requirements to unlock each:

Rice Seeds: 200G
All but Winter. Water: none. Light: normal. Grows only in Rice Paddy.

Wheat Seeds: 200G
All but Winter. Water: Less; Light: Normal; Very slow growth rate.
Unlocked by shipping 100 each of Turnips, Cucumbers, Potatoes and Strawberries

Buckwheat Seeds: 230G
Sp, Su. Fa.* Water: Normal; Light: Normal. Very slow growth rate.
Unlocked by shipping 100 each of Eggplant, Cabbage, Yam and Spinach.

Soybean Seeds: 250G
Sp. Su, Fa.* Water: More; Light: More. Also makes Edamame.
Unlocked by shipping 100 each of Tomato, Corn, Onion and Pumpkin

*Note that the official Description for the Seasons is incorrect both for Soybeans and for Buckwheat. It should be: Su, Fa. Neither Soybeans nor Buckwheat can be grown in Spring. You can plant them only in Summer and Autumn.

I am a little annoyed with myself for not catching these errors sooner. It was only when I tried to sow some Soybean Seeds in Spring that I realised there was a discrepancy.

Here it may be worth noting that there is a safety feature in Sunshine Islands that prevents you from sowing seeds out of season. If you attempt to sow either Soybean Seeds or Buckwheat Seeds in Spring, for example, you will see the following prompt:

Hey! You’ll waste them if you sow over there! Stand in the middle of the tilled area!

In fact, it does not matter WHERE you stand. You must wait until Summer if you wish to plant them in your own field. Note that any Crops can be grown in any Season in the Greenhouse with the proper ‘Sun’ in place.

Special Seasonal Crops are unlocked by shipping Grains. Most Crop Seeds will be unlocked in the ordinary course of Farming, simply by raising your Farming Degree level. There are some ‘special’ Crops, however, that are more difficult to unlock. These are:

Cabbage: A Spring Crop unlocked by shipping 100 Wheat and reaching Level 10 in Farming.

Pineapple: A Summer Crop unlocked by shipping 100 Soybeans

Bell Pepper: An Autumn Crop unlocked by shipping 100 Buckwheat and reaching Level 12 in Farming.

If you wish to unlock these crops quickly, you can purchase the Grains from Chen's Market instead of growing them. There are two forms for any Grain: the 'reaped' or 'raw' grain and the processed Grain that has been fed through a Thresher. Chen does not sell 'reaped' Grain. To complete your Shipping List, you must ship at least one of each of the Grains in its 'raw' or 'reaped' form, but shipping 100 of the processed Grains that Chen sells at his Market will unlock the special Crops.

This is an expensive proposition but if you do not have a Greenhouse, it may be the easiest way to unlock the Crops in question. Wheat is a very slow-growing Crop and Cabbage is an ingredient in many Cooked Dishes. If you buy 100 Wheat at Chen's Market, it will cost 90,000G unless you have set an Enchantment in place to lower his prices. Nonetheless, it is good to know that you have a viable alternative in terms of unlocking these Crops.

Compare the Descriptions of Soybeans and Buckwheat in IoH:


Buckwheat Seeds: 230G
Sell: 180G
Growth: 25 days
Description: Summer/Fall
Water: Normal; Light: Normal
Very slow growth rate.
Requirements: Will wither at 40+ Sunlight, 20+ Water
Growth Seasons: Summer/Autumn
Harvest: Summer/Autumn

Rice Seeds: 200G
Sell: 180G
Growth: 60 days
Description: Rice Seeds ( All but Winter)
Water: None; Light: Normal
Grows only in Rice Paddy
Requirements: None as does not require Watering
Growth Season: Spring through Autumn
Harvest Season: Autumn

N.B. Rice growing in the Paddies will die when Winter arrives

Soybeans: 250G
Sell: 180G
Growth: 50 days
Description: Summer, Fall
Water: More; Light, More
Also makes Edamame
Requirements: Will wither at 40+ Sunlight, 20+ Water
Growth Seasons: Summer/Autumn
Harvest: Summer/Autumn
Special Harvests: Edamame if Harvested early

Wheat Seeds: 200G
Sell: 180G
Growth: 80 days
Description: All but Winter
Water: Less; Light: Normal
Very slow growth rate
Requirements: Will wither at 40+ Sunlight, 10+ Water
Growth Season: Spring/Summer/Autumn
Harvest: Summer
Special Characteristics: Will continue to grow during Winter season if planted in your Field, provided Water requirements have not been exceeded


Suzana said...


I'm hoping you can help me. I'm playing SI and I'm having a problem harvesting rice and wheat. The rice is planted on the rice padies, I planted it in spring using a yellow wonderful in my hoe, and the date is now (game time) Fall 30. I had Charlie put the yellow wonderful in my sickle. The problem is that when I harvest my rice, charging my wonderful/sickle as I'm supposed to, I am able to cut the rice stalk but it's not showing in my rucksak. I planted the rice on Spring 1 so I don't know what's going on. It's ready to be reaped (it's yellow) but I'm not getting anything. Please help me. This is the 2nd year this happens to me regarding my rice plantation - what's going on? Thanks so much! Suzana.

Suzana said...

Hi Freya - I just wrote a comment about the problem I'm having with my rice harvest. I think my crop is dead because it looks kind of funny... However, I'm having the same issue with my wheat crop (first year I'm growing it). I'm using a yellow wonderful on my sickle, and charging it when I use it but I'm not getting the wheat in my rucksack. I slice the stalk, but not wheat. I don't know what's going on... Regarding my rice, what did I do wrong? Am I too late in harvesting it? Again, I don't know what's going on with these grains... Thanks again!

Freyashawk said...

You do need a Yellow Wonderful in your Sickle to harvest any grain. If the Grain is not fully ripened, your sickle will cut it, but you will have nothing to show for it. The time factor, however, is very odd as your Rice definitely should be ready to harvest if you planted it on 1 Spring in the Paddy. I never had any trouble with mine, but when planted on 1 Spring, the last day to harvest usually would be in the middle of Autumn. If I didn't harvest it then, it would die in the Paddy... You say it 'looks funny'. Perhaps it is withered and dead. If so, that would account for the fact that you reap nothing.

Suzana said...

Thank you so much for your help and your website Freyashawk. This is a wonderful game and without your help, I might have stopped playing and missed out on it. You're great!