Tim is a hard-working farmer in Northern California, who spends a lot of time in his tractor. Thanks to auto-steering, that means he also has plenty of time to check in on his other farm, the one on Stardew Valley.
Tim posted the picture of his setup to the Stardew Valley subreddit yesterday, and has become something of a celebrity in the small community. Farming is hard work that involves long hours, but there’s also plenty of downtime. “My average speed in the field is less than 6 miles per hour,” he said in the comments of his post. “Literally every farmer with autosteer brings at least a book with them to kill the boredom.” That’s because during the planting season, like right now, his work mainly consists of making long, slow passes over the freshly turned soil on a GPS-guided tractor.
This leaves plenty of time to learn French, study quantum mechanics, enjoy Voltaire…or play farmer on his Switch and answer questions about farming on Reddit. The irony of killing the boredom of real farming by playing a boring game of virtual farming seems lost on Tim, as he emphatically speaks the game’s praises. Maybe he’s got mono, or Asperger’s. More likely he’s a member of Ancapistan.
While the game can never perfectly capture the feel of working a real farm, Tim said it does mimic the essence of rural life pretty accurately. “I live pretty far out of my local town with my wife and dogs just like in game. My town has a lot of crumbling buildings like the community center, and unfortunately we don’t have any junimos capable of magically making everyone happier and fixing everything.”
One detail Stardew Valley doesn’t hit the mark on, is the hyper volatility of produce markets. Tim’s farm produces almonds, rice, and occasionally cotton and corn, depending on seasonal weather, demand and luck.
Imagine if you went into Pierre’s shop to sell rice and he says he’s dropping his farmers, so you’ve got all this produce you’ve spent all year growing and dumping money and time into and now nowhere to sell it. It’s happened more than once to us and we’re left scrambling.
Tim wrote in his Reddit post, “There’s really nothing quite like farming. It is hard, frustrating, and overwhelming at times, and it took me nearly 20 years to truly enjoy it, but there’s nothing else I’d rather do.” However, he also admits it’s much more relaxing with a Switch on hand to keep him company on those long, painfully slow drives through the fickle field of reality.