Here are some interesting numbers for you. As a disclaimer, I’m not that smart. so this discussion is meant to foster more intelligent people expanding on my ideas and findings. I want to learn too!
I created 1x1 farms in the space of an 11x11 farm. I compared the efficiency of this farm next to an 11x11 farm to get some numbers. I’ve found that a 1x1 farm at the size of 11x11 is 83.3% more efficient at space usage, 71.4% more effective for food harvested, and overall better for soil quality. Here are details and pictures:
1x1 = 12 Baskets (took 1 from 11x11 crop, hungry halfway through harvest, fully harvested early)
11x11 = 7 Baskets (took 4 from 1x1 crop)
Usable Quality (Poor, Fair, Good, Rich)
1x1 = 28, 39, 29, 25
11x11 = 30, 35, 1, 0
I should note these numbers will also change depending on the stats of your farmer(s). I don’t know of a resource that thoroughly explains how each stat affects actions in-game, and I recall hearing a dev mention this was left hush-hush so we would learn on our own. The Hearthling I used for farming had the following stats with no additional gear:
Due to obvious flaws in these numbers (e.g. my farmer getting hungry halfway through harvesting a basket, pulling food from the other crops to fill a basket, etc.) I am going to run through some control tests. These will be performed like this:
Control test will consist of one farm type (11x11 or 1x1), harvested only after the Hearthing eats, with a tally of baskets gathered each season for 10 seasons (a season consist of a fully planted and harvested round), with screenshots of before and after each season for soil quality (numbers may or may not be provided as they’re painful to gather).
I’m aware this is Alpha 10, and new game features may break this or otherwise make it ineffective. I welcome your discussion on this matter anyhow. Thanks for reading.
Updated — Please see this reply for performance issues related to this method.