|This article is about an older version of DF.
A farm plot is a building that allows dwarves to grow plants from seeds. Plants can be used for food or to brew alcohol. Farm plots built outside have completely different crops than farm plots built inside.
In large fortresses, farming is the most compact way of producing food. Some early forts can subsist with herbalists collecting plants from bushes outside but that is insufficient to support large populations. (Note that plants gathered by herbalist can be processed for the seeds necessary to set up an outside farm.)
See the article on crops for details on the conditions needed to grow the available plants.
Building the farm plot
Farm plots must be built on a suitable location and require a dwarf with the farming (fields) skill enabled to prepare.
- Farms can be built on soil layers (soil, sand, silt, clay or loam).
- To build a farm on rock you must first make it muddy by irrigation.
Where farms can't be built:
- Over trees, saplings, shrubs, boulders or constructed objects (roads, doors, etc). (Constructed floors, however, are acceptable if muddy).
To place a farm plot enter the uild menu and select farm lots. Use the and keys to expand the width and height of the plot, and and to decrease the size. When the plot is the desired size, and in the right position, pressing will place it. A free dwarf with the grower skill should then start clearing out any rubble or other impediments away from the farm plot. Trees inside the plotted area must be cleared by a wood cutter before you lay it out or that tile will be skipped. Shrubs and saplings must also be cleared beforehand, even already dead ones. Living shrubs may be gathered by an herbalist, while dead shrubs and saplings may be cleared by trampling or by constructing and deconstructing a wall or floor over the tile. Boulders can be smoothed away, but the resulting stone floor must then be irrigated.
A 5x5 plot should be enough to feed a starting fortress; 5x10 should be enough to feed a full fortress. Make sure to have at least one dedicated grower, as planting skill significantly impacts output. Much smaller plots can serve smaller forts, and if you supplement them with plant gathering, hunting, fishing, or trading they can become smaller to the point of non-existence.
Try to leave a little extra space in underground farm rooms for farmers to stack spare boulders. Stones that get moved under doors in a farm will keep them open, causing potential flooding problems if you need to irrigate.
If you build a farm plot with tiles both above-ground and below-ground, it will show as one or the other, but a farmer trying to plant an underground crop in the field will fail and stop working if he first goes for an above-ground tile, or vice versa, making such a plot frequently unusable.