I've started anew with Tilly of Billy Farm (standard layout), and the cat Terrence, with vague plans about coffee.
Playing hermit-style, I skipped the intro and (aside from farm business with Clint and Pierre) have spoken only once to one member of Pelican town: Alex, on the beach. He remarked on my tan.
I've sifted through garbage on a semi-regular basis; best results so far are an iron bar from Clint's and an octopus from the tavern.
I have nine maple tappers set up south of Marnie and Leah so far, achieved floor 55 in the mines, got the farm entirely cleared of trees and about a third tilled, and have a largish year one crop of wheat on the go at the end of summer. I love wheat as losses to crows and lightning are negligible from a profit perspective, and the super short growing period combines well with an extended growing season to make reliance on rain for watering comfortably viable. I just have to be careful when harvesting next to the ponds, since wheat sheaves, like sprinklers, don't come back from a swim.
Still at farming level zero, since scythe-harvested crops afaik don't give xp and I skipped any spring planting in favour of clearing land.
above I wrote:[...] make reliance on rain for watering comfortably viable. [...]
..and then I make an unfortunate gamble and lose well over half of my last crop after an end-of-season drought.
The 25th to the 27th were desperate, angry days of frantic watering efforts over thousands of tiles.
Not fun. Much stress.
So now I'm fishing for newspaper, to make cloth, to make a mill,
to (hopefully, haven't looked up how it works yet) make the thousand-and-something wheat that I did manage to save more valuable, so I can offset some of sting of that failure.