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In terms of producing food for my dragons in Dragonvale, the cost of food vs. the time it takes to produce said food seems to be a little ridiculous.

For example: I can produce 75 Zazzberries for 1000 gold in 30 minutes. However, I can also produce 800 Pumpermelons for 15,000 gold in 8 hours. Eight hours seems a bit steep, to be honest.

What's the most efficient way to maximize food production?

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After you've played for a couple weeks you'll be begging for 8+ hour grow times :) farming gets old fast honestly, which is why later on you get fast, expensive food to grow. –  Prinny Brocka Mar 28 '12 at 19:53
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

There's two problems here; the theoretical maximum and the humanly feasible maximum. For the theoretical max, check the "Food per hour" metric on the Treat Farms wiki page. It also shows you the cost per food; note that the longer the grow time, the less efficient the food/hour and food/money metrics get.

The cheapest foods actually produce the most food in the least time and for the least cost (an exception below). However, it's not humanly possible to sit at the game and harvest Dragonsnaps every 30 seconds.

Instead you should just plan your food growing based on how long you'll be away from your game. When you start out, you'll probably be playing actively and pick very quick-growing food. As time goes on you'll check the game less and prefer Pumpermellons for the 8 hour time; if you only check the game once every 8 hours, Pumpermellons are suddenly the most efficient.

Also remember to always build a new treat farm immediately when you can at level up; you can even buy the cheapest one and upgrade later. Since there's no build time, buy the cheapest one you can afford, as it still lets you farm more. Every level up, check and see if you can build another treat farm.

There's a late game exception however; once you upgrade your farms a second time to the Huge Treat Farm, you get very high-cost, short grow time treats. These foods all grow in an hour or less, and cost exactly 50 gold per food and give large volumes of food in very stort times. It's basically converting your money straight into food, bypassing (most) of the growing time problem. These are the least cost efficient, but once you have millions of Cash, you'll prefer it to manually growing all the time.

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I would add one slight addition. Every time your max number of treat farms increases, immediately build a new treat farm as a high priority. Even if you can only afford the cheap one, it will still massively increase the amount of parallel farming you can do. I was limping along with only one treat farm for way too long. –  EBongo Apr 1 '12 at 1:50
    
@EBongo thanks, added to answer –  Prinny Brocka Apr 1 '12 at 1:58
    
np - I've already benefited a lot from this and other answers you've provided for this game. –  EBongo Apr 1 '12 at 2:22
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Buy as many treat farms you can, select the 8 hour option and do that repetitively. By doing this I have saved up to more then 500,000 over a 2 week period.

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I agree with bklentz's answer.

If you plan on checking your farm every two hours a day, then you'll want to grow Blushrooms to maximize the amount of money you make from habitats that don't hold much Then, before you go to bed, plant Pumpermelons, which take 6 hours.

When you wake up, continue growing Blushrooms all day long. Keep saving your money until you want to cash in your money for food. If you have a Huge Treat Farm, you can cash in by growing Sarjin Peppers; they cost 500 000, produce 10 000 food, and take only a minute to grow. Keep growing them until you've used up as much money as you want on food, then go back to growing your Blushrooms and Pumpermelons until you want to cash in.

This game is all about how often you want to check your park. My plant, fire, air, lightening habitats all fill up in an hour. My earth and cold fill up after two hours, metal after about four or five. The more you check it, the better your cash flow.

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