The ramblings of Minecraft addict VladTubaka

Category Archives: Farming

A nice peaceful place to fish and listen to the sweet sounds of drowning Zombies.

While not the most popular of Mob Grinders (for good reason – they don’t kill Witches), I have always been rather partial to the kind of Grinder that drowns my victims. I don’t know exactly why. Maybe it’s just that I take a perverse pleasure in listening to sufferings of Zombies, Skeletons, and Creepers as they slowly succumb to suffocation. Hm … hm … hm mwa ha ha HAHAHAHA! Uh. Ahem. Continue reading


A new barn in a completely different style – 14th and 15th century English.

I know Minecraft agriculture and animal husbandry don’t technically need a barn, but I just don’t feel like I’m doing it right without one. In my most recent vanilla game (the one in which I built the Dutch Windmill), a couple of weeks ago I got to the point where I could think of no building project more pressing than a barn. Continue reading


A peek underneath my 9x9 farm at the Hopper Cart system that collects all the wheat and seeds.

A peek underneath my 9×9 farm at the Hopper Cart system that collects all the wheat and seeds.

Last post I showed how you could use the new Observer block to create a wheat/potato/carrot farm that automates everything but the planting. I use a Dispenser with a water bucket to break all the wheat plants, but that still leaves the gathering of the wheat and seeds that are left on the ground by the water. This I do via a Hopper Cart system directly under the farmland. Here’s how you make one. Continue reading


Welcome to my semi-automatic Observer-based wheat farm.

Welcome to my semi-automatic Observer-based wheat farm.

Quite a lot of Minecraft farm automation depends on different mechanisms or exploits to detect changes in conditions or status. For example, automatic sugar cane farms rely on a block update detector to trigger a line of pistons once one of the sugar cane plants has reached a particular height. Auto pumpkin and melon farms often use the fact that pumpkin and melon blocks transmit a redstone signal to connect a broken line of redstone once the plant produces the pumpkin or melon on a specified block.

Up until Minecraft 1.11, however, it was impossible to automatically detect when a wheat plant had matured, because changes in the wheat plant’s development for some reason did not constitute a full block update. Instead, one had to rely on a long term timer to approximate when a field of wheat would likely be mostly mature. This method worked, but I never really felt it was ideal.

All of that has changed with the introduction of the Observer block in Minecraft 1.11. Continue reading


The grain silo, situated adjacent to the barn.

The grain silo, situated adjacent to the barn.

I play Minecraft differently depending on my mood. Sometimes when I’m feeling stressed I don’t want to automate anything, or go search for rare items, or explore anywhere, or engineer anything with redstone. Sometimes all I want to do is make things look pretty.

Case in point: in the last week or so I have spent quite a lot of time adding little touches to my farm area. I built what I thought was a pretty cool looking barn (and it turns out to be functional, too). But something was missing. It took only a little looking around online for me to realize that what my barn needed was a grain silo. Continue reading


Giant chicken farm

Behind this wall with the awesome pixel art is a humongous auto-chicken farm, a farm that is NOT the subject of this post.

Fans of this blog will not be surprised to hear me say that I like the farming part of Minecraft. It’s because Minecraft farming can be both relaxing and stimulating, alternatively or even at the same time. If I want, I can just have a simple farm where I manually harvest and plant crops and manually tend to the animals. The wannabe artist/architect in me can beautify all this manual labor barns, chicken coops, stables, and grain silos. Relaxation at its finest. Continue reading


A traditional looking red barn using Better Agriculture.

A traditional looking red barn using Better Agriculture.

As I sit here grooving to Dolly Parton’s “Mule Skinner Blues” (about which one YouTube commenter quite rightly says, “Whoever the backup band was, they might own the best 3 minutes and 15 seconds in recorded country music…”), I can’t help but grin as I prepare to pick this blog back up with some degree of regularity. Minecrafters of the world rejoice: “Mine, Build, Eat, Repeat” is back in action. Continue reading


Like many people, I hate to waste coal on torches or powering a vanilla furnace when I can use renewable charcoal instead. But because I have to make charcoal (rather than just mine it incidentally as I’m looking for iron, gold, and diamonds), I never have charcoal when I need it. The obvious solution is an automatic charcoal factory. Using hoppers and droppers it’s easy enough to set up a furnace that cooks logs and feeds itself charcoal. But providing a steady and automatic supply of logs is something not easily done using strictly vanilla resources. Fortunately, many mods, Rotarycraft included, provide a machine for just that purpose. Today’s project is a charcoal factory that uses Rotarycraft’s Woodcutter to harvest and replant trees, vanilla Minecraft resources to apply bonemeal to the sapling, process the logs, and sort by-products, and JABBA to store those by-products.

An overview of my Rotarycraft-powered charcoal factory with roof and walls unfinished. It ended up being bigger than I had originally envisioned, primarily because I needed to deal with the Woodcutter’s by-products. This factory is fully automatic with a manual shut-off. The only thing that needs to be resupplied from time to time is bonemeal (and it isn’t absolutely necessary).

Continue reading


This post is kind of a two-fer: it’s about Rotarycraft AND simple redstone devices.

When playing with Rotarycraft, one of the things you really want to make fully automatic is lubricant production, because you will need lubricant and lots of it. I’m sure there are many fantastic ideas out there about how to automate lubricant production. I’m not going to pretend that my system is the best or the fastest or the most economical. But it sure was fun to build, and it provides me with an opportunity to talk about the RS latch, one of a couple of kinds of redstone logic gates we call memory cells (because they “remember” an input).

An overhead view of a simple RS latch. The two oak planks blocks with buttons represent the inputs and the glowstone lamps represent the outputs.

Continue reading


Rather than bloating the last post, I decided to dedicate a post just to the redstone setup that made my Industrial Coil-powered Woodcutter system from last time work. So here you are:

Remember that I start with four levers that sit side-by-side. Each one controls one of the four tree species (left-to-right: Spruce, Oak, Birch, Jungle), and each of them also activates the Item Vacuum that gathers in the harvested materials.

Continue reading



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