The discovery of the Traveling Cart opens up possibilities for the player. Once in a while it’s a good deal, sometimes it’s an overpriced item but a useful one otherwise out of the player’s reach (see quality sprinkler) at the time, and this is also the player’s first introduction to the bright red bag that holds a Rare Seed, one of the most important and interesting items in the game.
Many players want to know if the rare seed is worth buying in Stardew, when to plant it, and just what the general deal with the rare seed is. The truth is that it’s incredibly important because it’s the key to grabbing one of those all-important energy-giving stardrop fruit.
So let’s dive in so you know everything there is to know about these important (and aptly named) rare seeds.
The first thing to know is that there is one, and ONLY one way to get rare seeds in the beginning and that’s to find the Traveling Cart in the northern section of the Cinder Sap Woods (south and to the west of the farm) in the spring and summer seasons.
Why is this important?
Rare Seed = Sweet Gem Berry
The rare seed is where sweet gem berries come from, and the Master Cannoli statue at the back of The Secret Woods demands something sweet. When you feed it one of these berries, it gives you a Stardrop Fruit, which permanently boosts your energy (and also restores any energy lost that day).
The only way to acquire a sweet gem berry is to plant a rare seed and see it through to cultivation.
When Do You Need to Plant Rare Seeds in Stardew?
These are planted in the fall and need a full 24 days to grow assuming you don’t use Speed-Gro or have the Agriculturalist perk, meaning you need to really make sure you don’t forget about them because they must be planted in one of the first few days of fall or you’ll run out of time to grow them.
Make very sure to plant these expensive seeds in areas that have solid scarecrow coverage, and I also strongly recommend having 20+ lightning rods so the odd Fall storm doesn’t damage your crops with errant lightning strikes.
Once you have a greenhouse the rare seeds can be grown in these no matter what season.
How Can I Acquire a Rare Seed?
Only the Traveling cart that appears on Fridays and Sundays sells rare seeds, and only during the spring and summer seasons.
They will always have one on sale for 1,000 gold but there’s also a small chance that another 1-5 will be available from anywhere between 600 to 1000 gold each.
Once you’ve successfully grown sweet gem berry you can always put it in a seed maker to attempt to get more seeds out of it.
How Many Rare Seeds Should I Buy in Stardew Valley?
At a minimum you should buy one, but I actually recommend at least two in case of freak accident (lightning strikes can be cruel, yo), and while some people argue that growing only ancient fruit is a better way to min-max your greenhouse – and in fairness, they’re right if money is the only concern – I love the idea of having a greenhouse one-third full of coffee, one-third full of ancient fruit, and one-third full of the rarest of them all: the sweet gem berry.
If you are doing a one million gold in year one without glitches (or things like clay mining) challenge, then buying many rare seeds and growing sweet gem berry from each (especially if you have 14-20 and are using quality fertilizer) is a great way to set yourself up for success.
How Do You Multiply a Rare Seed Stardew Valley?
The seed maker does work on the sweet gem berry. There is a heated discussion on whether or not this is actually worth it, especially if you get some bad luck, but with enough berries over enough time, you can use the seed makers (and keep buying rare seeds from the traveling cart) to create more seeds, plant more sweet gem berries, and on a long enough time line you’ll multiply the number that you have.
Strongly recommend using a greenhouse and ultra speed grow if you go this route as even with those cheats and leveled up farming it will take a lot of time to turn a few rare seeds into a lot of rare seeds.
So Is the Rare Seed Worth It?
No matter what you want to see at least one rare seed to full-growth because those stardrop fruits are incredibly valuable and you never want to miss an easy chance to get more permanent energy.
As for a long-time crop, it can give a huge cash return and although it doesn’t hold up to the ancient fruit over a long timeline…you also have to get lucky enough to uncover an ancient seed which I once went two years without doing. Granted, that was a very unlucky run, but there is a bit of chance there.
For long-term growth maybe it isn’t compared to other options – but it delivers giant infusions of gold and honestly I love mass producing super rare plants in my greenhouse. It’s just an added touch to the farm that I enjoy.
What Is the Sweet Gem Berry Worth?
Per crop the sweet gem berry is worth more than ancient fruit, but unlike other crops this cannot be preserved nor put in a keg so the quality value you get when it grows is what you have.
That means if you have a crop of gold and iridium sweet gem berries, that can be quite a haul.
- Basic Sweet Gem Berry Is 3,000 gp
- Silver Sweet Gem Berry Is 3,750 gp
- Gold Sweet Gem Berry Is 4,500 gp
- Iridium Sweet Gem Berry Is 6,000 gp
- The one you feed to the secret statue to get a stardrop fruit: priceless
Sweet Gem Berry Vs. Ancient Seed Stardew Valley
Comparing these two Stardew Valley super crops is a major part of many farmers determining what their eventual greenhouse “super crops” will end up being made of. Here’s how the two stack up:
|Sweet Gem Berry (Rare Seeds)||Ancient Fruit|
|Growing Season||Fall||Spring, Summer, Fall|
|Days to Mature||24||28, then 1 fruit every 7 days after|
|Initial Cost||1,000 gp per plant, on average||0 gp|
|Basic Quality $||3,000 gp||550 gp|
|Silver Quality $||3,750 gp||687 gp|
|Gold Quality $||4,500 gp||825 gp|
|Iridium Quality $||6,000 gp||1,100 gp|
So Sweet Gem Berry wins hands down, right? No question who the champion is, right?
Well not so fast. Because while that direct comparison can make it seem clear, surrounding details are important. Outside of the greenhouse rare seeds can only be planted outside once if you have more of them than greenhouse spaces. Ancient fruit can be planted spring day one and provide serious profits until winter.
Then there’s the fact that ancient fruit can be made into jam/preserves and wine – which radically increases the value of these crops. Let’s take a look at the comparison between the sweet gem berry from the rare seeds and the artisan products made from ancient fruit. The first column is basic artisan prices, the second is the prices if the player took the leveled up Artisan Profession (one of the most common takes in the game).
|Sweet Gem Berry||Ancient Fruit Wine||Ancient Fruit Wine (Artisan)|
|Basic||3,000 gp||1,650 gp||2,310 gp|
|Silver||3,750 gp||2,062 gp||2,886 gp|
|Gold||4,500 gp||2,475 gp||3,465 gp|
|Iridium||6,000 gp||3,300 gp||4,620 gp|
|Preserves||X||1150 gp||1610 gp|
Suddenly the appeal of ancient fruit becomes more obvious, in part because with weekly harvests, if you have a greenhouse full of these plants and a shed full of kegs, and a basement full of casks, eventually the process would be frequent enough that they could overwhelm the much higher per berry value that comes from rare seeds.
So from a pure money standpoint, on a long enough timeline rare seeds won’t beat ancient seeds in the greenhouse but rare seeds give a huge glut of early money that can really fund a player’s year two in a powerful way.
Rare Seeds: What’s the Verdict?
Even beyond planting the one rare seed to get that crucial sweet berry gem to feed the stone statue of Master Cannoli in the Secret Woods, I often did many of my early “1 million gold cash on hand year one” challenges by planting as many rare seeds as I could through the year and planting them in the beginning of fall.
The haul-in was often enough to push me over the top and is especially necessary if you were in a million gold challenge that included no fishing. I’m personally a fan of rare seeds however gamers who are impatient have a legitimate gripe with just how long it takes for a rare seed to fully mature as a sweet gem berry.
Other Stardew Valley Articles You May Love
- Stardew Valley Chickens Guide
- Stardew Valley Sprinklers
- How to recover lost tools Stardew Valley
- What tool should I upgrade in Stardew Valley?
- When does Stardew Valley end?
Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.