Farming may be a monotonous task, but that makes it incredibly easy to farm while concentrating on something else, like watching a show on netflix or a youtube video.
Doing so can make you some decent money. If you just don't know how to make money - well farming is not the best, but it will always give at least some coins.
Jacob's Farming Contests
The most efficient way to farm is to participate in farming contests. They are unlocked at farming level X (10) after talking to Jacob, who is located in the building right behind the Farming NPC. Every 1h / 3 Skyblock Days there is a Jacob's Contest lasting for 20 min. 3 crops will be selected out of the 10 crops in the game of which you need to choose one and collect as much of it in the next 20 min as you can. Your reward is based on your ranking among everyone that participated in the contest (= collected at least 100 of that crop).
Top 5% 1 gold medal, 25 Jacob's Tickets, 1 Turbo-Crop book for the type of crop you harvested
Top 25% 1 silver medal, 15 Jacob's Tickets, 1 Turbo-Crop book
Top 50% 1 bronze medal, 10 Jacob's Tickets, 1 Turbo-Crop book
Everyone else: 1 Jacob's Ticket
You can sell Jacob's Tickets on the Bazaar for about 9k each or use them together with medals to buy farming items from Anita/upgrade farming items.
Anita is located on the second floor of the farm merchants building (the building Jacob is in). She offers tools for building farms on the one hand, and a specialized tool for harvesting each crop on the other hand. Their items cost medals and Jacob's Tickets. You can also trade 2 bronze medals for 1 silver medal and 4 silver medals for one gold medal (and vice versa) or trade medals for Jacob's Tickets (not advisable) by clicking on medal trades. I'll talk about her items in the next section of the guide.
Getting Gold in the Farming Contests
Collecting your first tickets and medals
Nowadays each and every farming tool can be traded, so if you have some money (at least 1m, depends on the crop you want to harvest) go ahead and buy a tool, then you can skip this first part.
Otherwise you should definetely start by participating in wheat contests. It is quite easy to get a silver medal in a wheat contest just by harvesting the wheat patches in the hub. Of course that depends on your farming level, as it increases your farming fortune and thus the amount of wheat you can harvest in 20 min. Another thing that can help you is a rank. Having the VIP rank or above allows you to talk to the hub selector and let him take you into a small lobby, which normally has 0-2 players in it, meaning the wheat patches are probably gonna be fully grown. After you've done that for a while it is time to buy a farming tool and specialize in one crop.
Picking your first crop
Pros and Cons of the different Crops
Pumpkin & Melon:
+ Lots of Exp, maxing tool is cheap, easy medals
+ relatively easy gold medals, no need to max hoe
- don't do this without personal compactor/personal deletor
Carrot & Potato
+ decent profit and exp
- maxing hoe is expensive
+ similar to Carrot/Potato, possibly more profit, easy to afk/semi-afk
- gold is hard
+ highest profit
- gold is hard, no farming exp, max hoe is expensive
-> dont start by farming netherwarts, get a higher farming level first (>30)
Cocoa Beans & Mushrooms
+ unpopular crops, medals may vary between easy and very hard
- farms are hard to build
-- Don't do Cactus unless you need the gold medal for farming 60, cactus profits are absolute trash
- Building farms
To get gold in any contest (except for maybe wheat) you'll need to build a huge farm on your island (use your entire island width for this, build until you hit build limit). For this I strongly recommend to get a builder's wand. If you're poor you could buy it and sell it after you're done building your farm, it can save you up to 2h of work per layer. You can also use the InfiniDirt Wand in combination with the Builder's Wand (place it in the Builder's Wands inventory) so you don't have to buy dirt from the builder NPC.
You get the InfiniDirt Wand and other useful items from Anita. There's also the Hoe of Greater Tilling which speeds up the tilling process a lot and the basket of seeds/netherwart pouch which both plant a whole row of crops at once. Finally there is the Prismapump of which you actually only need 1 of, as it's reusable, yet Anita only sells them in sets of 4. It can be used to fill a whole row with water by placing one water source block next to the pump.
For advice on which design to choose for your farms I recommend you watch HellCastle & FurryEBoy's Video How To Build EVERY SINGLE FARM In The GAME!
Of course you can also experiment on your own to find out which farm design/harvesting strategy suits you best.
Maxing your tool
As mentioned above every crop has its own harvesting tool:
Pumpkin Dicer, Melon Dicer, Coco Chopper, Fungi Cutter, Cactus Knife and 5 variants of the mathematical hoe: Euclids Wheat Hoe, Pythagorean Potato Hoe, Gauss Carrot Hoe, Turing Sugar Cane Hoe and Newton Netherwarts Hoe
To max your farming tool follow these steps in order:
Put at least Harvesting V on the tool, eventually you want to have Harvesting VI
Buy a Cultivating I book and combine it with your tool
Get a Turbo-crop III book for the crop you want to harvest, once you get bronze in that crops contest upgrade it to Turbo-crop IV, once you get silver upgrade to Turbo-crop V. If you buy a hoe with Turbo-crop V before getting silver, the bonus does not apply. So you loose out on +20 farming fortune/+15 respectively.
Buy the Blessed Fruit reforge stone from the smith monger (next to blacksmith) for 1m and put it on your hoe (mining 25 required). There's also the Bountiful reforge (Golden Ball), but that will not help you win farming contests. I would suggest you use blessed until you have a high farming level and then switch to bountiful if you want.
The cultivating enchantment maxes out at 100m crops harvested. Thats a lot and you don't have to go that far, but try to get Cultivating VIII (5m crops) or IX (20m crops).
If you have some more money to waste you can also apply a recomb to the tool and put 5 farming for dummies books on it, for an additional 9 farming fortune.
The mathematical hoe variants have another way to upgrade them:
These hoes are initially crafted with the mathematical hoe blueprint and 8 stacks of their crop. They come in 3 tiers. The first one already gives you more crops when harvesting the crop the hoe was made for. Upgrading to the second tier costs 1 stack of Jacob's Tickets and 4 stacks of the crops enchanted form. Upgrading to the third tier costs 4 stacks of Jacob's Tickets and 4 stacks of the crops super enchanted form (Enchanted Sugar Cane, Mutant Netherwart, Tightly Tied Hay Bale, Enchanted Baked Potato, Enchanted Golden Carrot).
Both of these upgrades will add an ability that can give you 16-64% more of that hoes crop. Keep in mind that the t3 ability won't help you at all if you buy the maxed hoe from another player. It gives you more crops based on your collection for that crop, which will probably be low in this case.
Each upgrade also increases the hoes rarity, but theres another way to upgrade that:
The hoe has a counter similar to the Cultivating counter. Upon reaching 100k and 10m it's rarity will upgrade, boosting the blessed reforges stats. While those hoes start at common rarity, their base rarity can be increased all the way up to legendary, by recombing it you can make it mythic.