I died on hc last night.. again. Got blown up by some funky large TNT creature with legs. I've seen the zombie carrying TNT spawns before, but this... was something new. I was just getting into the tc4.1 research too.
So in other news ... I just killed my first Ender Dragon for the first time, with my trusty Darkwood Bow and Gold-Banded Greatwood Staff. Took a while, and I died many many many times (The Dragon destroyed my Mystbook home no less then 4 times. Ugh) .. but I killed it!
Yeah .. Ender Pearls are no longer a problem, jeez. (A Tcon Sword with Looting 2 got me the initial pearls to get there finally).
Now to mess around for a few days, then start a new world. Magic Farm 2 here I come
I've never messed with Open Blocks, Extra Utils, JABBA, Blood Magic, or MFR, let alone all the new farming stuff. It'll be a lot to learn, and should be fun
Just got started with the growthcraft grapes. You can get hops and grapes by destroying vines. Since grapes are interchangeable with those from pam's harvestcraft, you can use them to make juice and what not. You can also craft them into HC grapes by placing two of them in a crafting grid. You will want several grapes to get started, as they take a while to grow. I have a 9x9 farm with various seeds that I planted first, but I've gotten more grapes from growthcraft. I've harvested 6 grapes so far, and only from 1 vine that has grown enough to actually produce crops. (I've only harvested 4-5 plants from my 9x9 farm.) It doesn't seem to be a bad food source to start with. In order to make them grow though, you need a rope above them which can be a little tricky to get since they are made from vanilla leads, which require a slime ball. The good news though is that slime balls can be had from those slime islands which spawn regularly. Just make sure you have about 2 stacks of material and pillar up, as they are often quite high.
The growthcraft grapes will spread 3 blocks in each direction from it's center vine. I put two grape vines in a row. You will need fence posts to anchor the ropes to. 16 ropes are created from 2 leads, which is the exact number needed for 2 grape vines. grapes will hang down from the bottom part of the vine when grown. just punch the grapes to get them. It looks like you get 2 grapes with each harvest.
You can't continue on with growthcraft (grapes) without a fruit press, since those require a piston, it will take a bit before you can mine the required redstone.
Well, I've had a few more grape vines mature, and I can say without a doubt that the growthcraft grape vines are by far the easiest method to produce food at the iron stage. It's not as OP as the fishtrap was, since you can only get grapes from the vines (as well as make "potions" later on with a fruit press and fermenting barrel), but I have produced quite a few grape salads. At this point, I can produce more grape salads than I consume puttering around and building out my base. My 6 grape vines still aren't fully mature (although rather close).
As far as OPness goes, I think the grapes are produced at a speed on par with the natura berry bushes, but you can't plant the growthcraft grapes without finding vines, slimeballs, and creating a TiCo smeltery as the ground needs to be tilled. So, they come a little later in the game, but honestly, by the time I hit copper and iron, I'm not really too worried about food. I'm still living off foraging normally at this point as my HC farms aren't fully operational, but since I have all the HC cooking utensils, the food I do forage goes a lot further. I'm not sure if the grape vines can be automated though, so I think it is a good trade-off.