Now then, that young whippersnapper Stuart may tell you that this is essentially the monastery mechanism and scoring from Carcassonne... and while the core scoring is certainly based on surrounding your windmills with high-value crops to score big points, there's a lot more to it than that.
For instance, you have to buy windmills and crop seeds from a market, which is a lovely rondel in the corner of the board. The more tiles you skip to get the one you want, the more you have to pay... however your money is always limited. In fact, there can never be more than 5 stuiver (pennies) difference in wealth between the poorest and richest player, and the poorest player can prevent everyone else from racing ahead by not spending any money.
Then there are the bonuses and penalties. A variety of crops around your windmill will get you a bonus, whereas a single crop monoculture will score you nothing. If a governor arrives at your windmill then you need to score the minimum demanded by the market to earn a bonus, or you score nothing.
There's a good degree of 'screwage' in the game too, especially in placing low-scoring crops around other players' windmills.
The game comes with a HUGE double-sided board, and we played with the 'standard' side where some tiles are added to the board face-down at the start. This adds a nice degree of randomness to the game, but we found that it can make or break someone's game. For instance, Andrew discovered most of the governors on parts of the board where it was difficult to score lots of points - I think he was incredibly unlucky in his first game.
The flip-side of the board however has no hidden tiles and is an entirely 'open information' game. I think this will make the game a lot more strategic and remove all luck, and I'd definitely like to try this next time.
Final score: Stuart (by a gazillion points), Julian, me, Andrew