I say 'gardening' because it really isn't a game about farming at all.
In prior games you were either the citizen or mayor of a pre-established town and you do things like:
fish, get wood from trees, get iron from rocks, pick up weeds, do errands for townsfolk/tom nook, garden flowers, catch bugs, and I'm sure I've missed some things.
In the newest one you're actually building up a new town from scratch by doing these things.
All of the activities are ultimately just to build up money or 'bells' to make your house better and/or the town better, and to buy random shit.
It's fundamentally similar to harvest moon in being a 'life-sim' of sorts and its core loop, but nothing like harvest moon's 'intense' farming gameplay,
that is focused specifically on that and is rather in depth from what I understand.
Though I've never played much Harvest Moon or even Stardew Valley so I'm less knowledgeable about what I assume is your domain.
That's all I got