To new players producing food en masse can be quite daunting, but the new automated production system makes it quite easy. This guide will help you easily set up a system for producing food quickly and efficiently. To use this guide, basic understanding of Zones, Stockpiles, Items, and Buildings is required.
- This entire section needs updating as it is based on older versions of the game. Bread is not the only food that can be automated, anymore.
Bread is the easiest food to produce in large amounts because as of 0.38 it's the only food whose production can be automated. First, Harvest some Wild Wheat that grows around the map. Next, till some soil and plant the wheat using the right menu's plant button. Also build multiple mills to let the villagers mill more than 1 flour at a time. Place Mills and the Wheat farm close together with a Stockpile (or a few barrels) for raw foods (Only enable flour)
In the Production Panel set a good amount of bread and Wheat as the inventory target, preferably over 10, a good rule of thumb is a little over 1 for every citizen (including soldiers). Remember to build large bakeries with 5-10 Baker's Tables and Baker's Ovens to increase the speed at which the bread is baked. Make a nearby stockpile for Prepared food (Only enable Bread) so the civilians can quickly haul the bread they have made elsewhere.
If you find that your Civilians are producing too much flour, the easiest way to limit it is to reduce the target number of Wheat in your Production Panel. This has the side effect of freeing Civilians up to do other things
Fruit is the first food you will get , it is quick and easy and requires almost nothing , first find somewhere where there is apples and pears on trees. Then harvest them with the command and you should be left with food on the ground , this food can last your first people a good time untill you have proper food set up and you can harvest more if you need.
Making apple and pear farms is a great idea to prevent hungerlock and starvation. Till some soil near your base , perferably in long rows spaced 1 apart ( you can put stockpiles of the apples and pears in bettween rows) and then order them to plant them, make both apple and pear farms so you can start out quicker. Remeber to plant 2 of each kind for each person just incase and set it to always have 3 for every person on hand through the automated productions. Fruit is a great compainion crop to wheat becuase you can make lots of pie which is more filling than bread.
I have little experience of Meat production but first you will need to build a few Pig Farms or Chicken Farms in a grid pattern. These will continually spawn pigs and chickens, which you will butcher later. Have your villagers kill the pigs and chickens and build a raw food stockpile or raw food barrel to keep the meat in. Next, build a Kitchen and have a supply of Wood ready. Make a Butcher's Table, Kitchen table and a Stove or Campfire. Finally, use the "Items" Menu to order the villagers to cook the meat. More than one kitchen makes this easier, but with the automated mode, campfires run out. To make it so that you don't have to keep making campfires, you need to get iron- so I suggest not trying to go for mass-producing meat at the beginning,
To prevent your pigs and cows from escaping, you may wish to build a log fence around the enclosures, as the actual log fence doesn't decay, but the wall does. You can also use normal wood or stone walls if you like, and it means you can have a roof on it.
For example, you could enclose a 6x12 area, enough for two farms by four, and split this evenly between cows and pigs. Enclose the area, then till the land, then build the farms. Don't forget the door!
Also, make sure you build the cow/pig farms one at a time, as each farm requires the 'sacrifice' of two live cows. If you get overambitious, you may find yourself using all the wild cows on the map without actually completing a single farm - not exactly optimal. However, as long as you have one finished cow/pig farm, you'll never run out of the critters. The same goes for mushroom farms, cactus farms, etcetera.
Once you have a constant supply of both Flour and Raw Pork or Steak, you can upgrade your automated food production to pump out Meat Pies. These are more effective at satisfying hunger than either simple Bread or cooked meat. Keep in mind that Meat Pies require raw meat, not cooked. Set up stockpiles or barrels for raw meat at your Bakery in addition to Flour. It doesn't hurt to have all your farms built close, to keep things running smoothly. Just queue up slaughtering for the raw meat and queue up the pies, and you should have a fully automated supply of good food.
For starting, make sure to milk a lot of cows and pick alot of fruit, this is to feed the people before you can start up the main production of Pork or Bread.
When you have plenty of cows, pigs, and other raw ingredients, you may as well set your food production menu to continuously top your supplies up with ample amounts - e.g. 10 of each kind of pie and meat, 20 loaves of bread. Keep in mind the optimal levels, as mentioned above.
Use the counters on the right hand side of the food production menu to ensure that this number of items will always be avaliable on the map. As an example, if you have ten loaves selected and a villager eats one, it automatically adds 'make one loaf of bread' to the list of things for your villagers to do. It's a lot less stressful than constantly monitoring your food stockpiles, or watching your villagers starve to death, one by one...