My Main idea is to remove the food requirement because I find that I have everything BUT food and when I get to like 20 Hearthling I have Unnecessary Food. At least remove the requirement but add a comparison at the Daily update of the food last Daily update and the food you have this Daily update (e.g. Last Daily update I had 200 food but this Daily update I have only 190, so I know I need to wait before I can a get a new hearthling or I might kill my stocks of Food.)
the food idea is because new people (even in history) aren’t born if there isn’t a surplus of food (because otherwise everyone would die). if there’s no extra food, population stagnates. food shortage, it goes down. food surplus, it goes up. the hearthling’s food requirement is meant to mirror that, although as of right now the vast majority of the food made doesn’t get eaten. it’s kind of ridiculous to demand hundreds of plates of food just for a single person to move in. lately it seems hearthlings eat more than before so as to combat that, so food stocks often drop quite drastically, but even so, it’s still a bit silly, and currently with farmers behaving the way they are, multiple farmers are not any more efficient than a single farmer, and so you can’t produce more food with more farmers. I would assume trappers don’t suffer from this, but trappers don’t provide much meat. I have no clue how killing sheep would work because I never kill my sheep, but I would assume that it still wouldn’t take the spot of an extra farmer.
doing a comparison instead of a flat number doesn’t really work, though, as if a hunter merchant stops by your town the night before, you can buy a ton of jerky from him and the daily update will see “oh you got 500 food in 1 day, you can get a new hearthling”, only for you to run out of food 3 days later (as well as not be able to get a new hearthling the day after)
what you should be doing is making 2 11x11 plots of land and growing things like turnips and pumpkins there. you can produce a lot of food very quick. don’t do corn as it grows slowly in stonehearth, and don’t do wheat because wheat requires 3 wheat being turned into flour and then 3 flour turned into bread. it’s a very slow process. not to mention someone said before that the cook isn’t yet working properly, and the food he makes causes terrible bugs. just stick to fast growing vegetables. eventually you’ll reach a point where you can’t get any more hearthlings. that’s to be expected because of the farmer issue.
The way I handle food is to set up a farm asap, one field of carrots and one field of turnips. As soon as you can get a second farmer and turn one of them into a cook. Make the hearty meat stew (not sure of exact name, not in game atm) out of the carrots/turnip/meat from trapping. It starts to add up quick
I usually let my carpenter craft some fancy stuff (after beds and tables) to level up and to sell it to merchants - normally to raise my wealth, but of course if needed I can buy extra food with the money, so I am very flexible with the demands for gaining a new villager.