Food is a resource that is used to prevent your clan from dying of starvation. Unlike other resources, food is not represented numerically, but rather in terms of how long your currently supply of food can sustain your current population. Food can be stockpiled for some time, but building up stockpiles that can last longer than a few years is impossible due to spoilage.
There are several ways to gain food:
- Your farms give you a large supply of food during each Earth Season. In order for your farms to be effective, you must tend them properly during both Sea Season and Earth Season, and avoid sending out raids during those times. To increase the food you get from farming, you can invest magic in Fields during Sacred Time, build a shrine to Pela, or even perform the ritual Nyalda Marriage Maker and choose "increased grain production" as the benefit.
- Your herds supply you with a steady supply of food year-round in the form of milk, and in an emergency can be butchered for meat. To increase the amount of food you get from your herds, you can build shrines for Uryarda's and Busenari's Milk Blessings. Increasing the size of your herds will also help, as will investing magic in Herds during Sacred Time.
- Hunting supplies you with a steady supply of food year-round, except for Dark Season. Dostal's blessings can also be useful. You can also try a dedicated hunting venture.
- Foraging, like hunting, will provide you with food year-round, again aside from Dark Season. A dedicated foraging mission, if successful, will bring in a large supply of food, as can a foraging venture. And Inilla's Rootle blessing can help your foragers find more food.
- Allocating magic to Fields, Pastures, and Wildlands during Sacred Time will make farming, herds, and foraging/hunting more effective in bringing in food, respectively.
- It is possible to acquire food from other clans through trade, or by calling in a favor.
- Certain spirits, such as Berry and Heron, bring in additional food when bargained with. Note that such spirit blessings will only work in particular seasons.
If you do not have enough food to feed your clan, your population will be reduced as members of your clan starve to death or become sick. Keep in mind that ill, starving people are unable to work, including to produce food.
A dedicated foraging mission may be sent from the Map. This sends foragers outside your lands to find food. It's best to avoid other clan lands. You need to stick fairly close to home - foraging missions can't be sent more than about a season's travel away. This is a concentrated effort, in addition to the normal gathering on your own clan lands, or the foraging venture. Foraging relies on the leader's Food and Lore skills, and worshippers of Inilla have substantial advantages.