Take a group of 5 Peasants. It takes them 4 turns to deplete a Farm, 10 turns to Clear the land, and 5 turns to build a new Farm in the same spot. 19 Turns total, during which they produce 100 Food, and consume 95 Food. Net gain: 5 Food. They are self sufficient, but this is hardly a surplus. 5 Peasants cannot even support a single extra member of the population.
Take a group of 5 Craftsmen. The same cycle takes them 9.5 turns, and they consume 47.5 Food, for a net gain of 52.5 Food per cycle. A set of 5 Craftsman farmers can support an additional 5.8333 people.
So, this is a little obviously Craftsman oriented. Who would want Peasants? Yes, a Craftsman should be desirable, but not essential.
1) Make the people eat less.
2) Make the people produce more.
3) Allow more workers per Acre.
4) Increase the total yield of a farm before depletion.
Of these, I think 4 is the best solution.
So, change the total yield of a farm from 100 to 250.
Now, 5 Peasants can work a Farm for an additional 6 Turns, making their cycle 25 turns, during which they eat 125 Food and product 250 Food, for a net gain of 125 Food. This can support an additional 5 members of the population.
For Craftsmen, their cycle is now 12.5 turns, generating 250 food, eating 62.5 food, for a net gain of 187.5. This will support an extra 15 members of the population.
Odd that a simple doubling of productivity translates to three times the ability to support a population, but unless I've made a math error, that's how it works out.
And that leads me to think about "zoning". In these cycles, a piece of land will go from Farm->Waste Land->Cleared Land->Farm. Essentially, it is "zoned Agricultural".
Similarly, a piece of land will go from Timber Camp->Waste Land->Cleared Land->Wild Land->Timber Camp.
Or, from Mine->Waste Land->Cleared Land->Mine.
Which makes me think about mining. Unlike a Farm or a Timber Camp, which can be replenished, a piece of land is only going to give up so much Ore before it just can't be mined.
So, maybe I want to put some sort of factor that divides the productivity of a Mine. The first time an Acre is mined, it'll yield 250 Ore. The second time, it'll yield 125 Ore. The third time, 83.333 Ore, the fourth time 62.5. Each time 250/(Number of times a Mine has been built). After about the third time, there just isn't a point to mine further. But it still costs the same to build the Mine, Clear the land, etc, and it still takes the same amount of work to mine it to depletion. The production points just are less effective.
Anyway, I think I need to be done for now.