My cow is not eating the stuff I throw on the ground.
You need to put it in the feed bin in your barn and have the cow in the barn, then it will eat the hay
And once its in storage, do the cows just automatically eat the stuff?
No, but you can access it without going into your inventory. Just put the fodder in your control box in your house
What's the point of this game? To make more money? I've never played a harvest moon before.
The point of the game is to restore the town to its past glory. On Spring 25th a girl named Rebecca will come set up shop, there you can buy town decorations, houses for villagers to move into, and other useful items.
Does the quality of the crop go up if you put fertilizer on it every day?
Yes, but this isn't very effective with one time harvest crops until you have the seed maker. I suggest you fertilize one turnip everyday and once you harvest it save it for the crop festival which will take place on the 30th of every month. And ship 30 potatoes (grow in spring) and 30 yams (unlock in year 2 and grow in fall) ASAP
What are blueprints, where do I get them, and where do i buy new decorations for my house?
Blueprints let you build houses and decorations with specific materiel. You unlock it when you get Rebecca on Spring 25th
And where are the fruits in the forest the ld guy was talking about?
There aren't very many good fruits, but you can get plums, apricots, etc. in the later seasons.
You put the fodder in the storage box and take out one at a time from the feed dispenser inside the barn. Then throw it in the feeding trough.
If you grow fodder outside (grass seeds from store) the cows and sheep will eat on their own when they're outside.
The point of this game? Gathering, growing, producing, mining, fishing then hoarding materials to build things for the town renovations and for points. Gold is stupid easy to make and you don't really need much of it - a million or two is more than enough.