It is a prime example of an idea executed poorly, most of the hints that are supposed to help you advance/progress through the game are too vague and confusing/hard to be interpreted. It is near darn impossible to figure them out on your own.
Also there is no documentation whatsoever to help you when you get stuck. I got a headache trying for hours to figure out the most trivial tasks like (an example) growing sedge on moist grass and still failed to do so. Don't get me started on melding and leaching and mixing how the heck could these be interpteted in the game..
I like the crafting mechanics in this game but I hate the completely esoteric vibe it has, It's as if only the guy that made it knows what the duck is going on with the "recipes".
The idea that the hints are there to "help" you is a common misconception. They're there to challenge you, by letting you know that there is more to discover and give you a push in that direction. Completing the hints should get you access to pretty much all of the basic content in the game, but there's more to discover that can't be covered (emergent mechanics) and there's still a lot to do even if you don't complete all the hints. It is still fundamentally a sandbox game, not necessarily a completion quest.
It's a puzzle game, so the documentation included in the game is very careful not to spoil solutions for you. If you're looking for more guidance, the best source is probably asking around in the community. The task of designing documentation to guide arbitrary players through the game without spoiling what they don't want spoiled is tantamount to building a game in itself, so it's not likely to ever happen on a mostly-single-developer hobby project.
So this game is about throwing shit randomly on the wall hoping something sticks... (this is incredibly time consuming and tedious btw). It could be very fun if video game logic was intuitive, but it ain't...
Intuition is not instinct, it must be built, and a large part of the early game is building that intuition. If you are just randomly throwing things together or exhaustively trying every combination you will probably never build that intuition.
For some players, once they figure out the first couple of things, it's pretty easy to build on those and they end up figuring most of the game out on their own. Others need more help from the community, or aren't interested in the discovery phase of the game and want to skip to the invention parts (though they do need to be aware they're sacrificing part of the game that way). For some others, well, not everyone is going to like every game, no matter what.
The built-in player's guide offers as much help to get you started as possible without serious risk of spoiling things for anyone, as it's assumed that ALL players will likely read it, including players who really want the reward of having figured out each thing on their own. Beyond that, the About box lists the official chatrooms on IRC, Discord, and Matrix, and you can get questions answered by the community, and most responders there can also point you in the right direction without ruining the puzzles outright. There is also a semi-official wiki (which does allow unlimited spoilers), which is maintained by the community, though it requires volunteers to help complete it.
It's good that you gave it a serious try, though. Everyone should give a novel experience a serious try, even if there's a risk that they won't like it.
I've incorporated some of your feedback, such as renaming "hints" so their name no longer suggests they're going to offer you help.