It's been asked before what Elves eat, but my question is specifically: where on (Middle) Earth do they get it? I find this to be a significant mystery & potential "hole" in the mythology. I'll list first my thoughts on why there's an issue, then the potential answers I see. Please tell me, if you can, whether any of these can be confirmed or invalidated by any statements found in canon.
Elves revere wild nature and do not interfere with it, and especially do not cut down trees. As a farmer/gardener myself, I am not aware of any way in which this can be compatible with farming, which requires the clearing of land (cutting down trees) and the constant killing of all wild plants (very much including tree seedlings) that would interfere with one's crop. The best-case scenario, if you farm, is a landscape like the Shire; Lothlorien is an impossibility. Therefore I believe Elves do not farm.
It's clear that some Elves do sometimes hunt. (Which--again, as a farmer--is actually far more compatible with "preserve the wilderness" environmentalism than farming & vegetarianism.) Gathering wild foods is also compatible with their attitude toward nature. However, they seem to--at least sometimes--exist in numbers too great in one place for this to supply all their food. (You need a lot of land per person for a hunter-gatherer lifestyle; there certainly can't be a hunter-gatherer city. But there were Elven cities in Middle-Earth history IIRC.) I'm not clear on the numbers in every case--is it possible, for instance, that the Elves of Mirkwood or Lothlorien were few enough to live this way? In any case, I do not believe Elves can get all their food by hunting and/or gathering in general.
Elves seem to--to put it bluntly--have a great deal of free time. All the more so due to their immortality, but one also doesn't see them doing much work of daily necessity as Hobbits or Men do--they seem to devote the bulk of their time to art, craft, learning, battle against evil, etc. Thus, their acquiring of food is never mentioned (as far as I know) even while in the case of, say, Hobbits, it's mentioned constantly.
Here are the potential answers I see (with potential issues they contain.)
They trade for almost all of their food, selling their incredible works of art and craft for high value. (However, we don't hear about Elven traders, merchants or elven money.)
They create, or multiply, food by some form of elven magic. This could explain the extraordinary properties of Lembas.
They do not, in fact, need to eat; or they need to eat far less often than other races; or they can derive nourishment from things we can't--spring water? Starlight? Music? (However, the use of Lembas as "waybread" suggests they do need to eat food.)
Combining 2 and 3, they only need to eat very little as long as it's food specially prepared with elven magic.
Tolkien didn't think about this or deliberately glossed over it, since the Elves were created as a sort of natural aristocracy and in order to spend their time creating art, fighting righteous wars and becoming wise, needed to be spared the mundane concerns that tie the rest of us to earth.
Can canon confirm or deny any of these notions of mine?