In 2005, we bought 10 acres – 3 acres of which were grazing and 7 of which were grazing that had reverted to nature and was mostly dogwood and ash with a few elms, maples, and apple trees.
We had a very vague plan that we wanted to grow fruit and vegetables cheaply and as easily as possible, ie, we wanted to have fun doing it.
In 2007, we designed and built our house. Even while it was being built, we roto-tilled a 25′ x 40′ patch so that we could plant squash.
Previously, we had had flower and vegetable gardens so we weren’t novices. Nonetheless, we had a great deal to learn about what we could and couldn’t do on our particular 10 acres – the soil was quite heavy; we were growing on the side of a hill which became increasingly steep; old farmers’ fields want to remain as old farmers’ fields. Very quickly, we moved to raised beds where we could start with pure green-waste compost and not have to contend with quackgrass (Elytrigia repens).
Part of our vague plan was to share what we were doing with others by selling what we produced in the local village market each Saturday during the summer.
Things progressed quickly with very few setbacks and very little re-doing things a different way after less than desirable results.
As we progressed and got closer and closer to the land and Nature, a philosophical view of what we were doing began to emerge which is more or less captured by the quote from E.B. White.