Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
Wow, sounds like a cool program. I am not in a position to take advantage of it; however, here are some of my ideas (based on what I have done with my current few high desert acres in N NV and what I want to do when we move to Central TN).
I just turned 50, and I like a certain level of creature comforts, so I don't know how self-sufficient we can become, but I am planning to build into the infrastructure things that will help me continue to "work the farm" even as I get older. For example, over time, I'd like to convert the in ground garden to all raised beds 2 ft high (3 ft wide). That way I could sit and still reach most of the plants. I'm currently putting together a 5 year plan based on the climate that we will be moving to in August. I won't have land of my own again for a few years, but this might be a good thing, as it will force me to plan as a way to keep me connected to this dream. I will, of course, garden while I am renting. I don't think I can do my job as a project manager/systems analyst and work on farm property "away" from my house; but maybe I can participate in a community garden. I think having a plan is critical, even if things don't ever go exactly as planned. It is a great way to mitigate risks and take advantage of opportunities.
Good luck with your endeavor! Do you have a blog or a web site? I'd love to see how you all are doing! Also, interested in other people's responses to your questions, even if they are not applying for the program.