Most people engaging in a back-to-the-land lifestyle and trying to raise the majority of their own food call this process modern homesteading, but I'm afraid our 3-car garage disqualifies us from using the term for Bluestem Farm. Still, if we had it to do over, we would have put less money in our house and more in fencing. I think with a frugal lifestyle and a diversified portfolio (cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, veggies, fruit, bedding plants, Christmas trees, etc.) it is possible to make a living off of 80 acres even with our steep property taxes. I'm sure our neighbors would find that laughable, but that hasn't stopped me yet. Right now my farming endeavors don't even pay for themselves, but do provide us with high-quality organic meat, eggs, milk, and produce. Though the land can support far more than we are doing with it now, my know-how can't. By growing our farm slowly, I hope to minimize my serious mistakes. Maybe in 10 years we'll make back our investments and start seeing that positive balance sheet. In the mean time, I'm starting to see why all that organic food at the Merc costs so much!