Part of living the simple life is work. The simple life, at least at first, is going to be much more work than most of you are used to and more than you expect no matter how good your plan is. So if you have ideas of just buying a farm and sitting back in a comfy chair on the porch you are either enjoying retirement or have hired a farm manager and have lots of money in the bank. If you're not like that though then you have to expect a good amount of work and time will be invested in your farm. But it's just that, an investment. We found that the biggest drawback in renting a farm is that you put lots of time and energy into it and at the end of the day it's not yours. And while it's admirable to improve the land for someone else I still think it's better to do it for yourself. Buying even a small place that you can call your own is a better way to go. You can always rent a field somewhere if you need more space or intensively and wisely farm your own small acreage. Amazon sells numerous books on making a profit off 1/4 acre or other small pieces of land. That's where planning and work collide. The better you get at planning then the more efficient your work will be. So plan ahead. We used our pigs last year to dig out the ground that is going to a garden this year. They loosened up some rocks for us, removed the sod and roots, turned it over and manured it at the same time. And now it's fenced too. We rotate our sheep around the pasture for several reasons. By moving them frequently we keep down the number if intestinal worms and parasites, they fertilize as they go, they eat the grass but while it's young and more nutritious, and it prevents a fire hazard of long dry grass in the late summer. Of course there was still work involved such as fencing and building a house for the pigs but once that's done then the work is minimal (unless the sheep make a hole in the fence and escape).
Work is good for you mentally and physically. One of my favourite quotes from the movie Star Trek Insurrection is this "We believe that when you create a machine to do the work of a man, you take something away from the man." This is from the leader of a group of people who have given up their technological lives in exchange for a simple rustic and self-sufficient village life. I'm not saying that we all need to be luddites and avoid technological advances. It's smart to use tools and resources wisely. But what I am suggesting is that there's something fundamentally good for humans to work with their hands. If you start out modestly and respect that it's going to take your body time to get used to it then you'll be less likely to strain muscles and hurt yourself. So start now getting into better physical shape if you know that this summer you're going to be gardening or splitting firewood. And pace yourself. Some jobs have to be done right now because of necessity, and some you can spread out over time such as getting the winter wood chopped and ready. Oh my back is aching just thinking about it, lol. Time to take my own advice and get moving.