A helpful reader has alerted me to a very practical homesteading site called The Backroad Home. Do have a look.
“Almost every American has an equally unaffected, though not, of course, an equally appreciative, love for ‘the country.’ This love appears intuitive, and the possibility of ease and a country place or suburban cottage, large or small, is a vision that gives a zest to the labors of industrious thousands. This one simple fact is of marked importance; it shows that there is an innate homage to the natural in contradistinction to the artificial—a preference for the works of God to the works of man; and no matter what passing influences may prevent the perfect working of this tendency, there it exists; and with all its town-bred incongruities and frequently absurd shortcomings, it furnishes a valuable proof of inherent good, true, and healthy taste.”
– Architect Calvert Vaux, from his 1867 book, Villas & Cottages