It's a mystery.
How does one become a farmer? Either you pick up the skills from your forebears, or you partner with an experienced farmer, or you just figure it out on your own. We're half a generation removed – our father farmed with his father until his early twenties, then became an academic and international consulting engineer. I, too, have degrees in agricultural engineering, but they're not degrees in farming. I've gardened intensively, but that's not farming, and it doesn't scale up. Permaculture offers a path from the one to the other, and that's where we're at.
(Oh! There goes a firefly.)
So then, we read our books and manuals, talk to the agency folk and anyone else with experience, and make a practice of trial and error.
Today saw the completion of the rabbit fencing around the vegetable gardens, with 5-foot wide gates that will admit the little tractor if necessary. If we've done it right, we'll stop cursing and once again celebrate the crepuscular bunny parties.
Research continues into biochar and synfuel production through pyrolysis of wood chips. I need to take a welding class.