Peter Ellis wrote:As a measure of perspective, an acre is the area one man with a scythe could mow in one day. So one acre really is a scale that can be done by hand and with hand tools. Presumably Mr. conventional farmer was tilling every year. Have you gone out and put a spade in the ground to see what you are working with yet?
In the case of a landowner with a view who likes their bucolic country scenes, perhaps a lovely wildflower meadow look would be acceptable for her needs?
Perhaps run the sunflowers across her line of sight and work the rest of the area with a more general mix of cover crops, with lots of nitrogen fixers.
When are you thinking to start your canes? How is the area for water? How do you plan to water the cane plantings? I'm kind of assuming that for the sunflowers and other cover crops, they will be on their own for water.
What is the exposure? Prevailing winds? Owners' vantage point? Are you planning a u-pick for the canes or something you harvest and market?
You could even lay out a pattern of fixed beds and pathways. Don't worry about trying to remediate the pathways, focus attention on the beds. There are highly profitable market gardens running on just one acre, all by hand.