hi everyone, great to be here.
novice gardener here, at a new rent with lots of land, and not sure what to do with myself. i've spent a lot of time with gaia's garden, have a ton of seeds, but don't really know where to start.
i've attached some photos of the property. the landlord owns over 20 acres, with a huge amount of field that's currently used for hay. there's already a decent sized garden set up, with 8 or 9 raised beds in rows. i'm not sure how recently it's been tended to, though.
(this second photo is taken from about the middle of the field)
i started a sheet mulch of two of the rows, using compost from my store (i work at an independent natural and organic food store), cardboard, some straw that i bought, and later some leaves that i moved over from a far field
my landlord already complained about the compost pile being visible while she was showing the upstairs apartment, and also is nervous about it attracting rats, and would rather have me keep it in a container (which just seems silly). she does shop at our store though and supports organic produce, and has said to me that she'd love for the land to be able to be put to use growing food for the store.
i barely know what to do with a 40ft garden, nevermind acres.
my initial plan was to start some berries, maybe a few fruit trees, and basic annual vegetables. fairly frustrated with the setup because the land has so much potential, but there is basically a lookout tower above me that she is trying to rent out, that needs to have an attractive view for prospective renters. and also the fact that i don't know how long i'll be here to watch things mature.
so i could really use some advice
first off, for starting my seeds: should i buy a seed starting mix, make my own, if i use my own soil do i sterilize it or not?
secondly, what would your plan of attack be for transforming this massive amount of land into a thriving, ecologically integrated food production system without upsetting the (prospective) upstairs tenants?
i realize i'm fairly all over the place, but i feel like i just need an experienced set of eyes to look at my situation and say "this is what's important" "this is where you should get started" etc
thank you, thank you