I don't really understand people who want to live in the country, but not engage in country living. Even a 1/2 acre lot is considered huge in the Bay Area. The older developments (post WW2) are typically 1/10 acre, with newer developments being much smaller, with postage stamp yards. And even with my 1/10 acre lot, I was able to do a lot. Why buy a lot of land if you don't need it, and just try to reproduce suburban living on a larger scale.
I'm buying property that is farm zoned, and that can't be changed locally, and somewhat surrounded by BLM land. I know that doesn't guarantee anything, but at least it's not easily turned into a subdivision.