That was a wonderful story. I felt my blood pressure go down several points just from the pleasant read. It is inspirational.
We have maintained that 20 acres of well managed ground can not only support a family but let them buy a new truck when they want to and put the kids through college. There is no reason to do without.
A well managed 5 acre farm can supply nearly all of your food and income needs but 10-20 acres offers more options. With the additional land you can expect to also supply all of your energy needs as well. This includes heat, electricity and even gasoline (ethanol).
ATTRA can supply a prospective farmer with enough options to swamp his kitchen table with information. There are many other sources of tips and plans as we see on the Back 40 Bookshelf. Finding the opportunities that set your heart on fire is the secret to success since you will put more into what you love than what just gets you by.