1) Have a water source independent of the electrical grid. Whether that's [rain] water storage, hand pump on a well or filtered creek water, is up to you.
2) After starting the garden, I would start an orchard. You will have shade and fruit and/or nuts to look forward to.
Bare soil is dead soil, so bring in lots of organic matter. chipped trees from the power company or tree company, or composted manure will improve your soil and make your garden and trees more productive.
See Back to Eden Film for details.
If your planning on animals (2.5 acres is on the small side), Joel Salatin from PolyFace farms has lots of video on turning solar energy into food using Salad Bar Beef, Pastured Poultry, Pigs, Rabbits, Turkeys and more.
Aquaponics is likely better suited for your size lot. Fish and greens.
WranglerStar has a great series of videos on Youtube about Homesteading, showcasing many skills and projects.
3) proper fencing and security is a must as you improve your property to keep unwanted predators off.
Whatever you decide, good luck.
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