I am doing it and started at age 63 and a single guy to boot! Couldn't yet swing the cost of land so I am working with a single woman age 73 who has the land. Just about to settle a deal for one or more acres with a man that is impressed with what I am doing and agreed to sell me land with no down and low payments - complete with shares in an existing well. Doing this on Social Security pay and no more. On one month I buy solar panels and the next month batteries. Got 6 chicks a few months ago and got my first eggs today and yesterday from them. I built a solarium/greenhouse for this woman - with a rocket stove to heat it and helped her with some cob straw covering on one of her buildings - and much weatherization and general maintenance on her buildings in return for a room in a small shack and a place to grow my own veggies. I made a deal with her neighbor and am planting more on his land to share with him and his wife. I have 3 gardens going now and red worms galore after getting 2,000 a few months ago - for worm castings and composting - as well as for food for the fish I will have in my aquaponics set-up, which I bought a 400 gallon tank for recently.
All that stands in the way of people doing this is blockages in their minds and nothing more usually. Fear of change, fear of failure and fear of criticism are the most common barriers - or it could be what kept me from doing it many years sooner - a wife who would not cooperate with me... It took me 11 years to recover from the nasty divorce and a couple other set-backs and find my nitch - but I hung in there and I am doing it!
I spent much time and effort trying to get others to form a community effort to do this - and some time on the Hopi reservation trying to work with some there, which didn't suit me - but these are learning experiences and temporary setbacks, not failures, if one looks at it right. Everybody says "build it an we will come!' I say if they come after I build it they are too late and will pay for my goods and there will be no room at the inn!
Right now I am on a mountain in Southern UT and the land I am getting will be in northern AZ - not too far from Saint George, UT. Hot in the summer and darn cold in the winter with sand and cactus. If I can do it here at my age - what is your excuse? If you are a good woman and needing a good man - there just might be room at the inn - if you have the proper attitude of course. If a couple needs some help - I sure could use some good neighbors and would help you get the land and maybe teach you a thing or two - and trade work. If not - I will be out there doing it alone and loving life - like I did today making a soup/stew from naturally raised beef I bought from a local and I put a bunch of veggies I raised in it - yum! Dehydrating a bunch of fruit and veggies now, too. Sprouting wheat to make Essene sprouted bread and growing wheat grass for juicing.
Did some trading for an old travel trailer frame that was sitting around being junk and working on getting it built into a living space and place for my aquaponic system while I build my dwelling on the land I am getting soon. It will be cob/straw bale earth bag construction. Just don't ask me what I do in my spare time - usually studying while I rest.
After 2 AM now so I need to get some sleep - just had to reply to let you all know you can do it if you set your mind to it - and get over the mental barriers. I help people do that when I have the time - when I get the help I need with all of these projects I plan to hold some seminars on getting past those barriers - or after the fall harvest is all stocked away securely and the snow sets in.