A backyard is no place for a farm. My earliest vegetable gardens were small-scale imitations of large-scale farms. I rototilled the soil, spread bagged chemical fertilizer all around and built neat hills and straight furrows. I worked as a tractor. Then I unleashed a flood of water to fill the furrows and bring life to the land. I engineered like a god. Months later, I would make my daily rounds to harvest what I could from the hard, gray soil that was cracking under the intense summer sun. Farming was a tough life.