A farm is a business. Starting a business on a cash-only basis is possible and arguably safer than borrowing, but it's very slow going.
The way most farmers get started is they take out a great stonkin' loan from the bank ($10mil+) and buy land, stock, machinery etc. They then run their newly established farm and try to turn enough of a profit to pay the interest plus a bit of capital.
That's why farmers tend to be "asset rich and cash poor" for the first 20-30 years and then (if they're both diligent and lucky) are suddenly super wealthy once they've paid their loans off.
(Source: dairy-farming relatives)
2. Enforcing compliance with basic laws hurts farmers. It's not clear to me that it's currently possible to operate an American farm both legally, and profitably. Laws that farmers are likely breaking have to do with employment, immigration, animal cruelty, and pollution. Compliance with all of this will drive your expenses up, and you out of business. This is a classic case of a prisoner's dillema - your competitors, who break the law, will undercut you, if you comply with it.
3. Larger farms with better access to capital are often better suited to take advantage of government subsidies.
4. Farming is incredibly risky. Your margins are razor-thin, and your yields and revenues are entirely at the mercy of the weather, and the capriciousness of your incredibly expensive equipment. Large, well-capitalized mega-farms are better suited to weather runs of bad luck, then smaller, family-ran ones.
 Not to mention that many family farms rely on family members to operate. And if uncle Bill ruins his back on the job, in June, he's not going to be in shape to work at harvest time...
Governmental help comes in the form of lacklustre subsidies, or too small and too delayed financial aid, while at the same time providing massive grants to companies that are in the agri business system.
One example is the legislation of allocating "water rights" to the main river systems here, all of which has caused farms to go bankrupt, the middle men to get rich and we now have increased rice (!! Rice in Australia) production.
You'll notice that families who've been cobblers for generations can't compete with Nike on price, either. Economies of scale and international wage arbitrage really matter.
For example, the accounting and bookkeeping manpower and expense consumes many full percentage points of a small businesses’ gross revenue, while virtually none of a large businesses’ revenue (fractions of a percent).
Of course, large enterprises can - and have - lobbied the government to pass “think of the children” laws against all manner of evil, which they themselves can trivially absorb with their full time legal and accounting staff. The slobs on the family farm - not so much.
Until government compliance is priced at a percentage of gross revenue, nothing will change, and small competitors will be extinguished - to the delight of the conglomerates.
Most farmers where I grew up—even smaller farms hired temporary workers and gave them bunkhouses. At the end of the season they went off and brought the money back to their families—money not worth much here but worth a lot back home.
The advice about seeing value in redefining objects for their other potentials is great though. One I grew up with. Maybe something quite valuable to the high (read: even higher) consuming culture of the present.
In effect the author is talking about a by gone era when a single family would do or could do all the work on a farm. Since then average farm sizes have gone up. Wages have gone down, and work is done by either by machines, chemicals, or low skilled hired hands.
Also new in the past five years has been extreme appreciation on the value of farm land. Farm land is now getting treated like forest land was a decade or so ago where a bunch of university funds and PE speculated. Now is not a good time to try low scale farming.
The impression I got from the author was more of a single family dwelling.
The problem with subscription farming? You have to grow what your customers want to buy not what you want to plant. If you have a natural disaster you may need to refund some of your customers money. You also have to learn to sell which to some people is anathema.
But I've seen people successfully do it. There are even people doing it in the inner city of Detroit. In Detroit with the city selling lots for $100 it may pay to buy your land upfront. You also can use city water for irrigation.
The observation I made about farming that always made it difficult (financially) was that all the wealth was tied up in things. Your acres, your livestock/crops, your home(s) and other property. High value equipment as well (tractors aren't cheap, neither are their accessories).
The issue was always turning these things into cash. So mortgages were one way (though if I'm being honest any one who has run a large scale farming operation probably doesn't lean on the mortgage. You can get agribusiness loans with much better terms and crop/livestock insurance).
Contrary to popular belief though, the land that is actually farmed is mostly leased/rented, but its typically a long term deal, so you don't have to borrow millions of dollars just to increase acreage 
This was something that large corporations don't have such trouble with (not to mention, most large agriculture companies have a portfolio of assets that they make money from, not just their production). I also noted that those in good co-operatives didn't have as much of an issue with this either (co-ops are good market makers and can help small farmers with buying power if they need to change crops quickly in response to market demand.
See all the bankruptcies and delinquencies hitting wheat farmers right now  some of which is in part to the trade issues we're having with China. They're a huge net importer of certain cash crops. Most of these guys were all in on their cash crop, without a good way to get ahead of market demand to re-calibrate their crops. Livestock is much harder in this sense, but its still doable)
This is the common reason why older farmers tend to sell (beyond simply crushing debt. It does happen for a lot of reasons. I'm not trying to under sell this. its just hard to write up a lengthy post here without it becoming an article). So they can actually cash out
EDIT: if the people of HN will it, I could do a long write about about Agriculture economics. I've got a strong background here.
The previous famous way was "Farmer John" near Chicago, which was similar, but more of a collective.
Start out with a large fortune.