I don't plan on leaving my place in modern society to live in a thatched hut anytime soon, but didn't the simple farming life of O'Sensei seek to return to the spirits of the land, and live in harmony with these spirits .. or are we merely talking about the ravings of a lunatic who became a great martial artist?
Not responding to the post exactly but...
There is a certain romanticism to returning to a simpler life. I think at least some of this is what was going on with Ueshiba. As someone who grew up on a farm and has seen and done this sort of work first hand, well, the romantics are welcome to it. It's long, lonely hard work. It's unpredictable too. Your crop / source of livelihood can vanish on you at the drop of a hat. One long winter and you won't have to worry about the 'body solutions' diet. Of course simpler times mean simpler outhouses too. Wouldn't want running water right? Or, my local favorite these days, flouridation? Wouldn't it be great to have your teeth fall out by the time you are 50? In these simpler times how many people lived to be 50? What about diseases like polio, the plague, chickenpox and smallpox? Hey, makes AID's look a bit better doesn't it? And don't forget Syphallus and it's friends. By the way, simpler living will probably do away with the grocery stores too. All those nice fruits and vegetables.
Sorry, I get worked up on the simpler life / good ole days stuff. It's a pretty good thing we got going these days despite what you see and read.
By the way, nothing wrong with growing a garden and farming. I just don't think there's anything particularly more or less spiritual about it other than the meaning we give it.