just tossing out this idea. if you did get a nice backhoe you could get a small dump truck or track dump. this way you can move topsoil to a stock pile area. then slot trench as mentioned before to get to pay dirt. haul that to the plant. then when u get enough to run the plant for a day you can use the backhoe to tend to the plant. you can utilize the machine the hole time and run the hole operation with 2 guys.