Everyone's opinion will be different, but here is mine, without knowing your budget. I do agree with others to grow into it over time. What I am going to list is my priorities and budget, so it may not apply if you are a doctor or a lawyer. Going to be a long post.
I would put the pond on the backburner. Built one with my father in Georgia as a teen. We did a lot of the work ourselves and rebuilt one he had in the 30's, but it was a still a lot of work and extra upkeep. Definitely worth doing, but not my main priority.
Garden: If nothing else for now, cut it and use tarp or plastic to keep weeds down between now and spring. Don't rush into a tractor. You have some time and should be able to find somebody to plow it for you in the spring in your area, if you haven't found a good deal on one by then. Spend the next month researching growing your own plants from seed and get ready for that (by February) and knowing what you will direct seed. Initially, go with the basics that will produce easily and well. Purple hull peas, okra, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers/maters, etc. Plant Trucker's Favorite corn if you have room. If you pay somebody to initially plow, or do it yourself, get a wheel hoe for cultivation. Hoss Tools sells them in Georgia. The double wheel hoe with the sweeps attachment is all I use for my garden now. I have a tiller sitting in the barn I should sell, and a cultivator for the tractor that I haven't used recently. I can make a pass about once a week with the wheel hoe as fast as I can walk and it keeps the middles in good shape.
If you don't get a tractor, have someone clear some area to get you at least an acre to work with. Plant crimson clover in the winter for what area you are not growing food on. Plant iron and clay peas, buckwheat and sun hemp on bare spots during the summer. Will help keep weeds down, prevent erosion and improve soil, if plowed in at the right time. Find a tree service in the area to drop off wood chips. It will take some time to rot, but start soon to have it to add to your soil in a couple of years. Part of my garden now was a pile of rotting limbs, fence posts, etc. It is amazing how much better it does than dirt on either side. Start compost bins to add your kitchen scraps, leaves, and chicken manure along with any shavings you clean out of your chicken house.
Figure out how to keep something growing all the time you can eat. It is not hard in GA.
Put an electric fence around your garden spot. The interwebs have too much info on what you need to do this. It ain't hard. I have three strands that work fine and have to tighten or repair a section every couple of months. Probably when a critter passes through that hasn't tried it yet. The repair is about 5 mins and no extra cost yet, since I just fix whatever is stretched (aluminum wire) or rarely have to reattach something broken.
Canning/preserving: You or/and your wife learn how to can. Purple hull peas are a staple at our house. I pick them and she shells and cans them. I have a Camp Chef propane stove that she uses with a Presto pressure cooker/canner. She cans some pears and other stuff, but peas and blue lake beans are the bulk of the canning. We have small chest freezer and picked up a stand-up freezer at an estate sale. I also have a backup fridge/freezer in a barn that I think was $100.00 used and we use it to store what is picked until we have time to process it. She handles the canning and I freeze squash, okra and corn. We are beginners at fermenting and have done pickles and sauerkraut with good results. I also have a dehydrator and we have used it for cayenne peppers and other stuff. Also made some onion powder.
Fruit trees: They are nice to have, but unless you are selling/trading them or have a fruit fetish they are way, way down the list from my garden. Add a few at a time to right-size your needs. We inherited three large pears from the previous owner and could supply half the county. I have some young apple and blueberry. To my surprise, deer are leaving the blueberries alone, but I had to put some rusty 2X4 fence (also inherited from previous owners) around the apples to keep bucks from rubbing them. Fig trees would be good for preserves. l'm still working to get some established, since it was very dry here the past two summers. I took some cuttings from an old plum in the summer and will plant them in the spring. We have four pecan trees around the house. This year they produced more than my wife has been able to keep shelled. We did not plant any peach trees. IMO they take a lot of maintenance and spraying.
Chickens: For eggs, we have six RI red and barred rock that were a year old in Oct. I sectioned off a part of an old barn and added roosts and nest boxes. It has a doorway that leads to about a 12X18' area I closed in with 2X4 wire (already had it) and covered with chicken wire and a tin roof on top. We took down an old hogwire fence and used sections to attach to the bottom of the fence to prevent critters from digging. We get six eggs a day most of the year and probably four a day right now with the shorter days. I have not grown any just for meat recently, but have years ago. I figure I have plenty of room in the same enclosure to add some, if needed.
Rabbits: I added a few just for meat security and also to convert some garden matter into fertilizer. My wife was not big on the idea, but runs to go see them every day when she gets home and chastises me if she doesn't think I'm paying them enough attention.
This is about where we are now. We keep enough growing to eat so as to not get into the preserved stuff too much and it is a challenge to find out how to use it all. Supplementing chicken and rabbit feed with scraps and any extra green stuff has saved us a lot. We are older and kids are grown. We may add cattle, but I'm still weighing the ROI for the fence. We border a state highway, so the odds something could get out and on a rod bothers me, plus time goes by quick and we all get old and feeble at some point.
First off, thank you for the very detailed post. That had to have taken some time to write up.
Secondly, about the budget. I am a software engineer, making six figures. We are definitely not rich by any means, but we are pretty comfortable with being able to support the homestead however we need.
Thirdly, about the pond. Agreed. The pond is something I definitely want, but it is not a priority right now. I might work on that year two or three.
Fourthly, about the garden. I was actually out in the garden area this morning with the wife clearing out larger brush. What is the best way to cut the area enough to put down the tarps? Should I just mow over it? Also, I have been researching what to plant and how for the last 3-4 months while the property search and mortgage process was pending. I have spreadsheets and tons of bookmarked videos already and continue to find more info every day.
Fifthly, about the composting. We do plan to do our own composting, but, still trying to figure out where to keep it on the property and what type of bins to use. Recommendations for that would be great.
Sixthly, about the fencing. The garden area has an existing fence that is like 95% up and working. But, that fencing is not going to keep out small animals at all, and it needs reinforcement. I definitely like the idea of electric fencing, and that will be the finishing touch after I make it more rodent proof. I have watched so many videos about this in the past week. It seems like no matter what you do, if a small animal wants in they find a way lol...
Seventhly, about the canning/preserving. We do plan to do both, but have no prior experience with it. So, it will be a learning experience for sure. I am most excited about preserves, and on that topic, we have a large fig tree that bares way more fig than we could process (according to the previous owner).
Eighthly, about the fruit trees. We have some existing apple, peach, and kiwi trees (all of which apparently didn't do well last season). We also have raspberries, blackberries, and muscadines. I am a big fan of fruit and in particular peaches, strawberries, and bananas. I get peach trees are a pain to care for, but strawberries seem to be much easier to manage. I know nothing about banana trees, but would love to have those as well.
Ninthly, about the chickens. Behind the garden, chickens are next in line on the priority list. Just not sure what breed to go with. I have a two year old boy that will inevitably find his way into the coop many times, so I need to go with a more docile breed. I was looking at Astralorps, but open to suggestions.