I’ve really felt this from time to time. I have a ton of strategies, but I have to say first that social cred or streetside aesthetics don’t mean a ton to me.
First, a story: my mom was visiting and asking about a patch of weeds. It was, literally, a patch of chest-high weeds I was leaving on the south slope of my perennial garden, so it was pretty noticeable. I explained that several soup pea plants were climbing many of those weeds, and I was selecting to see which ones would survive without water, and growing well enough to use the weeds as a platform instead of be smothered in them (I didn’t bother to tell her I dislike trellising, so I would only grow tall peas that would survive well around tall plants they could climb). She said “oh, yeah. Selection. That’s what you call it.”
But anyhow, strategies:
Keep growing a cultivar that works well for you, and grow your landrace in addition. Maybe this means splitting your garden area. It has three benefits: you are reminded you can still grow things, you still get a harvest the first couple years until the landrace begins to produce and can then be seeded in more of the total area, and it’s a source of pollen from something that definitely grows.
Similarly, instead of starting with the broadest possible range of seeds, try a couple new types at the end of each row every year. Save seeds from the interface, the two different plants next to each other, and develop your diverse seeds this way.
Let weeds grow in your field. It’ll keep the field green from a distance and a ton of them are edible so you get a yield + the competitive trait.
Really take the time to slow down and look at the survivors in all their stages. Marvel at them, notice what lets them succeed, think about how this miracle of adaptation to your specific site would be otherwise unavailable to you-- even if there are few of them.
Landrace one crop at a time. Once you’ve got the first one succeeding you’ll feel more confident in your second one.
Conversely, landrace at least three crops at a time. Then one will likely do better than the others in any given year, so you’ll generally be succeeding in something to keep you hopeful.
Find someone in a similar climate to you and start with some of their seed, or similarly, leave landrace information around in public areas/free libraries/request Joseph’s book at the library/leave brochures at seed swaps until someone in your town does the first couple years, then work with them.
Especially if you’re growing crops like beans and corn, slow down and look at the seeds. They’re beautiful. A field of corn where most of the plants don’t produce is hard to look at, but when you take those ratty, poorly-pollinated cobs and shell the seed off them you’ll have a jar of something that’s hard to look away from. That seed can feel like a real reward, even if it’s not super abundant the first year or two.
Revisit your goals often.
Follow people who have been doing this work for awhile, listen to their stories and look at their pictures. I’m always inspired.
Eat things when you’re standing out in your garden or your field, right from the field. No matter how low your yield is, there are usually at least weeds (or blossoms, or leaves, or even sometimes fruits) to eat while you’re out there. That is a real yield, it’s your land feeding you, and I find it to be a strong connector to my meaning.
@julia.dakin has a post about “what is your why?” which is lovely to think about and read through. (The search button isn’t working for me right now, but perhaps someone can edit the link into this post).
Joseph mentioned getting community members to bring seeds from their favourite-tasting foods to him, if it’s the kind of food where the seeds aren’t eaten. Involving people, and accepting their preferences into your landrace, seems like a pretty solid way of getting them to feel intrigued/curious.