break in the land
Would you explain '' break in the land'' in this context?
The first kauri gum to be exported from New Zealand was part of a cargo taken back to Australia and England by two early expeditions in 1814 and 1815. By the 1860s, kauri gum’s reputation was well established in the overseas markets and European immigrants were joining the Maoris in collecting gum on the hills of northern New Zealand.
For fifty years from about 1870 to 1920, the kauri gum industry was a major source of
income for settlers in northern New Zealand. As these would-be farmers struggled to break
in the land, many turned to gum-digging to earn enough money to support their families and pay for
improvements to their farms until better times arrived.