How to Make Money from Homesteading
Most of us want to own a homestead someday. Can you imagine not having to depend on anyone for food, especially crops? This is what homesteading entails. Being self-sufficient.
If you are one of the lucky homestead owners, chances are you need a financial plan that will assist you in maintaining that lifestyle.
And now that you have quit your job to focus on your farm, bills have started to pile and you need to pay them off. So here comes the million-dollar question.
How can homesteading make you money? This is what this article is all about. Here are the best ways you can make a living out of homesteading. But first things first.
What is Homesteading?
It is a life where people choose to live off the land and are self-dependent. If you are a homesteader, it means you grow crops, manufacture your clothes and textiles or have a winery.
Look at it this way, homesteading is like going back a century ago when everyone depended on themselves for everything. There were no industries.
It can be a fulfilling lifestyle once you overcome the hiccups that are there when starting a homestead.
How Can Homesteading Be Beneficial?
When starting a homestead there are things you need to consider. First, your goal should be to maintain a steady income.
You don’t want a scenario where after months of reaping good you fall into debt and losses. Ensure you have the right combination of both short and long-term projects.
Second, like any other business, there are challenges in homesteading especially for a beginner. Therefore, you should not have high expectations during the first years.
For example, a farmer who has planted an orchard apple will wait for 5 years to earn from the fruit. Plan the homestead accordingly so that you ensure between these 5 years you have other projects that will assist in paying the bills.
With multiple projects, it can be a profitable venture.
Why is a Homesteader Required to Earn Money?
Just because you are a homesteader does not mean all your bills magically disappear, if you had a mortgage the state will still require you to pay the installments.
The loan you took to buy tractors and other machinery has to be paid. That is why for a homesteader being lazy is not an option.
The good thing is, starting one does not require much capital. If you have the land, the rest is easy. Produce what you need.
Take a close look at each of the following ways of making money homesteading and you will be a step closer to figuring out what works for you.
1. Farm Mushrooms
It is one of the highly profitable ways of earning from your land. There are several ways to grow them depending on your goals.
If you are looking to generate more income from it, then consider growing oyster mushrooms indoors in bags. Your garage, barn, or shed will also do the trick.
But not everyone is cut out for the tedious work that comes with growing them indoors. Therefore, grow shiitake mushrooms that require low maintenance. Try growing them outside on logs.
Currently, a pound of oyster mushrooms goes for 6 dollars. It means, for a small area like a hundred square feet the produce and income will be higher a thousand times.
2. Fish Farming
When you think of homesteading, fish farming does not probably ring a bell. It can be the last thing you consider because it is not that common.
With this idea, you can comfortably earn some good money every year. All you need is land and a pond. Start by farming tilapia and rainbow trout.
This system also brings out the best combination of hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) and aquaculture (raising aquatic animals like fish, snails, and prawns)
This way, animal waste helps in minimizing the use of chemical fertilizers by providing nitrogen and nutrients to the plants.
3. Plant Christmas Trees
For a tree to mature, it needs at least 10 years. This can be a good long-term investment for your homestead.
But some trees grow naturally and don’t need to be planted. If you have acquired such land, you can turn them into income especially during the Christmas season.
They require little maintenance and are cost-effective.
4. Grow Microgreens
It does not mean you can’t grow anything if you live in a climate that experiences snowy temperatures that are below freezing point. There are space sufficient plants that you can grow.
In colder months, convert your spare bedroom, a garage, and a heated garage into a microgreens operation that can bring in thousands of dollars.
Selling microgreens in the local farmers’ market or directly to restaurants and grocery stores can be profitable you might end up doing it all year round.
5. Sell Baked Goods
If you love baking start regularly offering your baking products at your local farmers’ market.
Baked goods like cupcakes, fresh bread, and pies sell well.
To determine how much you will need to charge, it is important to look at your input costs. With Fresh baked goods made using local ingredients, people will be willing to pay a little more.
Selling your own fresh pressed apple juice, cider, or lemonade alongside your baked goods is also a brilliant idea to consider.
500 dollars per week is what you can bring in from your homestead in a busy weekend at the farmers’ market.
6. Raise Bees for Honey
Bees will gather their pollen and nectar and do most of the work without input once they have established a healthy bee hive. Only little effort is needed to ensure that they survive over the winter.
From your beehive, you can harvest honey which you can use as a sweetener at home. Another product you get is beeswax which can be used to make soaps and candles.
7. Rent Bees Out for Pollination
Before considering honey, bees are profitable in other ways. Vegetables and fruits pollinated by bees can have a higher value than those pollinated by wind or self-pollination.
All you need to do is transport your hives to their new location for a few months and check on them periodically to make sure that they are happy and healthy. Store any honey that has been produced over the season after bringing your hives back to your homestead.
8. Sell Extra Bees
In a successful beekeeping venture, it is possible to find that the hives have produced more bees than you need.
Workers will begin to raise a new queen in the event a beehive gets too full. Ultimately this will lead to a swarming of bees and some will have to leave to form a new colony.
To stop this from happening, split beehives at least once a year. This process can be used to increase the number of beehives. Unfortunately, at some point it can no longer be viable to keep more beehives on your homestead.
100 to 200 dollars is what people will be willing to pay for a nucleus colony (a small starter bee colony) or more for a fully established hive. Earning 1000 dollars per year from bees and subsequent products will not require a lot of input.
9. Sell Cheese, Butter, and Other Dairy Products
Selling milk if you have dairy cows or goats is a good idea. A more excellent idea is creating value-added products.
From cow’s and goat’s milk, you can make yogurt, butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, and ice cream.
When done on a large scale, cheese making could become a key source of income for your homestead.
10. Sell Leftover Seeds From Last Year
Selling your surplus seeds can be a good source of extra income. Saving seeds from year to year is a practice that many homesteaders do.
Those that are particularly in demand are heirloom and non-GMO seeds.
11. Breed Dogs
Breeding dogs for people with homesteads is a great idea since most of them are animal lovers. Doing this will help spread the love.
Breed whichever type of dog appeals to you the most. Working dogs like border collies for herding sheep are a great example you might consider. Breeding and training dogs for hunting is another way to go. Finally, smaller breeds for pets in the city are another viable idea.
12. DIY Compost
Your homestead may produce more compost than can be put to use. In such a case, earn extra cash by selling it to people.
A point to note, when you think of homesteading, do not just think of the things that you put in the dirt but also take into consideration the dirt itself.
13. Sell Handmade Furniture
Another good way to make money on your homestead is making furniture if you have got decent skills as a carpenter. An added advantage is having wood on your land that you can utilize.
You will probably own most of the supplies you need if you are into woodworking. However, buying all the tools and equipment makes it a more expensive idea.
14. Make Your Candles
Handmade candles have a personal touch compared to those mass-produced in stores. The effort and extra love that goes into the process are appreciated by most people.
You can sell your handmade crafts and candles online. Having an online presence makes sure you have a greater customer base for your products. Signing up for an Etsy account is a great place to start.
15. Start a Plant Nursery
Ensure you plant a few extra seedlings to sell when you start growing them for the spring season.
And if you want to expand your business, dedicating more resources and growing more seedlings for sale is a great way to start.
16. Sell Your Excess Dairy
You could resort to selling unpasteurized milk from your goat or cow. However, in some places it is not possible to sell raw milk.
Unless your milk production is high, you do not need to buy pasteurization equipment to process the milk. Living in an area where you can sell raw milk is an added advantage since raw milk is usually in high demand.
17. Make and Repair Clothing
There is little you can do outdoors during winter. Sewing your clothing or repairing clothes for people can be excellent ways to make extra cash from your homestead.
18. Raise Cattle
Alternatively, you can raise some cows if you have some disposal land. Selling beef will make more profits than any other kind of meat.
19. Collect Maple Syrup
Do not miss an opportunity of making some money from maple syrup if you have mature maple trees on your property.
It is a brilliant idea of earning cash off-season when there is little to do with other crops.
20. Sell Straw or Hay
Straw and hay can be put to different uses. There will always be a demand for it. It is used as feed and bedding for animals by farmers and also used to grow mushrooms, mulch, and decorations for the fall season.
You do not need to spend money acquiring a piece of equipment to harvest the straw since your customers will pay to harvest and collect it.
21. Host Weddings and Other Events
Hire your property for events such as weddings, gatherings and photoshoots. Investing in a large tent or refurbishing your barn to hold events could make you 1000 dollars or more in a day.
22. Board Animals for People
At a reasonable fee, offer boarding services for animals for those who want to own animals like horses but do not have anywhere to board them.
Additionally, you can offer to feed and look after animals for farmers who want to travel.
23. Raise Heritage Poultry
Chicken is not the only poultry one can keep. Recently the demand for meat and eggs from ducks, geese, and guinea fowls has been on the rise.
For this operation to go smoothly, ensure there is plenty of water available at all times.
24. Start a Blog or YouTube Channel
Owning a homestead is a dream that many people have. Unfortunately, not many people can achieve this dream early enough.
Start a YouTube channel documenting what an average day feels and looks like in your homestead where people can live their dream through your blogs or videos.
People want to see what works. Just as importantly, they want to see what the hardships and struggles of a homesteader’s life are. Your followers will want to have a sense of what to expect when they finally become homesteaders and the challenges and joy that comes with it.
Blogging or making videos for YouTube could earn you some money from advertising. Selling your merchandise to your followers is also another way you can make money from YouTube.
25. Sell Hatching Eggs
Raw eggs are easily available and affordable in stores that’s why selling them might not be an easy task. Justifying operation costs might be an overwhelming task even though your eggs might be of superior quality.
You can make higher profits by hatching eggs particularly if your breed is superior and in high demand. It might cost you a little more money and extra work but you could also sell chicks or pullets (young hens under a year old)
26. Start a Kennel
You can sit one or two pets in your home for people going on vacations. However, if you want to undertake this venture on a large scale, build a kennel.
People will pay handsomely provided that their pets are well-taken care of and tended to properly.
27. Sell Flowers
Apart from looking nice, flowers attract bees and are pollinators. You can also sell them at their prime for their fragrance.
A social media account can help as a marketing tool to expand your client base. You can also sell to flower shops directly or at the farmers’ market.
Make sure you have a constant supply by setting aside a garden for growing flowers exclusively.
28. Sell Homemade Soaps
Although it takes work to master and learn soap making, it eventually pays off when you can make handmade soaps for people at a price.
You can sell handmade for as low as 5 dollars since the materials used in soap making are affordable. It barely takes time when produced in big batches since you can have enough bars to sell for some time.
29. Rent Out Your Land
Selling your land is not the only way to make money. Renting your land to farmers to either grow their crops or graze their animals can make you decent money.
The best part is that you do not provide any equipment or do any harvesting.
30. Start a Campground
You can create a campground in a wooded corner of your property if you have large tracks of land in your homestead. The distance from your home will shield you from the activities going on at the campground. It will be like having Airbnb without having the hustles that come with it.
31. Share What You Know
An experienced homesteader has a wealth of knowledge they can share with those who are getting started. You can make money from giving tours of your farm and letting people learn how you operate.
Whatever skill you have, such as growing tomatoes, raising poultry or cattle, people will have no qualms parting with some cash to learn.
Help those who are also trying to make money from homesteading.
32. Sell Foraged Goods
It is not financially viable to grow some plants commercially. If these plants are growing on your land naturally, consider yourself lucky.
Some wild plants are edible like morels, chanterelles, and truffles while others like fiddleheads and ramps can be used for medicinal purposes.
Young willow branches can be utilized for basket-weaving and pinecones for crafts. You might not know the value of your natural resources until you think outside the box.
33. Tan and Sell Hides
If you slaughter animals, you might end up with a lot of hides that can be put to use. After processing, hide can be used to make gloves, footballs, belts, and other assorted leather goods.
34. Raise Sheep for Meat or Wool
It might require you to put more effort while raising sheep, but the benefits are worthwhile. Mutton in grocery stores goes at a premium price. Also consider selling wool.
35. Offer Storage Solutions
Extra space in your barn can be a great way of making a passive income. You can rent out that space to people who need to store boats, RV’S, expensive cars, and motorcycles. Contact with a renter is minimal since you will only deal with it when it’s time for drop or pick up.
36. Make Jams and Jellies
Jam and jellies come in handy when you have extra fruit you can’t consume or sell. Since it is not easy to sell spoiled and overripe fruit, jam making is a smart way of making money from a product that would have otherwise gone to waste. The local grocery can be your customer.
37. Start a Cow Sharing
Keeping livestock is not a project that everyone can undertake. You could make a fair amount of money by selling parts of a cow to different people. How does this wok? Get people who want different parts of the cow and ensure that no part of the cow is left. This is known as cow sharing.
You can also do this with other animals such as pigs or sheep. An out-of-the-box idea that also helps you get around policies that regulate the selling of raw milk since if one owns part of a cow, they also own what comes from it.
38. Create a Corn Maze
People will pay to walk through corn mazes. You can make this activity more exciting by offering tractor rides and making it look like some kind of festival. This activity is easy to set up if you are already growing corn. Around harvest time, clear some of the corn and leave the rest standing for a while.
You will be killing two birds with one stone as this can serve as a marketing strategy. Put your pumpkins up for sale to be used later for Halloween.
39. Grow Medicinal Herbs
Most farms mainly focus on edible and culinary herbs. Take advantage of this and grow medicinal herbs instead that are in high demand.
Salves are supposedly used for medicinal purposes whereas plants like Echinacea, bee balm, and valerian are used for herbal teas.
Another added advantage is that these plants are not bothered by insects and pests like vegetables making them easy to grow.
40. Sell Firewood
Any trees you cut down either to manage an existing forest or to create farmland may be a great source of income.
There is always a demand for firewood to be used in winter from homeowners with fireplaces. You can also sell to campers during summer.
Making some money from your homestead can be a very fulfilling ride. All these ways can be profitable if you give your time and energy to it. Do your research and figure out what works for you.