It seems these days, no matter how off the grid or self-sufficient you are, you still need money. While the hubby and I still have full time jobs, we dream of the day that we will be more self-sufficient and be able to work for ourselves only. As a start, we do what we can to make money from the homestead. We don’t do everything on this list, but I’ve dabbled in quite a few! Check out these 28 Ways to Make Money on the Homestead.
Depending on what critters you have on your homestead, you can have several different sources of income. If you have chickens, sell eggs. During the summer, we sell enough of our eggs to pay for chicken feed and have enough eggs to eat. Have a rooster in your flock, you can sell chicks or fertile eggs for people to hatch themselves. If you raise your own meat chickens, depending on your local regs, you can raise and sell extra meat chickens. If you’re looking to get into meat chickens (to sell them or not) or even if you’ve done it before, I highly recommend reading Joel Salatin’s Pastured Poultry Profits. I learned so much from it! My copy is highlighted and underlined like crazy.
Have your own electronic chicken plucker? Consider renting it out! We purchased one last year and LOVE it. It totally changed butchering chickens for us. We’ve rented it out several times. Be sure to write up (or have written up) a rental agreement contract. You may want to think about renting out other butchering equipment too, such as killing cones which also make butchering day much easier.
Are you handy when it comes to woodworking? How about building and selling chicken coops? Backyard chicken popularity is growing with leaps and bounds and people are always looking for coops. DIY brooder boxes are another great seller too.
Make Money on the Homestead with Livestock
If you raise pigs or goats on the homestead, selling extra piglets, calves, or goat kids is another great source of income. Again depending on your local regs, you can sell full grown pigs or cows for meat too. The hubby and I have bought a whole pig from a local farmer for the past several years. It’s by far the best pork I’ve ever eaten. We just meet him at the local butcher for the exchange. Easy peasy.
How about selling bags or buckets of manure and compost? People love getting all natural, organic compost for their gardens, cause nothing works better, and you know as long as you have critters on the homestead, you’ll have plenty of manure!
Bees on the homestead are a great money maker. Local, raw, organic honey is a hot seller right now and beeswax products are loved by many.
Make Money on the Homestead with the Garden
If you have a large greenhouse or just a knack for making your tomatoes and zucchini produce lots of extra veggies for you, sell it! Check out local farm markets to rent a booth or set up your own roadside stand. These are also great places to sell extra produce from your orchard or berry patch. If you start your garden from seeds, be sure to plant extra and sell the seedlings. Home gardeners are often looking for varieties the big box stores or nurseries just won’t have. Consider selling fresh cut flowers at the market or your roadside stand too. Not only will it make your booth beautiful and draw people in, but everyone loves decorating with fresh flowers!
How about growing seasonally? Start your own pumpkin patch for the Fall season sales or, if you have enough room, how about your own Christmas tree farm?
Make Money on the Homestead at the Market
Whether you’re selling at a farmer’s market or your own roadside stand, both places are perfect to show off you homemade baked goods and canned goods. Be sure to check with your state’s regulations on selling homemade foods first. Most states have a variation of “cottage laws” in place for this very thing. Are you crafty? Perhaps you should sell your crafts at the market too. If you’d like to try it online, check out Etsy to sell your crafts on your own online store. How about homemade garden supplies and décor? People are always looking for cute garden markers to help them remember where they planted everything, and homemade garden statues are always fun too.
Don’t have any goods to sell? Teach a class! Check out Folkskills.com who will help you set up and advertise your class. You just need to provide the topic expertise!
Make Money on the Homestead Online
If you’re fairly internet savvy, how about starting your own blog? While I can attest to the fact that this is no get-rich-quick scheme, you can share your homesteading knowledge online and make some cash in the process. Not looking to have your own site? Consider trying your hand at freelance writing. There are lots of homesteading sites and magazines looking for more writers. Are you the walking encyclopedia for all things goats? Write a book! Whether you decide to sell a hardback or e-book, there are lots of resources out there for publishing yourself.
Writing isn’t the only online gig. If you’ve got an eye for pretty photos, consider selling stock photos online of your homestead landscape and critters. I promise there are plenty of bloggers out there looking for more beautiful pics!
Make Money on the Homestead for Free
So many business starts have to have some sort of start up investment, but not all of them have to! Perhaps you already have something you can sell. If you’re butchering animals on your homestead, consider tanning and selling the hides instead of discarding them. Look into what is needed to sell hooves, antlers, or bones as dog treats. Do you spend a lot of time in the woods? Grab any antler sheds you find and see who wants them. Antler-carving artists are always looking for more “canvas” and are usually willing to pay for it. (I personally see people advertising on Craig’s List looking for antlers all the time.) Antlers also make great and healthy dog chews. My pups love them!
Are you a forager? If you know your mushrooms, herbal teas, and wild berries, consider selling them at very little cost to yourself! Whether it’s spruce tips, chaga mushrooms, fiddleheads, or wild currant berries, you can find a market for just about any foraged treat.
Make Money on the Homestead with Rentals
If you’ve got a mother-in-law suite over the garage, a guest cabin on the property, or a finished loft in the barn, how about renting them out as vacation rentals? AirBNB is a great and easy place to set this up. My parent’s have a small rental cabin on their property and do pretty well. Have a beautifully landscaped property? How about renting out for weddings or photo shoots? Big barns are great for weddings.
Sometimes it takes a bit of thinking and planning and brainstorming, but there really are quite a few ways to bring in extra cash from the homestead. The hubby and I both dream of some day working exclusively for ourselves. How about you? How do you make money on the homestead? Comment below!