Ideas for Making Money from Your Homestead
Do you want to make money from your homestead? You’re not alone! Many people dream of leaving the ‘burbs to buy a little farm and earn an income from it. Most of us had ancestors who farmed for a living and there’s something romantic and practical about wanting to live more simply. My family raised beef and pork when I was young and I loved farm life, even though it was a lot of work.
Earning an income from your homestead can increase your self-reliance and supplement or replace a 9 to 5 job. It might seem like a crazy idea, and I don’t recommend diving in without doing your research first. However, with planning and the right set up, you may be able to quit your day job and finance your homestead with…your homestead!
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How to Start Making Money from Your Homestead
There are many factors to consider. Do you live on a road with a great deal of traffic? Is there a major city with a busy farmers market nearby? Do you have any local travel destinations that attract tourists to the area? Are there nice restaurants nearby that would purchase locally raised fruits, vegetables, and meats?
Brainstorm and list all of your ideas and add them to the list below. Cross off any ideas that won’t work due to the up-front investment, amount of land needed, or your time limitations. Now research the ideas that can be accomplished on your homestead with the resources you have or can afford to invest in.
Do Your Research
Take time to research the regulations in your area. Don’t invest in a home business that is subject to rules you can’t abide by.
Research the length of time before you can expect a payout on your investment. For example, a pumpkin patch should bring money in the year you plant it. However, an orchard may take 5 years or more before you make your first dollar. Start out with projects that will earn money in a short period of time and invest in long term projects as you are able.
Diversify your homestead-based business by choosing several different income streams in case one product or service is a bust. Remember that what is profitable this year may lose money next year so never rely on just one project for your income.
Talk to the head of your local tourist information center, the chef at a local restaurant or the vendors at an area farmers market to see what opportunities exist and whether the market is crowded.
Take some business classes or read up on how to fund, start, and run a farm-based business. Check out this article on Can You Make a Living from a Small Farm? for more ideas. Another good read is Resources for Small Farmers and Homesteaders.
101 Ideas for Making Money from Your Homestead
- Start a homesteading blog
- Sell photos of flowers, scenic views, animals, or your garden
- Write a ‘how-to’ book or eBook on homesteading subjects you excel at
- Start a roadside veggie stand
- Create and sell ceramics, windchimes, or garden art to sell
- Sell produce at a farmers market
- Plant an orchard and sell fruit
- Make jam and jelly
- Sell cider and apple juice
- Grow mushrooms
- Sell cutting flowers
- Start a pumpkin patch – Choose the Best Pumpkins for Your Homestead
- Create a corn maze
- Start a campground
- Grow Christmas trees
- Sell heirloom seeds
- Create hand-knitted items for sale
- Start a petting zoo and sell feed from a vending machine
- Raise heritage breeds of livestock and sell breeding stock
- Start a rescue farm – offer paid tours and take donations
- Set up an Airbnb cottage
- Start a bed and breakfast
- Propagate plants from cuttings to sell
- Start a greenhouse/nursery
- Make Adirondack chairs for sale
- Create paintings or drawings of homesteading subjects
- Plant a cottage garden and take reservations for wedding parties
- Remodel a barn and rent for special occasions
- Sell pork or beef by the side through a butcher
- Ship hatching eggs
- Make hand salve for sale
- Sell dried herbs
- Raise bees and sell honey
- Sell specialty feathers
- Make essential oil products for sale
- Create herbal candles
- Start an antique shop
- Make quilts for sale
- Teach homesteading classes
- Sell baked goods
- Make relish and pickles for sale
- Create a country cookbook
- Host farm to table dinners
- Sell farm fresh eggs
- Raise fish in an aquaponics set up
- Plant pussy willows for cutting and drying
- Make wreaths and garland for the holidays
- Sell holly for Christmas decor
- Raise turkeys for Thanksgiving
- Start a pick your own organic strawberry patch
- Raise asparagus for sale
- Plant blueberries, raspberries, or other small fruits for a fruit stand
- Make specialty cheeses
- Build picnic tables for sale
- Raise heirloom grains for seed or for sale
- Sell pastured ducks and duck eggs to specialty markets
- Make country home decor for sale
- Start a Youtube channel with how to instructions and monetize it
- Plant Harry Lauder’s walking stick for crafters
- Raise fiber animals and sell raw or processed fiber and yarn
- Make dryer balls from home raised fiber
- Plant everlasting flowers for crafting
- Weave blankets or wall hangings
- Harvest wildcrafting products for sale
- Build tool sheds and playhouses for custom sales
- Salvage old barns and buildings and build repurposed crafts and furniture
- Give demonstrations of old-world skills and sell the products created
- Make mason jar baking mixes
- Create walking sticks or canes from saplings
- Start a blacksmith shop and sell wrought iron tools
- Make goat milk fudge
- Sell beeswax candles
- Make beeswax lip balm
- Board horses
- Farm sit or chicken sit for a fee
- Repair old barns and outbuildings for a fee
- Raise and train livestock guardian dogs
- Make old fashioned wooden toys
- Plant sweet corn for sale
- Create corn husk dolls
- Raise pigs for pig roasts and rent the roaster
- Host country line dances and sell your own home-made refreshments
- Sell produce to restaurants and grocers
- Raise herbal products such as ginseng
- Make greeting cards with photos from your homestead
- Sell bunches of wheat or oats with a gingham bow
- Create potpourri for sale
- Raise rabbits for meat, fiber, or pelts
- Host a corn boil and sell raffle tickets for a bushel of sweet corn
- Start a dude ranch
- Raise melons for sale
- Plant broom corn and sell for crafts or make brooms
- Host a flea market and sell home-raised products
- Plant a vineyard and sell grape juice or winemaking kits
- Raise specialty hops for brewers
- Plant barley for straw and grain sales
- Raise game birds for a local hunt club
- Start a landscaping business
- Plow snow in winter
- Sell hand-carved items
- Start a crafters barn and rent spaces to vendors
Host Events on Your Homestead to Draw Customers
If you live in an area where there is a thriving tourist center nearby, you could earn money by hosting events such as an Easter Egg Hunt with homemade candy sales and a small petting zoo. In autumn advertise a corn maze and pumpkin patch with apple cider, donuts, preserves, pumpkins, gourds, and other fall goodies for sale.
Host year-round sales with a renovated barn divided up into stalls for crafters or antique dealers. Set up a cafe or ice cream stand to keep shoppers in the store longer. Sell seasonal items such as bedding plants and daffodils in spring, produce in summer, and autumn decor in fall. Host special events such as a pioneer festival or a 4th of July picnic with homegrown goodies for sale and vending machines for refreshments.
There are probably a million and one ideas for how to earn money from your homestead!
What is the most helpful idea you read in this article? Do you have additional ideas for earning an income from your homestead or small farm? Share your ideas in the comments!
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In addition to writing for her own websites, Lisa has contributed articles to The Prepper Project and Homestead.org.
The author lives outside of Chicago with her husband, son, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a variety of poultry.