Many people with a pioneering spirit are looking for ways to live on their land and make their small farm profitable. You can make money on your homestead, but you have to be willing to work.
Homesteading requires a lot of planning and vision to get the daily tasks complete. A clear vision of your needs and skills gives you the direction to move forward. What if you could find a way to turn those daily tasks and all the planning into a way to make your small farm profitable? It is possible to make money on your land, but work is always involved.
Ultimately, making your small farm profitable requires looking beyond the simpleness the individual components of the homestead. Instead of just growing vegetables, having an orchard, or raising animals, embrace the idea of turning those raw components into a new product. These new products add value gets you a more significant profit.
Let’s explore some money making ideas that you can implement no matter your situation.
I don’t live on the land yet
Finding a way to make money from the land while you live in suburbia is possible. We’ve researched growing bamboo, ginger, or cut flowers as cash crops and they all look promising. You may even be able to supplement your land payment with a new venture that lets you use the land and still live somewhere else.
Some questions to ask:
- Do you have water access for growing crops?
- Is the property close enough to your current home so you can check on it every day?
- Is there fencing and other infrastructure to keep animals safe from predators?
Reliable water will be your biggest hurdle to making money on the property. If you do not have access to water, then large-scale crops may be the only option until you can install a well and water lines. Dry farming may be your answer. While dry farming is unlikely to win over farmers who still have abundant access to water, fertilizer, and big markets, this kind of farming allows nature to dictate the true sustainability of agricultural production in a region. The basics to understand are that dry farming utilizes the residual moisture in the soil from the rainy season instead of depending on irrigation. Dry farmers work to conserve soil moisture for use by crops in the dry season.
We are currently growing hay and improving our pasture areas as we wait for water service, which will be harvested and sold to local farms. This 3 part series about beginning to homestead from Joybilee Farm was helpful as we began planning.
Working off the land, so you have the money to improve your land
- Connect those who want to “go solar”‘ with the local solar companies, and create a win-win deal where they can do so without spending any money out of pocket, and you can earn money.
- Make quilts, table runners, mug rugs, pot holders, or placemats.
- Repair pallets and resell them,
- Chop wood and sell it.
- Assist people with their farm chores
- If you have experience with horses, find a stable that could hire you to muck stalls and feed.
- Do leaf clean up, trim shrubs, or snow removal.
I have a day job and live on the farm
This situation may be the best when you are starting out and gives you quite a bit of flexibility, as long as you are willing to put in some time after your 9-5 work. Investigating a part-time income stream from several different places can add up to quite a large volume with some time and effort.
- Egg sales.
- Make homemade goods.
- Build rabbit cages, chicken coops, and tractors.
- Sell butchered rabbits as well as hand spun angora.
- Sell plants. Can you grow veggie starts, herbs in pots, strawberry plants, etc.? To begin, start more plants than you need and let your friends and acquaintances know about it. It’s possible to make several thousand per month during the growing season with this method.
- Grow Produce and set up a stand.
- Sell jellies and canned goods
- Teach others what you’ve learned.
Read what to know before selling handmade products from The Nerdy FarmWife.
I homestead full time
If you are fortunate enough to be living and working on your land full time, the possibilities for money making are endless. It is only limited by your imagination and the needs of your marketplace. Utilize any of the ideas above, plus use your land and experience to maximum benefit.
- Write books and show the world your passion.
- Create a blog and share what you learn.
- Work from home on the internet. (virtual assistant, data entry, copywriting, voice-overs, etc.)
- Utilize your land to entertain – create opportunities for tours or parties (goat yoga, anyone?).
- Host a Bed and Breakfast on the property.
- Sell livestock, sell products from livestock.
Here are a few articles I’ve been reading for money making inspiration:
52 Unique Ways to Make Money from Your Backyard – Piwakawaka Valley Homestead has 52 ideas broken down by areas – the garden, kitchen, animals, online, and teaching skills to make money.
53 Ways to Make a Living on Your Homestead – Rootsy. Written by Tammy Trayer who lives off-grid in Idaho, her family has successfully mastered this topic!
10 Ways to Make Money on your Homestead – The Fewel Homestead
28 Ways to Make Money on the Homestead – Idlewild Alaska