Strapped for cash on the farm? It can be tough to make money from your homestead, especially when you’re just starting out.
However, this ultimate guide to making money as a homesteader will have you wondering, “Now why didn’t I think of that?”
Here are some ideas.
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- Sell produce: From fruits to vegetables to even cut flowers, you can sell just about any type of finished plant from your farm.
- Sell seeds: If you save organic or heirloom seeds, there’s a market to be had in selling seeds. You can even bundle your seeds together for “seed experience” packages.
- Grow mushrooms
- Seed testing: Companies are always creating new varieties of seeds – somebody has to test them. Reach out to your favorite seed company and see if they’re interested in having you do some testing for them! Even if you don’t get compensated for your time, you might get some free seeds out of the deal.
- Garden consulting: If you really know your stuff, you may be able to hire out your services to online companies as a consultant. You can start your own gardening consulting business, too. Similarly, you may be able to make some money doing garden design – either freelancing or with a company.
- Start a community garden or garden sharing business: Not everyone has the space to begin gardening – but they want to be able to grow their own food. You can rent out separate plots of your garden to people and let them take care of the weeding and watering.
- Start a CSA
- Sell plants: Especially if you have a greenhouse or hoop house, selling your own plants is a great way to cash in on what you’re already doing. Just double the number of seeds you plant at the beginning of the season and you can sell the seedlings to people who want started plants. It’s not limited to vegetables, either – you could also sell perennial cuttings, young trees, and more!
- Sell compost: If you have compost, don’t think you need to keep all of it stored away on the farm. Sell some! It’s in high demand, and a lot of people will pay good money for it.
- Sell potting soil: You can also sell your own potting soil. You’ll want to stick to organic ingredients in order to make a buck, but it’s a great way to bring in some extra cash, especially when you have nothing else to do during the winter.
- Make and sell herb mixes: Herb mixes are a great fix for the lazy chef! Bundle a bunch of your favorite garden herbs, play around with the mixtures, and market them as “pork seasoning,” “BBQ seasoning,” and so on.
- Harvest and sell fresh fruit
- Do fertilizer or pest control testing: This one’s kind of niche market, but if you really know what you’re talking about when it comes to fertilizers and pest control testing, you may be able to get companies to pay you to apply their products on your plants.
- Forage for and sell wild mushrooms: Just make sure you know what to look for, as some mushrooms have look-alike poisonous twins!
- Sell ginseng.
- Sell chicken eggs
- Sell hatching eggs
- Get rid of dead chicks: This one sounds a little gruesome, but bear with me – some pet stores or reptile breeders will buy chicks that unfortunately died to be used as animal food.
- Sell breeding chickens or egg layers
- Sell day-old chicks
- Offer classes in how to raise animals
- Make and sell chicken coops
- Rent out grazing animals: This can be done on a commercial scale, too – many large companies hire livestock herds to keep grass mowed down.
- Make and sell chicken treats, like mealworms
- Sell chicken manure to be used as fertilizer
- Raise and sell breeding goats and kids
- Board animals: Just be careful that all animals you bring onto your farm and that come into contact with your animals are healthy.
- Sell goat’s milk
- Make and sell goat cheese
- Offer goat husbandry or milking classes
- Sell goat or sheep manure for garden fertilizer.
- Sell goat, cow, or sheep hides to be tanned.
- Offer breeding services: You can sell breeders or you can offer your ram, boar, whatever it is, out for breeding.
- Sell meat and milk shares from your cow or other dairy animal.
- Make and sell cow cheese.
- Sell rabbit meat.
- Raise and sell baby rabbits.
- Sell rabbit pelts or manure.
- Raise fiber rabbits.
- Sell wool or fiber from goats and sheep.
- Raise ducks and sell them
- Sell hatching eggs from ducks
- Raise turkeys and sell them
- Sell hatching eggs from ducks
- Sell other types of poultry, either as meat or live, such as guineas, pheasants, geese, and quail
- Raise and sell alpacas
- Raise and sell peacocks
- Raise and sell donkeys
- Raise and sell bison
- Sell pork
- Offer butchering services
- Raise, sell, or board horses
- Raise and sell tilapia or other farmed fish
- Make and sell potpourri: Potpourri is essentially just dried herbs – you can sell and make your own.
- Sell feathers for crafts.
- Make and sell tea: Similar to potpourri, you can make your own tea bag sachets (here’s a tutorial) and sell the tea to friends and neighbors.
- Sew homemade blankets, gloves, scarves, and other garments for sale – or open up shop as a seamstress.
- Build furniture.
- Sell canned goods: Now there are some restrictions here – there are laws in place about selling home cooked food and canned goods. But if you have access to a commercial kitchen that is inspected, you may be able to sell your own canned goods.
- Make your own beeswax candles.
- Hone your skills in metalworking to make personalized signs or horseshoes.
- Create gardening signs: Who doesn’t love a cute little garden sign? You can easily make gardening signs at home and sell them locally as well as online.
- Make lanolin from sheeps’ wool: Lanolin, like this commercial option here, is a great moisturizer for breastfeeding moms in particular!
- Make other garden crafts: From unique potting benches to homemade trellises, there’s hardly a shortage when it comes to the crafts you can sell from your garden.
- Sell paintings, photos, or other works of art.
- Make and sell your own soaps.
- Get into wood carving.
- Sell firewood.
- Make and sell your own pottery or jewelry.
- Sell lotions.
- Sell scrubs and balms.
- Make lip balm.
- Make and sell cosmetics.
- Make crafts out of old feed bags: Want inspiration? Check this out.
- Start a blog: Hey – I know how to do that! You can easily start a blog with just a few dollars in hosting fees and by watching some helpful videos on YouTube. Blogging is definitely not easy, especially when you’re first getting started, but it can make you some serious money over time.
- Sell photos: Have a nice camera and access to cheap photo editing software Sell your pictures! If you take nice enough photos, you can sell them to stock websites. I have this camera and it’s worked wonders. You could also just get a clip-on for your phone.
- Offer farm tours or start a petting zoo
- Write: I make a majority of my income writing for other people. You can sign up for a service like Upwork, like I did, as you’re first getting started. Then you can start pitching your services to other companies or even start guest writing for other homesteading blogs. Some companies will even pay you to write product reviews of gardening or farming equipment you are already using! You just need to get creative in where you look.
- Make and sell essential oils: These bottles work great at containing them!
- Sell your recipes: If you love creating new recipes at home, why not take a few photos, write down the recipe, and sell them to some of the top food blogs?
- Grow a pumpkin patch.
- Grow and design floral arrangements.
- Grow and sell Christmas trees.
- Create an ebook: This kind of goes along with the idea of writing, but if you have a lot of time on your hands, you can write an ebook. You can sell these for free on Amazon and start raking in money with no additional upkeep required.
- Sell composting worms
- Offer meat processing services, like butchering
- Make and sell compost tea
- Rent out your property: If you have a scenic garden or even a rustic barn on your property, you might want to consider renting out your space for events. From office parties to garden parties or even weddings, you may be able to charge thousands of dollars – just for the views.
- Sell bee hives, nucs, or packaged bees
- Open an agritourism bed and breakfast
- Host classes: You can really get creative with this one! While you’re probably thinking of your standard “how to garden” classes, you could also host paint and sip, canning, pottery, yoga, cooking, or any other type of class on your property. Goat yoga is also getting popular – while I don’t think I’ll be offering that any time soon, there are plenty of ways you can draw people in.
- Open a dog boarding service.
- Sell baked goods and other kitchen treats: Think breads, jams, jellies, pastries, soup mixes, flavored salts, sugars, extracts, candies, etc.
- Sell bee pollen
- Host hay rides
- Make and sell how-to videos.
- Offer swarm removal services
- Build and sell growing systems, like aquaponics, hydroponics, raised beds, or hanging baskets
- Rent out your land for grazing or hay: If you don’t graze your own animals on your property, you could rent out your pasture for people who want to graze it. Especially if you already have fences in place, this one is a real moneymaker. When we first bought our property, we were only raising chickens and didn’t need our hayfields. We let a local farmer come in and hay them, and he paid us in return.
- Offer services in rare skills, like shearing sheep, trimming hooves, or butchering
- Sell dehydrated foods
- Professional photography: You don’t have to be the one taking the photos, either. If you’ve got a scenic spot, you could rent out your property to professional photographers who want to come in and take photos.
- Sell syrup from trees: And not just maple! You can also tap birch trees.
Of course, you don’t have to – and you shouldn’t! – attempt all of these at once. Give one or two ideas a try, and see if it’s something you can make a business out of. You can always attempt other homestead businesses later on!
What other ideas do you have for bringing extra cash into the homestead? Let me know in the comments!
Want to learn more about homesteading? You might be interested in reading these other posts.
- How to Butcher Chicken
- How to Keep Predators Away From Your Chicken
- The Best Egg-Laying Chicken Breeds
- The Ultimate Guide to the New Hampshire Chicken Breed
- How You Can Make Money Raising Chicken
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