Making the decision to live the homesteading lifestyle is one that offers a new sense of freedom and satisfaction. However, you may have taken a drastic cut in income to make your dream of self-sufficiency a reality.
Whether you are looking for a full-time salary or a supplemental income, there are many ways to make money as a homesteader. Your best bet is to think about your specific property and your individual talents and then brainstorm how you can combine them to offer a quality service or product to others.
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Many urban dwellers are fascinated with homegrown, handcrafted items, and others will pay to live vicariously through your chosen lifestyle through your services and expertise.
We have compiled a list of 30 ideas for increasing your income as a homesteader. Look through them to see what piques your interest.
1. Sell Your Produce – If you harvest more than what your family needs, sell your bounty at your own produce stand or at a local farmers’ market.
2. Teach What You Know – Host in-person weekend or online workshops on the art of homesteading. You can teach farming, gardening, raising sheep, or your specific area of expertise.
3. Rent Your Property – Offer your acreage as a location for weddings and family reunions or as a campsite.
4. Serve as a Bed and Breakfast – Do you have a guest cottage or a spare room? You may find income potential by posting it for rental on Airbnb or other online sites.
5. Breed Livestock – An oldie but a goodie. Breeding animals is a tried and true way of making money as a homesteader.
6. Start a Butchery Business – If you already raise cattle, pigs, chickens, or other livestock, a butchery business may be a logical next step.
7. Sell Your Heirloom Seeds – Harvest your best seeds at the end of each growing season and dry them for sale. They can be a nice addition to your produce stand or you could sell them online.
8. Market Your Compost – You are already making your own compost, right? Why not sell some of what you don’t need to other gardeners?
9. Freelance – Offer your writing, editing and/or technical skills online. Many platforms exist to help you market your skills and find clients.
10. Board and/or Train Dogs – Dog owners like to board their pets where they have room to roam. If you have a special talent with dogs, consider adding a training or grooming business.
11. Raise Sheep – Sheep are valuable animals for the homestead. You can raise them for their meat, and/or you can sell their wool or the products you make from their wool.
12. Become a Beekeeper – A time-honored homesteading profession, beekeeping is more important than ever with the population of honeybees decreasing. You can sell the bees themselves and/or their honey.
13. Raise Chickens – Most homesteaders raise chickens for their own use. You can earn a little extra income by selling your surplus eggs to others. You also can sell your chickens.
14. Board Horses – You can earn extra money by boarding horses on your homestead as well. Perhaps you could offer riding lessons, too.
15. Sell Your Flowers – Market your beautiful fresh flowers at your own stand or at a farmers’ market. Don’t forget that dried flowers are popular too.
16. Market Your Herbs – Plant more herbs than you need for your family, then sell the rest in fresh or dried form.
17. Sell Your Milk – Fresh, unpasteurized cow’s milk or goat milk is a sought-after commodity by many urban dwellers.
18. Make Your Own Cheese – Similarly, homemade, handcrafted cheese can command good prices.
19. Sell Your Arts and Crafts – Whether it is woodworking, macramé, needlepoint, or you name it, you can reach potential customers for your handcrafted wares through online sites such as Etsy.
20. Make Maple Syrup – Do you have maple trees? Then you have a source of some extra income.
21. Open Your Orchard – If you have a large orchard and more fruit than you need, why not try a season as a u-pick destination?
22. Sell Homemade Jams and Jellies – Another use for all that fruit is to make and market your own jams and jellies.
23. Cut and Sell Firewood – If you have land to be cleared, you can earn some extra bucks by selling the wood to others.
24. Raise Fish – Turn your pond into income potential by raising and selling fish such as tilapia or catfish. You also could raise worms to sell for bait.
25. Grow Mushrooms – Are mushrooms your thing? You may find a nice income source by selling your homegrown mushrooms to local restaurants.
26. Host Birthday Parties for Kids – Parents are often looking for new ways to celebrate their children’s birthdays. You may find a niche for yourself as a birthday party location. Think about what you can offer. A petting zoo? Pony rides? Apple picking? There are many fun possibilities.
27. Make Your Own Grape Juice or Wine – Growing grapes can be a rewarding activity for both your soul and your wallet.
28. Create Your Own Soaps and Lotions – Homemade soap, lotion, lip balm, and shampoo are popular items at farmers’ markets and at natural foods stores.
29. Open a Shooting Range – If you have a large property, your homestead may be perfect as an outdoor gun or archery range.
30. RV or Boat Storage – Many urban dwellers will pay good money for a safe place to store their recreational equipment in the off-season. If you have an empty barn, you can charge an increased rental fee for indoor storage.
Hopefully, these ideas have sparked a few plans of your own. Are you ready to take the next step? Rules and regulations for home-based businesses vary depending on the business itself and your location.
Check with your local planning office to find about any restrictions that may apply to you. Here are a few links to articles from the Small Business Administration to help get you started.
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