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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.
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.