The ultimate goal of any homesteaders is to make it profitable enough so they can quit working for other people and stay at home with the family more.
But what to do? How on earth can you take a patch of land and start making money with it? Are there really money trees you can plant?
Well sadly no, there are no money trees you can plant that will produce real paper money. But some trees can and will produce income. It just takes a long time before they start producing enough money for you to make a profitable income, but it might provide enough money for your grandkids to make a living with them.
Let’s take a look at some other things you can do to make money with your homestead.
Grow a Garden
This one is the most popular, and essential for every homestead. You must have a garden to provide food for your family. So why not start there first? When you grow a garden you will have a surplus, you can take that surplus and start going to the farmers market each week and sell your left-over produce. Like lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and later crops as they come in.
Strawberries and pumpkins are a popular crop for a You-Pick-Farm. Plant in a big field and have customers come and pick however many they want themselves, then pay you for the harvest. This can be profitable or it can go terribly wrong if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
This is very popular way for a homestead to make money. It’s usually a weekly weekend event starting in mid-spring. If you can be the first to have a harvest of fresh produce, then you’ll get the most money.
But you can sell many different things that you can work on over the winter months. Like storing away jellies and jams, making soap to sell, or any handmade item or tool. The list is endless and can be very profitable and quite enjoyable.
This is an idea that will give you income all year long. You can start selling on Etsy. If you have a special skill and can make something handmade, like wooden spoons or cutting blocks then personalize them. That can become a full-time income very quickly and at the least supplement your income until the homestead can start earning income on its own.
eBay is another option, if you like going to yard sales and thrift shops you can start picking up items each week and doubling your money by putting them up for sale on eBay.
Or just go around your home and sell things you don’t use anymore. You need to be consistent, and be able to ship items yourself. But it’s really simple to get started with very little capital. And it’s a really good way to increase your income very quickly with very little skill set.
You will for sure have chickens on your homestead and plenty of eggs. The eggs can be sold at the farmers market. The kids can buy some rarer fancy breeds and show them at chicken shows agricultural shows.
You can also sell the rarer breed hatching chicken eggs for much more than for eating. Keep this in mind when you start buying chickens.
Same goes for rabbits. You can buy registered rabbits and show them at rabbit shows. Selling the young for a profit if the parents have won ribbons. You can also of course sell them for meat.
Another rabbit you can look into buying is one that produces wool or fiber for garments. The angora breeds grow really long fine hair that is one of the warmest wools you can buy. The hair is a luxury item for many wool spinners and they will pay you quite a bit of money for the harvested wool.
Don’t worry the rabbits love a haircut and sometimes will even try to help you by licking your hand the whole time you’re trying to cut their hair.
The best and worst thing about angora rabbits is that they are beautiful and can produce enough wool to make a sweater in one year out of just one rabbit. The worst thing about them is that you will have to manually trim the hair about 4 times a year.
This can be another thing you can sell at the farmers market or even online with an Etsy store.
If you can knit or spin then you can sell your finished items of yarn or scarves and sell them as well.
Raising Insects or Worms
If bugs and worms don’t freak you out, then raising insects can be a very profitable business and quite lucrative. Raising bugs for the reptile industry is really a fun business to start. You can raise mealworms, cockroaches, and crickets for pet shops and for people who love reptiles and want fresh food for their animals.
Reptile enthusiasts all over the country have monthly or bi-monthly shows. Selling the animals that they’ve raised themselves. They will always need food for their pets and you can start to make a very good income just selling to those breeders.
Setting up a table yourself at these shows and selling various insects you’ll pick up more customers. Before long you’ll have a list of people buying from you each week and can then start a route delivering to various locations weekly.
Your insect business can be set up rather cheaply at first in a prefab outbuilding. Adding lighting and heat, then building racks for tanks for various insects. You can get started with very little money and grow it into a very large business over time.
How To Start An Urban Homestead Business
Are you handy at making handmade items? Do you make the best jams and have a waiting list of customers who buy them all, out the second you finish a batch? Then you might want to start yourself an Urban Homestead Business! But what is an Urban Homestead Business? Glad you asked!
It’s basically creating something from scratch from your homestead and selling it for profit. Like handmade soap, baked goods, or some awesome jam.
You wouldn’t necessarily have to have a big farm out in the country to start your urban homestead business, you can start one no matter where you’re living.
It could really be started by making anything homemade from scratch, like for example something that is knitted and crocheted or even sewn would work. Homemade bread or food items would work too.
Keep in mind that you should always LOVE what you’re going to be doing all day. Otherwise, you might as well just keep the job you’re working at right now.
You might want to keep it for a little bit until at least you’re making more than you are with your current job. If you quit work too soon, then you’ll feel rushed to start making money and take on jobs you really should turn down.
The secret to success is to have a business that you LOVE with all your heart.
If you do own a homestead already and you’re looking for ways that you can make extra money. Just think about the things you like doing right now and seeing if that would be a good thing to sell.
What kind of things can you make and sell?
Here’s A List
- Knitted items, like hats, scarves and gloves
- Crochet baby blankets
- Sewing, blankets, towel toppers, aprons, kitchen pot holders
- Customized T-shirts and items
- Rustic Décor Painted items
- Making soap from goats’ milk
- Making herbal lotions
- Cooking homemade bread
- Making jelly and jams
- Making cookies and cakes
- Making candy
- Selling your preserved items, like pickles, canned tomatoes and such
- Selling Vegetables from the garden
- Selling chicken eggs
If you do a little bit of research, look online and on social media to see what was selling hot last year during Christmas. You’ll see a lot of ladies selling different items, you can get many ideas from that. Then you’ll know what to start making for your next Christmas season.
To start a homestead business, you really don’t need a lot of legal papers, because you’re just doing this on the side for extra money.
When you start making more money after a year or so, then you can do all the legal stuff. This is for fun right now from your kitchen table most likely.
Pitfalls To Avoid When Making Crafty Items
It’s great to start your own business, you are super excited to get any sales at all but you might end up promising an order that you’ll never make any money at. But your desperate. This is a major pitfall that so many newbie crafty business owners make.
Another bit of advice is to sell what you have on hand. Don’t take orders for things, or you’ll end up spending too much time making the item perfect for the client, oftentimes that person, no matter if they are your best friend, will end up wanting you to do the whole thing over again because it just wasn’t the right colour.
Don’t do it!
Only do custom orders like adding a name to something you’ve already made or are making. Like the same hat pattern, only in different colors. If you spend all your time making special orders for people you’ll soon burn out and end up creating items, you don’t enjoy making in the first place.
If you are going to have a business that makes craft-type things, then only have a few items to start out with. But make a bunch of them in different colors.
- Only have one hat pattern, but make many in different colours
- Only have one scarf pattern, same make different colours
- Only have one blanket pattern, make in different colours
See how that works? If you only have a few choices but in different colors, then it won’t put any added stress on you to take custom orders in different colors. Because you’ll be making it over and over again, pretty soon you’ll be able to make them very fast, just by the repetition.
Less stress more success!
Where To Sell Your Items
That can be rather simple really, by word of mouth can get you started. One friend will tell another friend and so on. Especially if your kids are in any sports.
You might have other parents out there that want the item that you’re making. You can then fill orders and take more at each meet or practice.
This could even start to become a real income for you, that you might decide to go do a few craft shows in your area. Renting a table and displaying your wears at church picnics and town functions can be a great start.
You’ll know many people there and then word of mouth will spread of what you’re doing. You start getting orders and sales from those events. Be sure to have plenty of business cards printed up with your contact information on it.
Hand them out to everyone you see.
You can also sell online with Etsy or other social media outlets. Who knows you might get to quit that job you’re working at before you know it?
10 Work At Home Ideas For Homesteaders
One advantage of having a homestead is that with proper planning, it can start making a rather decent income for you. Maybe even making more money than your 9-5 job. This will allow you to quit your day job and do what you really love doing, many times making a lot more than you would have working at your regular job.
Here are some examples of the types of business that can be started on a homestead.
A farmers’ market would be a great place to start if you’ve never had a home business before. It’s usually just a gathering place for local farmers to set up and sell their fruits and vegetables each weekend during the Summer and into the Fall.
This can be a variety of items, like vegetables from the garden, fresh eggs, canned vegetables, jellies and jams. Homemade breads are great sellers. Also, any handmade items if you’re handy at making things.
If you have plenty of land you might want to think about planting acres of crops for harvesting and trucking around to the local restaurants and fruit markets around town. They will buy quantity items from you over the growing season.
Here’s another idea if you have a lot of ground for growing fruits and vegetables. You could start a strawberry patch or grow blueberries. Then have people come and pick them when they are ready to harvest. You can also sell the picked items for a premium price. In the Fall you could have a pumpkin patch, which is always popular with the kids.
If you really love chickens then you could raise them and sell the eggs at the farmers market. You can sell hatching eggs too, online or at the farmers market for more money than eggs for eating especially rare breed chickens.
You can hatch eggs and sell the babies; rare breeds fetch the best price. You can raise them up and make a set of three with two hens and a rooster of a rare breed and sell the breeding trio to bird fanciers around your area or at a chicken show.
If you do show your chickens and win ribbons then your eggs and chickens will fetch a hefty price. This adds up over time if you do a little bit of planning with your hatch dates and egg collections.
Raising insects can be a great treat for your chickens. But did you know that you can make a good living selling bugs? You can sell them to bait shops, pet shops and reptile breeders. Setting up a table at a chicken show or reptile show can bring in a good monthly income for you.
If you live close to a place where there’s quite a bit of fishing going on, then you might want to put up a small bait shop in your yard. You could sell a variety of things that you can raise on your farm. Bait minnows, crickets, fishing worms. You can also sell fishing license with bait and tackle.
The best part about this type of business is that you could just put your phone number on the outside of the building and when someone wanted something, they could just call you on the phone. This would allow you to continue to work the homestead, instead of waiting around for a customer to stop by. Or just open up on holiday’s and weekends.
This is a popular and easy business to start if you have enough land. You can easily bring in some cabins with port-a-pots on the property. Or you can even add a couple “Yurt Tents” to rent out. These are increasingly popular with guests and they will seek out the rural area ones, which will be perfect for you.
Full-Time Yard Sale
If you have a nice barn that has a concrete floor. You could set up a “Full Time Yard Sale”. Setting the inside up with prices on everything and just keep filling it up like a store. That’s why you would need to have a place where the items inside can’t become damaged if left out.
This might help pay the bills by having a “Yard Sale” every weekend.
Selling on eBay or Etsy
If you like buying used things at yard sales and thrift shops. This might be the ideal business to start. Selling on eBay and Etsy is like a big yard sale, but you’re selling to the whole world. If you don’t mind shipping things out and taking them to the post office.
Listing items for sale online is a wonderful option for a homesteader. It can supplement your income or it can become a full-time business.
Blogging can be a really wonderful way to make a full-time income with your homestead. Many people love to keep tabs on how your homestead is working out, they will tune in daily to see your progress and watch you go through the good times and the bad.
Just blog about your daily life and some of the struggles you’re having and promote some of the items you’re using that works for you. Over time this can become a very lucrative business.
This was just a few things you can do, there are plenty more ideas out there. Just pick something that you love doing and start a business doing that after all that’s why you moved out on the homestead in the first place.