The dream of making real money from the homestead is a common thread amongst us homesteaders. With the ideas of side hustles, making money from home and frugal living tips filling top Pinterest feeds, I know I’m not the only one that works towards making this dream a reality. There are others that dream of being a stay at home mom, living a simplier life and raising happy healthy farm kids . If you are reading this in hopes of finding a way to make money from your homestead….you’re not alone.
Our dream of making money from the homestead is one that my husband and I often discuss together over coffee, around the fire with friends and lull ourselves to sleep with at night.
We heard multiple rounds of advice from friends and family about what we should do to make money from our land. Honestly, we got overwhelmed by what we heard and what we saw online.
Now that we have two children under two, we wondered how to replace an income from one of our 9-5 jobs away from home so that one of us can stay home with our children longer? And how do we make that money from the homestead?
I’ve compiled a list of ways to make money from our homestead over our beginning years to share with you. Some of these things I’ve learned from either experience, others I’ve heard from fellow neighbours and through other homesteaders online.
Every year we take the time to reflect and set goals for the year to bring in more of an income from our home.
Getting started homesteading is exciting but it can be overwhelming. My advice I suggest to you is to dabble in things you enjoy, find things that speak to your soul, find your passion and do it well.
I love hearing stories of farmers finding their ideal niche. Ours has been in our garden, chickens and the cows.
Here are many ways to make money from your homestead, my hope is that you find a few from this list that inspire you.
47 Ways to Make Money From the Homestead
Make money from the garden
Make money from the garden by starting with a plan. One simple way to make money from seedlings in the early spring is to plant extra seeds and sell excess. Options to sell are endless, try hosting a plant sale or simply posting online.
Up until we bought our homestead, I’d buy seedlings from a couple that lived up the road. They supplied their heirloom vegetable starters and dahlias to most of the neighbourhood from their very small backyard greenhouse. Now I start most of my plants by seed and save a ton of money with my vegetable garden.
Host a Plant Sale.
With the extra seedlings I have I plan on hosting a plant sale like the couple up the road I mentioned above. Stephanie Rose from Garden Therapy write s a simple how to get started guide for hosting a plant sale.
A huge cash crop- We just planted 50 bulbs of garlic this fall. I know we will have excess to sell and seed garlic to plant a larger crop next year.
Sell heirloom seeds.
Save your seeds at the end of the growing season. Use them for the next year and market them to sell at farmers markets or on Etsy. Lindsay from PNW Heirloom Seed runs a profitable business this way, and her instagram photos are drool worthy to say the least. Postage is cheap on tiny little seeds, therefore selling them via airmail is a good option too.
Grow a Herb Garden.
Medicinal and culinary herbs are easy to grow as they are perennials and quite profitable. For examples, we have an endless supply of lemon balm behind our chicken coop. The cows will go in there and clear out the lemon balm but it keeps coming back. There is a market for perrennial herbs as they are used to make herbal remedies, infuse oil, honey and soaps. That’s why I’m highly considering taking The Herbal Academy of New England has great online courses for herbal entrepreneurs. The Academy offers courses designed for students with little or no herbal experience along with botany and wildcrafting courses.
It’s possible to make ALOT of money from a market garden. Grow and sell vegetables at your local farmers market or sell produce boxes. The Market Garden Book is widely popular right now as many people want to learn how the author managed to make $100,000 for 1.5 acres.
Rustic farm weddings are all the rage right now. One idea for making money is to supply flowers for events such as weddings. Another idea is to offer bouquet subscriptions or sell the flowers at farmers markets. Theres a big market for flowers right now. The Cut Flower Garden by Floret Farm’s is a huge best seller at the moment for a good reason! I recently was inspired when I found Alberta Girl Acres flower farm and DON’T PANIC ebook on starting a cut flower business.
Make money with Poultry
Chickens are a great first farm animal to raise. There are a ton of ways you can do so for cheap. Sell the eggs. People pay for farm fresh, free range, organic eggs. We sell ours at $5.00/doz. I know other farmers that will sell them for more. It’s a great way to start building customers, when you get started.
Make money from your coop by selling fertilized chicken, duck, turkey, guinea fowl, pea fowl eggs for hatching. We offer a barnyard mix with a variety of breeds with one rooster. Heritage and rare chicken breeds can go for a lot of money. It’s not unheard of to make $1000 a month hatching and selling day old chicks.
Day old chicks.
Incubate any of the above eggs yourself to sell as day olds. Or use a broody hen to hatch the eggs for you or even a teacher to hatch with their class. I’ve written a beginners incubation guide to hatch your own eggs to help you improve your hatch rates and make money from the chicks.
I sell my day old chicks as straight-run, which means they aren’t sexed. Some will be roosters and some are hens. Mixed breed chicks go for $5 each, where as pure heritage breed chicks will go for much more. Anna has a great guide on hatching chicks for a profit.
Point a Lay Hens.
Raise chicks until they are at the point of laying eggs. There is a popular market for hens that just started laying eggs. This is a longer investment, and costs more to raise the chicks to the point of laying and requires more space than just selling chicks.
Raise Animals for Meat Sales
Raise and sell Broilers.
Raising meat birds can be a lot of work to get started, but its a quick and profitable return. We raise broilers every summer and every year our system becomes more efficient. Plus we raise and sell enough to have enough chicken to last the year.
Raise Meat Rabbits.
Meat rabbits is a great option for making money raising small livestock if you space is limited. Tiffany shares 5 ways to make money raising meat rabbits.
Raise a herd of beef cattle to sell. Depending on the size of property you have, you might raise a few steers for butcher or have a herd of cows and a bull.
Sell beef calves once weaned from their mothers and sell them as steers or a pregnant cow.
Lamb is a specialty meat that most people like to purchase straight from the farmer. You can easily get a lamb for $150 to keep the grass down on your field and at the end of the season send them in to butcher. We had success selling lamb our first year on the homestead.
I recommend raising turkeys for fall celebrations. Whites are a high yield bird and most people want a farm fresh pasture raised organic turkey to feed their family for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
If you are still looking into choosing which farm animals to raise for meat and how to do so without breaking the bank, take a look over here.
Sell what you have excess off
Sell Manure to gardeners. We are able to sell horse manure, cow manure and chicken manure. We use our own for our vegetable garden but often have excess so we sell it by the truckload. Urban gardeners are happy to know where their manure source comes.
It’s a great way to help gardeners fill their raised garden beds quickly and is more cost effective than buying bags of compost and soil from the store.
Run a Haying Business.
Use your own hay equipment to cut and sell hay. We’ve found many neighbours that will exchange the hay for your services. It’s a great way to save on hay for your own animals if not get enough for free. We got started with old used equipment, with a little elbow grease we got it up and working in time for haying season and it paid it self off with the first few cuts of the season.
Sell your hay.
If you have more fields than you can manage there are endless opportunities to make money from them. If don’t have the equipment to cut your own hay, you can pay someone to cut it for you and sell it off the field for 2x as much as you paid the farmer to cut it.
Offer a weekly seasonal farm box.
I’ve seen other homesteaders in my area offer a weekly seasonal farm box for sale on facebook, community groups and postings for approx. $20. Set a price and fill boxes with seasonal produce, eggs, honey, whatever farm products you currently have excess of. Offer a pick up time at the farm or do deliveries. It’s a great way to start building customers.
Sell Goat or Cows Milk.
Check your local regulations for fresh milk products before diving into the business of selling unpasteurized milk products. You could also use milk products to make cheese, soap etc.
Run a you pick fruit patch.
Choose a high valued fruit crop that grows well in your area, and a “you pick” that isn’t for miles and the customers will pour in. We’ve been going to the same “you pick” blueberry farm every year since I was a kid. Hopefully this year we will have enough blueberries that we will have to start a new tradition for our family.
Sell Fruit from the Orchard .
Similar to the idea above but you could easily mark up the fruit higher if you picked it yourself and sold it as a roadside stand, at your local farmers market or to a local grocery store. And if there is still some left over, then it’s easy to preserve over the winter.. see below for ideas that will beat winter blues and boredom.
Be creative during the winter
Sell Maple Syrup.
As a Canadian Homesteader I should already be doing this! There’s a huge market for this liquid gold.It’s also a great niche if you already have maple, birch and walnut trees on your property. It’s also a handy niche to have in the off season of farming and gardening. Ashley from Practical Self Reliance lays out the ground work for starting your own small maple syrup operation. I also recommend getting started with this guide.
Blogging and Freelance Writing.
In searching for ways to make money from home and from our homestead I often found that most homesteaders are writing about their experiences as bloggers.
I started my homestead blog at the start of 2019 to test it out. I finally felt ready to put my WordPress account into action after following A Modern Homestead for the past year or so. Victoria is a mom, teacher and into this homestead thing like me. I was surprised at how easy it was to start with help of her book on how to make money blogging at any level. She, along with other homestead mom bloggers have been able to replace their incomes with revenue from their blogs.
With a bountiful garden and orchard, it’s easy to preserve food for your family and sell the excess. If you love canning, you could also offer your services to others that might like their fruit turned into yummy jams or jellies etc.
Start a Christmas Tree Farm.
I have a friend that grew up on a Christmas tree farm. I remember going to a Christmas Tree farm, cutting down the tree, having a cup of hot chocolate and a cookie and really enjoying the experience. If you love the magic of Christmas this might be an option for you, and shockingly enough it doesn’t take up a ton of space! Read more about starting a Christmas Tree Farm here.
What homestead handiwork are you exceptional at? Wether it’s knitting, crocheting, sewing or needlework there’s always a market for homemade crafts. Create an online marketplace on Etsy, sell through instagram and facebook. A great option for keeping busy during the winter and selling at holiday markets.
Make and Sell Soap.
This seems to be the number one selling item at farmers markets. If you have livestock and a herb garden you can easily make soap using your own ingredients. This is a huge homesteading task that I plan on learning and incorporating into our farm business soon. You can sell soap on facebook, farmers markets and on Etsy. I’ll be learning from this book.
Beekeeping is an art form and with its success comes liquid gold. We started our first hive last year after receiving a brood box for Christmas. There’s surprisingly a steep learning curve with keeping bees and also a high upfront cost for purchasing bees and the house. I suggest you do your research first and take a course from a local beekeeper. I also recommend the book, Beekeeping: Everything you need to know to start your first beehive. Crystal and Karl have a great article on how to package, store and sell honey.
Tan and Sell Hides.
If you raise livestock, it’s a good idea to use as much of the animal as possible. My husband is currently working away at the essential homesteading skill of tanning hides. He hopes to tan our Scottish Highland hides. These go for thousands of dollars to the right buyers. I suggest starting with smaller animals like rabbits.
Be a Hostess
Rent out your Space.
Rent a field for grazing or a stall for animal boarding. Wether you rent a room with Airbnb or your house and live in the trailer for the summer. Somewhere in our homestead journey we will need to build another homestead, so renting the farmhouse will be another source of income for our family. Stay tuned as we make that dream come true..
If you have a paddock, a stall, hay storage or just a field you can earn a minimum of $100 and up a month per horse. Our property used to have 5-8 horses at a time so getting started with a self boarding business to the ranch was an easy opportunity. Read more about this here.
Host an event and sell your farm products.
The farmers market in our area is not as exciting as it used to be. We love purchasing from other farmers to just get a sneak peak at what they are up to on their properties. It’s part of the experience. Host a spring plant sale, harvest festival or holiday craft fair and offer tours and sell your products at the same time. We have a family farm day thought our regional district that we register for. People get to experience our small farm first hand and purchase our products at the same time.
Offer a class to homeschool families.
By offering a tour of your homestead and farm, children learn valuable lessons. They learn animal husbandry, they learn about where their food comes from and they get excited about being outdoors. It’s a win win for your community. Have the children help with farm chores by feeding scratch to the chickens, collecting eggs, planting out seeds in the garden etc. As a teacher, I often bring my class to see where our class compost ends up, where the chicks we hatch live etc. The students love it.
Host a Wedding/Family Event.
Like I said above, rustic farm weddings are all the rage right now. There are many young couples looking for a farm to host their wedding at. We fortunately had a family farm to host our own wedding at, but since then my aunt and uncle have been able to rent their fields in the summer for others to do the same. People will pay at least a $2000 to do so. My advice is to make sure you have proper event insurance.
Campsites seem to over flow these days. Open a field as a designated campsite in the summer seasons. Just make sure to check with your bylaws first. I know a family that is able to live the homestead dream with a campsite on their property and a small farm market that sells seasonal produce, local meats, baking and of course ICE CREAM! Not wanting to create a whole campsite on your property? Rent out a corner of your land for campers to pitch a tent and use Hip Camp to do so! It’s not until I was writing this article that I found this awesome site. I’m hoping to implement this as a 2019 or 2020 homestead income source.
Offer open air storage or unused equipment sheds to rent storage space for RV’s and boats. This is an easy way for passive income, especially in the winter months. Research costs in your area for storage. There always seems to be a shortage, so it’s worth advertising.
High Profit Crops
Graft fruit trees.
I just bought a grafted Gravestine apple tree from an apple farm and signed up for her summer grafting course. In the mean time I’ve been reading what others have to say when it comes to grafting fruit trees!
Mushrooms are a specialty crop that be grown on a small property. Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms are a booming market. In our Zone 8 area, foraging wild mushrooms such as chanterelles are a great option for urban homesteaders. The Mushroom People have a great guide online to check out.
Who doesn’t love the smell and sense of calm brought on by lavender? Lavender is another specialty cash crop that is a great option for small growers. Options for selling lavender include fresh bundles, dried lavender sachets and aromatherapy oils.
Grow Fruit Trees from Seed.
It’s easy to grow fruit trees from seed for profit with a little know how. Citrus trees like lemon and orange trees can be started and grown indoors. Read this guide here for details
Grow a Pumpkin Patch.
This is our favourite fall harvest activity to attend in October. A local farmer hosts a pumpkin festival with all things pumpkins including a large variety of heirloom pumpkins for purchase. They sell pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes in the barn. You can bowl with pumpkins or purchase a pumpkin to catapolt into an empty field. There is a corn maze, a small children’s hay maze. A photographer comes and takes festive photos. They go all out, but essentially you could easily just grow pumpkins and sell at farmers markets, or from your farm.
Start a corn maze.
Starting a corn maze often comes to mind during harvest season. I got a screaming deal on corn seeds this winter so come June we are going to try out a little maze for the boys. There is a local farm in our area that has a fun corn maze as the draw to a harvest festival. We haven’t quite decided if we want open our homestead to the public, but it would be fun! Here’s this article on how to do it and do it well.
I’ve learned quickly in our first year with our little boy that life goes by fast. It’s so cliche to be saying this and offering it as advice, but I am for a number of reasons.
For moms like me, trying to live the homestead dream on your property while staying at home with your babies as long as possible is possible. Staying home to raise farm kids has so many added benefits to both the kids health and your own.
I really truly believe exposing children to farm life and being outdoors helps them grow up to be happier human beings. It’s why I’ve devoted a whole section of this blog to raising farm kids. It’s why when I was in the classroom before having my boys, that I focused on outdoor learning opportunities as often as I could. There’s value in nature, more so that we’ll ever know.
& with that being said…
The number one item that will not make you money from the homestead is your children.
We’ve been joking that my job on our little homestead ranch is to raise farm hands because I’m so busy with the babies I have a hard time being useful when it comes to our farm chores.
At this time getting much of anything done feels impossible some days. My husband is overloaded when he gets home from his day job with the farm duties waiting for him.
But, we aren’t really raising two boys so that they will be the farm hands and the grunt of the effort in 10+ years. We choose to move to the country to slow down our lives. To reap the benefits of being outdoors. To raise organic grass fed free ranging happy animals and to replace as much from our grocery list as we can from what we grow here at home.
Homesteading, farming- it’s a lifestyle choice. You have to love what you’ve chosen to do. I remind myself if this daily. Because with the right mindset, any income we produce is a bonus and a blessing.
Making an income from our homestead is only a part of our story. It will always be something that we work towards but never to the extent that it removes us from why we moved here in the first place nor takes away from our precious time with the boys.
From what I’ve learned in the short bit we’ve been doing this,
There are many ways to make an income from your homestead but also many ways to save money and embrace a frugal lifestyle when living a simpler life.
By embracing the homesteading lifestyle, you will find that what you need and want becomes less and therefore spend less money. (Although you might end up spending more on this “hobby” than anticipated- so read our homesteading life section of the blog to help with that issue 😉 )
Pin for later:
This list of course is just a start on the endless ideas out there but one I hope you’ll refer to later. As you discover ways to add to your homestead income. I’d love to hear what you think and how you make money from your homestead, please comment below!