There is no better way to live than on a fully-function homestead. It’s natural. It’s beautiful. Every day is a prepper training session. But…bills still have to be paid and the ever-growing kiddos need clothes on their backs and shoes on their feet. There are a multitude of ways to make money on a homestead – most of which enhance the lifestyle and help to educate others about self-reliance in the process. A win-win!
Make Money On Your Homestead
Making money from your homestead, prepper retreat, or off the grid farm requires planning and a little hard work – two concepts which are already a part of the daily life of homesteaders. Working from home is a glorious experience on most days. But, to be successful, you must be self-motivated, organized, and able to adapt and overcome as situations beyond your control arise.
Top 15 Ways to Make Money on Your Homestead:
1. Architectural Salvage
Architectural salvage is extremely popular right now. It never ceases to amaze me what designers, and city people in general, are willing to pay for old items commonly found on a farm. Rusty old tin from barn roofs, weathered wood from barns and other common farm structures, old tools with wood handles, cast iron anything – particularly sinks and tubs, old outdoor light fixtures, hand hewn beams and fence posts, pulleys, hinges, rusty barbwire, barn doors, old farmhouse doors – both interior and exterior, the list is almost endless.
Getting $1,000 or more from one hand hewn barn beam and $5 per piece of weathered barn wood is not uncommon. Grab a notepad and your phone and go on a hike around the property to do an inventory of unneeded items which can bring in extra money and then post them for sale online – after doing some research about their worth locally. If selling the items to someone elsewhere in the country, they can be shipped at the buyer’s expense as large freight as long as you build a cardboard box around the item, in most cases.
Rent out your field or barn as a wedding or event venue. There could be insurance liabilities which need to be factored in to using the property in this manner, but the added coverage needed could be nominal and the profit quite high. Side profit from hosting weddings and receptions could include rental fee for horses used in the wedding, offering catering, and providing photography, parking, or decorating services. If you use square hay bales on your property, those could be placed out as seating for an additional fee during events.
3. Set up a farm-side produce stand
Rules governing on-site farm produce and goods sales vary from state to state, but typically, as long as the items are grown or made on the land and sold on the land as well, no special permit or health inspection is necessary. If a limited liability company license is required, those typically cost about $200 to download, complete, and then file with the state commerce office.
Offering primitive camping year around or during local special events is another great way to make unused portions of your land work for you. Once again, an insurance policy rider would likely need to be purchased to protect you from liability issues from allowing members of the public onto your property for profit.
Additional money-making side services could include access to a fishing pond, horse or ATV trail riding and rentals, meals serve to the campers, and even mini homesteading workshops could be offered during the camper’s stay. Networking with the local travel and tourism office and using social media and a free blog to advertise the homestead camping experience will attract customers without costing a single dime for promotion.
5. Photo Shoot
Use the beauty of your homestead and your barns and fences as photo session backdrop. During the warm weather months the property could be rented out to a photographer, or you yourself could be the photographer, and sell image packages for children, families, themed sessions for holidays, and engagement, and senior picture shoots. Digital cameras take the bulk of the guesswork out of photography and allow virtually anyone to take a professional grade picture.
There is no need to print all the photos for the customers, they could be placed on a jump drive for the consumer to print on their own – which is becoming commonplace for small business and part-time photographers. Teach yourself or take a course in photo editing and subscribe to an editing software service so artistic techniques and photo enhancements can be added to the portrait sessions – with modern technology, whitening teeth, covering blemishes, and other common edits are far easier than you might think. Subscribing to a software service typically only costs about $20 per month – far cheaper than actually buying $500 worth of software that will be outdated and need an upgrade almost annually.
6. Start a herd-share service
Raw milk is illegal to sell in most states. But, selling a share in a cow or goat, is perfectly legal almost anywhere – and is in high demand. Selling a share of your herd can be done several ways, one of which is requiring the purchaser to help with the care and milking of the livestock – meaning less work for the homesteader.
Breeding livestock is an age-old and solid way of making extra money on a farm. Marketing the livestock and farm dog breeding service for free using social media, like a Facebook page, will likely increase sales substantially. Do a bit of research about the local market demand, what is already being offered for sale, and the going price of different types of livestock before launching your home business.
Mini cows, mini donkeys, and guineas are some of the most sought after, but hard to find, varieties of livestock. Donkeys, particularly mini donkeys, hate coyotes and go in full-on attack mode when they see one. Guineas are the junkyard dogs of the poultry world and are constantly being sought, but rarely found outside of online hatcheries. Common farm and garden stores, like Tractor Supply and Rural King, never seem to include guineas during their annual chick days in the spring. Why mini cows have grown so much in popularity I am not sure, maybe because they are cute and do not need a lot of acres to roam. These are just a few examples of “unusual” livestock which could easily be bred for profit almost anywhere.
Start a butcher shop on your homestead. This once staple in nearly every community has all but vanished from the landscape. When we found our dream land my husband Bobby was overjoyed when he found a butcher shop already established on the property.
A home business like this would take overhead and jumping through government hoops, but could be well worth the frustrating effort to get all the permits needed. If you do not know how to butcher and have no desire to learn, there are likely folks in your community who are expert butchers but only flex their skills during deer season at a temporary butchering facility who might jump at the chance for extra work. Grassfed steer have gone up in price for several years. If you raise your cattle this way, that only serves to enhance both the possibilities and profit related to having a butcher shop on the homestead.
Sharing your homesteading and preparedness skills via online websites, your own monetized blog, a book you can self-publish through services like Amazon – or even making monetized videos about homesteading for YouTube, could provide an extra several thousand dollars per month – if the writing and video projects are worked at diligently and promoted on social media.
10. Offering horse and/or farm dog training services on your homestead.
Put your skills to work for you and aid others who also want to enjoy a back-to-the basics lifestyle as well. If space allows, offer boarding services and perhaps even learn how to shoe horses to add more money-making options to the equine or canine home business.
Help out our little pollinators and make a hearty profit in the process. Honeybees are disappearing at an alarming rate. Become a beekeeper and help improve the population, the pollination of your own crops, and make some extra money as well. Selling honey, and bees, and even teaching workshops in beekeeping will bring in extra cash and once again, help pass on valuable homesteading traditions while educating others.
12. Sell Online
Open an online store to sell what you make on and from your own land. Websites like Etsy allow users to sell homemade items and supplies for a very nominal fee. You can often charge a substantially higher price for your homemade candles, honey, jellies, dehydrated fruit and veggies, and sewing items using such a serve than you could selling the same items in your local rural area.
13. Sell To Local Groceries
Sells your seeds and plants to others interested in growing their own groceries. This can be done both on-site at the homestead and online to increase the chances for making a sizeable profit.
14. Sell Eggs
You can not only sell the eggs laid by your chickens and ducks from a roadside produce stand on your farm, but you can sell fertilized eggs to people who want to hatch their own flock as well. If you own an incubator or can invest in several, a hatching service using your own eggs and those brought to you by customers, could also be easily infused in the home poultry business.
Every good homestead has a compost pile. Starting a series of compost piles and selling the quality soil to individuals and greenhouse could be a simple yet profitable money-maker as well. Raising compost worms in addition to the soil selling business would not be very time-consuming and would put a little extra money in your pocket as well.
I hope this list is useful to you! Homesteading is a lifestyle so why not make a life off of homesteading!
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Will you try any of these ideas to make money on your homestead? let us know in the comment section below!