Table of Contents:
Important Questions to Ask Yourself
Think really had on this one.
Although it is not necessary to live in a rural area to be self sufficient, many people with this lifestyle choose to do so. One of the biggest challenges that most people face in a rural area is having options for decent employment. Consequently, despite your desire and dream of self sufficiency, and perhaps being out of the city, if the money is not there you cannot survive.
If you want to achieve some level of self sufficiency, your job and source of income should be one of the first things you consider. Furthermore, you really need to think hard on what it is you are trying to achieve. What are your goals? Do you want to work from home? Do you want to make money on the homestead?
There are numerous things to consider and there is no one right answer for everyone. It truly depends on your personal situation, goals, and specific skills.
Consider the following:
- Do you want to stay in the city or move to a rural area?
- Does your present residence suit the kind of lifestyle you want to ultimately achieve? If not, are you willing to relocate?
- Do you want to live completely off the grid or be grid connected?
- If you want to be in a rural area is commuting a possibility so that you could keep your present employment?
- Is it important to keep your present employment? If so, can you work from home at least part time?
- Can you diversify your skills and knowledge base and possibly change your career if necessary so that you could work from home?
- What level of income would you like or need to generate?
- How much income do you need to take care of basic necessities, save money for the unexpected, and pay off debt at an accelerated rate?
- Is it possible to work through the internet for your sole source of income? Is it possible to work through the internet to supplement your income and reduce your commuting.
- Is it possible to develop a home-based business to supplement your income?
- Is it possible to downsize and simplify your life so you can live on much less money?
I am sure there are many other things to consider and these are only a few. However, the important points above should be the very foundation of the decisions you need to make.
If you have the option of working from home, even if it only generates a portion of your income, you will save a considerable amount of time and expense. After all, your time at work is not your complete investment. The time it takes to prepare for work needs to be added into the equation. Additionally, consider commuting time and expense, as well as clothing and additional food expenses.
Working for yourself is also a great option. Examine your personal skill set and if that skill set that lends to self employment, I highly recommend taking advantage of this. After 18 years of self employment I would never think of doing things any other way.
Characteristics of the Self Employed
Is it really too much work??
-Able to recognize opportunities and go after them
-Able to deal with uncertainty
-Able to plan ahead
-Comfortable with being the ultimate decision maker
-Passion for what you do
-Ability to compartmentalize work and private life
Advantages to being Self Employed
-You are 100% in control
-Freedom to be yourself
-Earn more money
-Unlimited income potential
-Ability to create multiple revenue streams
-Freedom from routine
-Set your own schedule
-Work from home
-Work from anywhere
-You are more valued
-No co-worker drama
-No office or corporate politics
-Greater understanding of the real value of money
-Vacation and sick time whenever you want
-Ability to put family priorities first
-For solo-preneurs: you are always employee of the month
Disadvantages to being Self Employed
- Lack of benefits
Many of my colleagues refuse to be self employed due to the lack of benefits such as health insurance, paid sick leave, paid vacation, etc. However, most places that I’ve worked with on a full-time basis only offer meager benefits anyway. The increased income I produce on a yearly basis from being self employed completely off sets having to pay for my own benefits.
- Less security
This is another fallacy. Most people think they are more secure by being an employee. This could not be further from the truth. You could loose your job at any given moment for a number of reasons. It is entirely possible to work for the same company for many years and get laid off just prior to retirement. Additionally, there is far less security in placing all your eggs in one basket, meaning you depend on only once source of income. Suddenly loosing that source of income could result in financial ruin. It is far better to have several income streams, which is exactly what I do. This means that if anything happens to any one source of income it makes little difference to me. I have plenty of time to recover and find other things.
- Higher taxes
This is just another fallacy and I disagree with this for several reasons. The so called “self employment” tax is 7.5%, which is 1/2 of the total social security tax of 15%. If you are an employee, 7.5% social security tax comes out of your paycheck and your employer pays the other half. If you are self employed, you pay the whole 15%. This may sound like a lot. But, I can guarantee that my business deductions for one year more than off set having to pay that additional 7.5 % in taxes. And, my health insurance premiums are tax deductible as well.
What I Did and How I Got Started
For my personal situation, it was important to live outside the city in a much more quiet and peaceful area. Having some acreage and a private location was my first priority. Being fresh out of school when I first bought my place, changing professions was not an option.
At the time I purchased my property, there was very little development in the area and local services were extremely limited. Local employment options were nonexistent. This meant I had to commute in order to make a decent income. All the commuting and the associated expenses made for a difficult lifestyle for a few years. Consequently, I experimented with taking short term jobs out of state. The money was better and I did not have to deal with the constant commuting.
For a number of years I worked a lot more than I really wanted. In the end I reaped the benefits. I was able to pay off a considerable amount of debt and downsize my life. What a significant difference this made for my lifestyle. Now I routinely work three days a week and spend a lot more time on the homestead. I now have the time needed to focus on other sources of income that give me a lot more flexibility.
Making Money on the Homestead
In our digital age it is possible to make money from almost any part of the globe. But for most of us that have put in our time to develop a homestead, spending more time on that homestead and away from the rat race is a big priority. Therefore it is important to be able to make money on the homestead.
Work from home opportunities are abundant, whether you want to make a part-time income or a comfortable full-time living. The good thing is that the homesteading lifestyle lends itself to creating a home based business. Most people I’ve met that make money on the homestead are very creative with what they do.
There are numerous opportunities to do what you love and still make some money.Remember that creativity and ingenuity are your best friends when it comes to developing a business. This is especially true if you are homesteading. Ideally, if you have acreage then take advantage of that resource to make some money. If that is not possible, then use that acreage to take care of your basic needs and try to work from home and make as much money as possible. The list I present here for how to make money on the homestead is by no means exhaustive. But, I hope it will give you some great ideas.
Starting a Cottage Industry
The thing to keep in mind is that any business opportunity is going to take some time and effort. Becoming an entrepreneur will not happen overnight. You just have to develop a plan and stick to it. The same is true if you want to make money on the homestead. If you want to make money instantly, then go get a job. If you want to have the satisfaction of being your own boss, then take the time to develop a business.
Your best opportunity for success is to try to make a business out of something you love doing. This is what is going to keep you committed when you get discouraged. That said, do your homework. Research the market first instead of wandering off into something you know little about. It is also important to choose something that has a very low start up cost. Test the market then expand your business as you become more and more successful. Initially, if you absolutely fail to make money on the homestead, then you have not wasted a significant amount of money. You can simply try something else.
If you are thinking of selling food products, which is common, do your homework and make sure you keep things legal. Most states have laws regulating “cottage industries”. This is simply a small business run out of your home, using family members as “employees”, and using your own equipment. Each state or territory has their own regulations regarding what you can and cannot sell. This includes labeling requirements depending on the food product.
Also, remember that if you are selling meat products, you can often avoid a lot of red tape if you sell the live animal versus butchered and packaged meat.
For a fantastic resource on the cottage industry laws in your state, take a look at this guide.
Additionally, the folks at Mountain Feed and and Farm Supply address this subject very well in this article.
Selling Food Products to Make Money on the Homestead
1) Farm fresh eggs
You may never get rich selling eggs, but if you enjoy raising chickens, the good news is that they can produce enough eggs to pay for themselves. There is a good market for this because someone is ALWAYS wanting farm fresh eggs.
Even with a small flock of a dozen egg layers, after a few months they will be producing far more eggs that you can eat. This is what happened to us. We started selling eggs to people we knew. We then added more birds to our flock, which was really not any extra trouble. Before we knew it, our chicken operation was not only paying for itself, but we were making a little extra money. We sell at $4/dozen in Colorado but market price will vary depending on where you live.
For a great article on stating an egg business, visit the people at Hobby Farms by going here.
Starting chicks takes a lot of time and effort, which discourages many folks. Additionally, hatcheries have a minimum number of chicks for any one order. Although there are good reasons for this, often times that minimum number exceeds what most people want, especially with larger birds. But, if you have the room and you are going to be raising birds anyway, order extra chicks, raise them to a few weeks of age and then sell them. Many people will go for this because it saves them a lot of time and trouble. I have seen smaller, local feed stores also do this. They have the extra room so they order several hundred birds to grow up and then sell them.
3) Stewing hens
Egg laying hens reach their prime at about 18 to 24 months. Most commercial operations will cull them at this age. Their egg production decreases and it becomes increasingly expensive to keep them. In other words, they are not paying for themselves. The same could be said for small flocks. If you are intent on maximizing your egg production, and your income, once your layers are past their prime, sell them as stewing hens.
Broilers are simply meat birds. However, they are not the genetic cross breeds that gain weight extremely quickly. Most broilers are going to finish out between 6 to 7 lbs in about 12 weeks. They are generally hardy birds and can also be kept as egg layers. Think of them as sort of a dual purpose bird.
5) Fertilized eggs
You can sell fertilized eggs for hatching if you have a rooster on the homestead. There seems to be a good market for this. Price is going to vary depending on whether they are show stock or general barnyard layers. If you want a good read on how to store hatching eggs, including best practices, then check out this article. If you have a great product and want to expand your market by shipping eggs, then check out this tutorial.
6) Baby chicks
Commercial hatcheries make millions on incubating eggs and selling day old chicks. When you order chicks from one of these hatcheries, they ship you day old chicks. If you have the facilities, there is no reason you cannot do this as well. If you have a good rooster, and great brooding hens, this is a great way to make money on the homestead.
If you have never done this before and want some great basic knowledge, then visit Kathy, “The Chicken Chick” by going here.
7) Raise turkeys
These birds are another good addition to the homestead. After several years of raising only chickens, I decided to try something new. I am glad I did. These birds have completely different personalities compared to the chicken. And as you could guess, they grow substantially larger. Once my friends found out that I was raising turkeys, a number of people said they would buy one once they were mature.
If you want to check out an article on the resurgence or heritage turkeys, then go here.
8) Pastured pork
Even if you do not have a lot of land and have the desire to raise pork, then Mother Earth News has a great article on small scale pig farming. You can also download this entertaining PDF on pig farming. Additionally, author Dirk van Loon has a great resource title Small-Scale Pig Raising.
9) Pastured Lamb
Sheep tend to be a little more work than other livestock. But, if you have good pasture, a few sheep can do very well. There are several good resources on raising sheep, including Storey’s Guide to Raising Sheep.
10) Pastured beef
Again, if you have good pasture, raising a couple of grass fed steers can bring in some extra money. I do not have any experience with this because I have no interest in doing it. Having watched some friends raise cows in confined pens convinced me that this is not something I want to do unless I have pasture. Pasturing them will save you a considerable amount of money.
Rabbits are another food animal that is easy to raise. Consequently , it is an easy way to make money on the homestead. We always had them on the farm and I truly enjoyed the meat. If you are not sure about raising rabbits, consider the following from the prospective of meat production.
Rabbits have a gestation period of about a month. You can generally get 5 to 6 litters per year from a single doe. There are generally 6 to 8 kits per litter. That equals 30 to 48 off spring per year. Rabbits are culled at about 8 weeks and usually at 6 plus pounds of body weight. That means you can produce a minimum of 180 pounds of meat per year from a single doe. There is the added benefit that rabbit meat is very lean. In fact it is so lean that when cooking it you have to make sure it does not get too dry.
If you are considering raising rabbits as a source of income, then go to Rise and Shine Rabbity and read this post which is packed with information.
12) Ducks and geese
Water foul can be a great addition to the backyard flock. Duck meat and eggs are highly sought after by many people. Pasture for forage and a good water source is important. Raising ducks and geese for meat can take 2 to 6 months depending on the breed.
For a good read on the basics of raising water foul, visit the folks at Purina Mills by going here.
Perhaps the best way to utilize fish is with an aquaponics set up. While producing a source of meat they also produce fertilizer for your food. Tilapia and catfish are some of the most common fish to raise. It helps of course if you have a large pond. But, they can also be raised in a green house or a large indoor tank.
Visit the folks at the Aquaponics Source for a great getting started checklist.
14) Fresh produce
When most people think of how to make money on the a homestead, market gardening is most likely one of the first things that come to mind. There are many successful people that do this with only a couple of acres of land.
Here are a couple of great resources to help get you started:
Backyard Market Gardening: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Selling What You Grow, by Andy W Lee, Patricia Forman
The Permaculture Market Garden: A Visual Guide to a Profitable Whole-systems Farm Business, by Zach Loeks
Herbs have plenty of uses around the homestead. Similar to many other home grown food products, fresh or freshly dried herbs have a superior flavor relative to their commercial counterpart. If you are growing herbs anyway, then grow some extra and sell them at local markets. For a great article on this subject, go to Johnny’s Seeds here.
16) Baked goods
If you enjoy baking, it is easy enough to bake and sell homemade bread, muffins, cookies, buns, cinnamon rolls, or any other baked goods. I’ve seen some people make this a full-time business.
17) Homegrown mushrooms
This can be especially profitable if you can market them to local restaurants. Since mushrooms have a very short shelf life, restaurants need to buy them fresh. The Mushroom People have a great article with good marketing hints for growing mushrooms commercially.
18) Sell extra milk from your goats or your cow.
You will have to do some research on this topic. Often there are a lot of regulations that govern the selling of raw milk.
One potential way to get around this is to start a cow share or goat share program. Simply explained, this is where a person purchases a share of a cow or goat. Since you own a “share” of the animal, you are allowed to have a portion of the produce from that animal. Consequently, you can avoid the red tape that surrounds the purchasing of raw milk.
The folks at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund have a great article explaining the details of cow and goat share programs.
19) Sell homemade dairy products such as cheeses.
Keep in mind that the same regulations that apply to milk also apply to cheese products. You will have to check regulations in the state or territory where you reside. But, do not be surprised when you are told it is illegal.
Here are a couple of sample articles that will give you a good briefing:
Go to the cheese making blog to find out reasons to sell your cheese.
Washington State has a good publication on selling dairy products. Take a look at this PDF.
20) Sell homemade jams, jellies, and preserves.
This is allowed in most states. But again, check your local cottage industry laws by going here.
21) Become a bee keeper and sell local honey.
For some great information on honey bees, including selling honey and online courses about bee keeping, go to this article posted by Honeybees Online. This is a fantastic resource.
22) Honeycomb products
If you want some great information on products that can be produced from honeycomb and beeswax and ideas on how to sell them, read this article on marketing your hive products.
23) Raise and sell Quail.
Unlike most birds, these little guys are ready to butcher in 6 to 8 weeks. This means a quick turn around. The folks at High Lonesome Homestead have a great post with lots of photos.
If you want some good reasons to raise quail, especially if you have an urban homestead, then read this post offered by Morning Chores.
24) Orchard fruit
If you have enough acreage for a small orchard, this may be a great way to go. For some excellent information from a guy with years of experience, visit Stefan Sobkowjak and read his post on developing a permaculture orchard.
Other Value-added Products to Make Money on the Homestead
A value-added product is essentially the production of a product in a manner that enhances its value. For example, milling wheat into flour or making fruit into jam. For a more in-depth definition, read this post on value-added agriculture.
25) Starter plants
Every year at planting time, the local home improvement, as well as the farm and garden shops, make a lot of money on started vegetable plants. This is because many people do not want to take the time to start them on their own. If you have the room, why not do this yourself and sell them.
For some great information on this topic, read this article on Growing Vegetable Transplants for Sale.
26) Sell Strawberry plants
This is much the same as selling seedlings. However, it does require a bit more labor. If you have a well established strawberry bed, then root the runners and offer the plants for sale in the Spring.
For some great information on strawberry plant propagation, go to this site.
27) Heirloom seeds
Most homesteaders prefer to plant heirloom seeds. These are seeds from plants that are open pollinated, meaning they are polluted naturally. Consequently, their characteristics are passed down to the next generation of plants. Vegetables and fruits from heirloom generations have a better taste and are more nutritious.
Since there are many plant varieties, hybrid plants can also be the result of open pollination. This occurs naturally. By comparison, GMOs are genetically altered plants. This type of genetic alteration does not occur naturally. Virtually all vegetable products sold in supermarkets today have been genetically altered in some way. Most of them will not reproduce naturally. What this means is that you cannot save the seeds from these plants and expect them to reproduce. They may appear to grow naturally and flower but they will not yield any fruit.
If you are raising alpaca, sheep, or angora goats, sell the fiber once they are sheared.
You can read a great article on How to Market Farm-Raised Fiber by going here.
Another possibility is to sell rabbit fur, in particular angora rabbit fur. For some good basic information on how to get started, read this beginner’s guide.
Also, the Florida 4H has a great article on market rabbit industries.
29) Dried herbs products
Many herbs can be incorporated into salves, lotions, and tinctures. This is of course an extensive topic. If you are truly interested, there a numerous books written on this subject. But, for a start, the folks at Pantry Remedies have a great article onhow to use the herbs you have.
Mountain Rose Herbs has a great article on DIY Herbal Salves.
30) Meal worms
These are extremely easy to raise. I know some people that have kept the same breeding stock for years. You can sell them as chicken treats.
For a good article on how to get started, read this post from Backyard Chickens onHow to Raise Mealworms.
Talk about a low maintenance livestock, earthworms may be something to consider. The start up cost is low and they do not require a lot of space. You can sell them for composting or for fishing bait.
If you are interested, then read this article on Raising Earthworms for Fun and Profit.
32) Homemade Soap
This is a highly valued product. However, you really have to know your bottom line and keep track of your profit margins.
For some helpful information on knowing the cost of your soap, read this article.
For a good overview of making homemade soap, go here.
33) Sell Sheep skins
Obviously you need to be raising sheep in order to take advantage of this one. Beside the skins, there are lots of other products you can market.
Although this article is out of the UK, it can give you some ideas on how to market your products. There is also a link in this article on how to produce your own sheep skin.
Etsy has a nice page with various sheep skin products. This will give you some ideas on what you can charge for various items.
34) Sell Wool
If you are raising sheep, then you will have to sheer them. If you are not using the wool yourself, then sell it for a profit.
The University of Maine Educational Extension has a very informative PDF on Marketing and Handling Wool. For some great information, read their Bulletin #2070
Red Rope Farm also has a great three part post on getting more out of your wool. Read the first post here.
35) Sell rabbit pelts
If you are raising rabbits, then tanning and selling the pelts is a great way to help your operation pay for itself. Vela Creations has a great tutorial on tanning rabbit pelts.
Also, the Rabbit Guy has a wonderful post on grading and pricing your rabbit pelts. Read this article on Rabbits Pelts 101.
If tanning pelts is something you enjoy doing, contact a commercial rabbit operation and see what they do with their hides. I have spoken with several of them out of curiosity. Each time I was told that they did not have the time or desire to process all of the hides they produce. There is far more money in selling the meat and the hides are a waste of time. They throw them away.
36) Sell trees
This can be a very profitable part-time enterprise. Although you do have to realize it is going to take some time to get established. Trees do not mature over night. But once you have established a yearly harvest, it can be a nice annual income especially if you are selling Christmas trees.
If you want some great information on how to start a Christmas tree farm, then go here.
There are other trees you can sell depending on your geographic location and elevation. I have thought a lot about selling small aspen trees because where I live they grow like weeds. I do not really have to do anything except let them grow and then harvest them.
37) Cut flowers
Selling fresh cut flowers is one of the most profitable cash crops. Start up cost is low and there is a quick turnover. Profits can be as much as $30,000 per acre.
If this is of interest, then it is best to stick with proven money-makers. To get a proper start, read this post on profitable plants and learn about the best flowers for small growers.
38) Chinese medicinal herbs
There appears to be a growing market for herbs in general. But growing medicinal herbs is a nice niche that can greatly increase your market value.
There are numerous ways to profit from growing herbs. To learn about seven different ways you can profit, read this article.
The US market for Chinese medicinal herbs is expanding. There are several reasons for this which you can learn by reading this article.
Cornell University published a great article on the potential for small farms to profit on the niche market of Chinese medicinal herbs.
There were two working farms in my family when I was growing up. We never had a shortage of manure for the gardens. I laughed the first time I saw bags of manure for sale at the local home improvement store. Obviously there is a market for it.
If you cannot sell it by the truck load, then save your feed bags and sell it by 50 lbs. Local gardeners will love this stuff. You can potentially profit from selling manure even if you do not have large livestock. Several of my friends board their horses and haul the stuff off by the truck load.
40) Make and sell homemade candles
Handmade crafts are some of the fastest growing small businesses in the United States. The fantastic part of a candle making business is that there is a very low start up cost.
The folks at Candle Science have a wonderful blueprint for success if you want to start a candle business.
41) Sell feathers
This is a market opportunity that I stumbled on accidentally. One of my friends was visiting the homestead and was watching my rooster. He commented to me about what a great looking rooster he was and that if I ever wanted to get rid of him, I could likely make a few hundreds dollars selling the feathers.
Lots of farm birds have beautiful feathers. Many of these can be sold for making various crafts. However, there is also a big market for selling certain types of feathers to be used for fishing flies. Some hatcheries have what they call a “fly tying special” where you can order specific birds with certain feather characteristics.
Feathers of different quality can be sold on Etsy, eBay, Amazon, as well as other online market places.
If you want to learn something about the prized chickens at the center of fly tying,go here.
42) Sell seed garlic
Instead of just selling garlic at the Farmer’s Market, sell premium bulbs to other growers. You will get a higher price.
You can also sell your product online. Get some great tips from the Online Garlic Farmer’s Market.
Services You Can Provide to Make Money on the Homestead
43) Teach Classes
If you are skilled at any aspect of modern homesteading, chances are people will pay to learn from you. There are numerous topics that you can teach: how to raise chickens, making soap, making cheese, permaculture, candle making, bee keeping, butchering and processing meat, home canning, etc.
44) Teach natural health solutions
The interest in alternative medicine is rapidly growing. If you have specialized knowledge in a particular area, such as herbal medicine or essential oils, then use that to your advantage.
45) Offer weekend retreats
More the more people are interested in alternative lifestyles. Offering weekend retreats where people are introduced to your homestead and your way of life can be very profitable. A perfect example is developing a class on permaculture, the basics of homesteading, or yoga. Do an online search for such retreats and you will find that people pay handsomely for such things.
46) Start a Bed and Breakfast
If you have a large enough home or homestead, this may be a great way to have your own business. As with anything else, do your homework.
To get you started, read this article on The First Step Every Aspiring Bed and Breakfast Owner Needs to Take, sponsored by the folks atbedandbreakfast.com.
Here is another good article on How to Start a Bed and Breakfast from the folks ofentrepreneur.com.
47) Rent out camping space
If your homestead is secluded enough, then offering weekend camping spots may be an easy alternative to a B & B. If you live within an easy driving distance to a large city, you know how hard it can be to find a nice, quiet spot for a quick get away. People are more than willing to pay for such a service. As an alternative, you could set up a glamping spot. Large canvas tents and furniture are all that is needed to set up glamorous camping. People pay handsomely for such an experience.
48) Rent out your property for special events
If you have a homestead that is especially picturesque, then rent out your barn, pasture, home, or land for weddings, photo shoots, parties, or other occasions. This could be a very easy way to make several thousand dollars in one weekend depending on the event. Point is, this is low maintenance and you can take advantage of something that is already in place.
49) Dog boarding or pet sitting services
Most likely you will have to get licensed and bonded in order to offer such a service. Doing so also gives you some protection against liability. However, the start up cost to offer such services are extremely low, especially if you are simply offering pet sitting. I know of several people that do this and make several thousand dollars a month.
You can get a free eBook about starting a pet-sitting business from Pet Sitters International. This will require signing up for their email list.
If you do not want to sign up for someone’s list, then read this other article on how to start a pet sitting business from Small Biz Trends.
50) Stud Services
A lot of people do not want to keep breeding males on hand. But, they may still have an interest in doing their own breeding. How you go about offering stud services varies greatly on what you are offering, meaning what kind of animal.
Keep in mind that if you are offering stud services, in the interest of best practices, make sure you have good genetic stock. In my opinion, it is unethical to breed animals just for the sake of breeding. You should make reasonable attempts to actually improve the blood line and pass on desirable traits. For example, if your stud is producing offspring that have genetic defects, poor growth rates, or they are just ill tempered, then you should not be using that male as a stud.
For some good general information, I have listed several resources below depending on the animal you want to use as a stud.
To stud service dogs, go here.
For goats, read this article on the Pros and Cons of Offering Stud Services by Onion Creek Ranch.
For horse stud services and to get an idea of potential value, visit Equine Now.
For sheep, check out this Stud Service Agreement posted by the folks at Liberty Homestead Farm.
51) You Pick Farm
This is a great idea if you can plant a large field of watermelons, pumpkins, strawberries or simply a large mixed garden.
If this is of interest, the folks at Pick Your Own have a great post on how to start apick your own operation.
52) Rent out poultry processing equipment
If you process a large number of birds and have purchased some of the more expensive equipment, then make that equipment pay for itself. A good drum-style chicken plucker is not cheap. If people do not process enough birds to make such a purchase, they are likely more than willing to pay a rental fee and save themselves a lot of time and work. This can be an easy way to get a return on your investment.
53) Sell firewood and/or rent your equipment.
If you have land that needs to be cleared, then do the clearing and sell the extra wood. If you have a large enough wooded tract, you may have enough wind fall or dead standing trees that produce excess firewood. This is the case with me. I cannot keep up with the amount of available firewood, so I sell the excess.
If you heat primarily with wood, chances are you have a wood splitter. A quality wood splitter usually cost in excess of $1000. Then rent it out to help get a return on your investment.
54) Use your carpentry skills
Most homesteaders are great problem solvers, are very creative, and have a great number of skills. Put these skills to work. Many people are intimidated by home improvement projects. Take advantage of your knowledge and skills to make some extra money. I’ve met a number of people that do this kind of thing on the side and make a nice bit of extra cash.
55) Set up a wood working shop
If you enjoy working with your hands and creating things, this could be a very enjoyable part-time job. Although, as you could have guessed, wood working is something that requires some skill. Chances are you already have some skills in this area if you decided to set up a shop.
With today’s technology, you can purchase programable wood working equipment. You can think of these as 3D programable routers. There are numerous products on the market. For a nice primer on how to use this type of tool, read this article on digital wood working equipment.
56) Build cages, coops, and grow-out runs.
The increased interest in having backyard farms animals provides another great opportunity to use your carpentry skills. Lots of folks that want to keep these animals do not have the necessary DIY skills. Additionally, basic chicken coups sell for hundreds of dollars at local farm supply outlets. So, take advantage of this. Build a coup, chicken tractor, or grow out run and list it for sale on your local farming Facebook group.
57) Sell compost
People love to know where their things come from, especially organic products Compost is not difficult to make. But it is one of those things that many local gardeners do not want to take the time to do.
For an excellent guide to starting compost, read this article sponsored by Planet Natural called the Composting Guru.
58) Freelance writing and publishing
Internet opportunities these days are endless. There are many platforms where you can do freelance writing and work completely from home. Additionally, every year it becomes easier and easier to write a book and self publish, especially through platforms such as Amazon.
Final Thoughts on How to Make Money on the Homestead
If you are intent on learning how to make money on the homestead, it should be obvious by now that there are numerous ways to do so. It does not have to be a long road.
You just have to be determined and you may need to try several things in order to make it a go. The key here is to start small, do some market research, and test your idea before investing a lot of money. If you have a day job that serves you well, then you have a perfect support mechanism while you are trying new things. Capitalize on that while you build a good business that enables you to have more control over your life.
I truly hope the information provided here was very helpful.
Additional Posts of Interest
Go off grid and live well,