Are you interested in learning how to make money homesteading? No matter what size farm you have, the modern homesteader can learn to maximize what they have to make some extra money, and you don’t even have to start a blog!
You may have to change a pre-established mindset, but I’m here to help you on your journey to success.
Why I Learned How to Make Money Homesteading
Although homesteading had been my lifelong dream, we were not in the financial position or had the resources to begin the farm we have today.
I remember date nights with Sweet Miah that consisted of going to a local bookstore and reading my favorite books on homesteading. As time went on, reasons for homesteading continued to feed my passion for this dream to learn creative ways to get started where I was at with what I had, and build from there.
As with many other things in life, the best way to start is in small steps. You can always continue to build on your successes and learn from your failures!
Starting small and saving your earnings to propel you into the next endeavor helps you gain confidence in your homesteading ventures.
Making Money on the Homestead – Is it Profitable?
The initial expenses of infrastructure and maintenance of a farm can be large, and it takes time to build up enough revenue and resources for a farm to generate a full-time income.
However, you CAN make money on a farm! The key is to be honest with yourself and resourceful in what you have. Meet the needs of your family first, and then look for areas to bring in a little extra cash with what you already have. If you succeed, build on that.
Everything new we try on our homestead needs to pay for itself. This takes careful thought and planning but begins with first shifting our minds from spending to saving.
Mindset Shift # 1 – How to Save Money
There are many ways to save money on the homestead, but some may seem contrary to the norm. One of the first things you’ll find when you begin searching for how to make money homesteading is to sell farm-fresh eggs.
We have learned the most resourceful thing for our family to do is to eat as many eggs as possible. If we eat what we already have access to, we save money on groceries.
Making this farmhouse quiche is a great way to use eggs, and it can be served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
A great way to save money is to be resourceful with materials. Reuse and repurpose materials. Check out how we built these garden beds out of used materials we bought on Craig's list or how we made pig shelters with repurposed IBC containers.
Mindset Shift # 2 – How to Make Money
In order to make money, you must begin by assessing yourself as a consumer. Let's look at some important mindsets that need to be established on your journey to a simpler lifestyle.
- Where Am I Spending Money – Am I spending money on things that I don’t need to?
- What Could I Be Making – Could I be making foods in my kitchen instead of buying pre-made boxes at grocery stores?
- What Could I Reuse – Do I have things laying around the farm that I could re-purpose?
- Do I Have Skills I Could Barter – Do I have a skill-set that I could use to make money?
How to Make Money Homesteading – Great Ideas for Success
This is not an exhaustive list, but my goal is only to lead you and help get those creative juices flowing in bringing in extra sources of income.
One of the top suggestions for making money on a homestead is to sell eggs. My main hesitation with this is that chickens are pretty fickle.
Chickens can stop laying eggs for many different reasons. This post can help identify those reasons if your chickens have stopped laying eggs.
Even if you are only selling a few dozen, and it’s not a main source of income, you need to have a consistent supply in order to keep your customers happy.
A better option I have found is to choose a breed of chickens that lays distinctive eggs or a flock of heritage breed chickens. Then take those eggs and sell them as hatching eggs or hatch them out and sell them as hatchlings in the spring.
When you are selling farm-fresh eggs at $5.00 a dozen, you may be making just enough to cover feed for the chickens. Why not take that same dozen and sell them as hatching eggs for $25.00?
It is a much more lucrative business to put money into chickens initially. Researching and developing a unique line of chickens for a customer base that doesn’t have as many options available leaves the door open for growth.
Ducks are another type of poultry that is common but not as readily available as chickens. Duck eggs sell better than chicken eggs and for twice as much money. Taking care of ducks is similar to chickens. They are great foragers. Shelter, feed, and water need to be provided.
Turkeys are easy to care for and are another type of poultry that you are wise to invest a little more into in the beginning. Develop a good line of turkeys and sell the hatching eggs.
Quail eggs are good for eating or can be sold as hatching eggs. They are usually easy to sell at markets because they are small and attractive eggs.
Buy an Incubator
An incubator is a good source of income if you are planning to raise hatching eggs. The initial investment is large, but it will quickly pay for itself. We purchased an incubator for $700, and it paid for itself in one year of hatching out eggs.
The first year of hatching eggs, we hatched eighty chicks every week in the spring and early summer. I made a deal with a local feed store. They bought my hatchlings for $2.00 each and sold them for $2.50 each. If you do the math on that, you can see it was a successful endeavor!
If you have a home dairy with goats, you will end up with baby goats. In order to stay in milk, you will need to breed the goats every year. Each goat mama will have 1-4 kids per year. As with poultry, you have a similar option of developing a good line of goats and selling the goat kids.
If you choose to do the research, you can also purchase and build a line of registered, well-bred goats. By doing the work of registering, you can make more money when you sell the goat kids.
We have chosen to breed for positive traits and breed out the negative habits as much as possible. We don’t register them, but the money we make covers our goat feed and more.
Another way to make money with goats is to sell raw milk. Goat milk is in high demand in some locations. If you have goats you need to milk, learn how to milk goats by hand.
You can also offer your buck for stud services. Here again, if you can spend the money on the front end and buy into a good quality breed line, you can offer stud services for more money.
One of our latest livestock endeavors are milk cows. With one cow, we were getting an average of two gallons of milk per day, and it can be a commitment to keep up with the abundance. We now have more cows and are offering that milk to friends and neighbors.
I often make homemade butter, this recipe for fresh mozzarella cheese, or other creative ways to use up extra milk to meet my own family's needs. But you could just as easily make these products and sell them in a farmstand or Farmer's Market.
However, just like raw goat’s milk, certain areas have a high demand for raw cow's milk, and people will pay a good price for quality dairy.
Before considering selling excess milk, make sure to check with your State laws regarding raw milk sales, and always keep in mind that the FDA bans the sale or distribution of raw milk outside of your state.
Interstate milk sales must be pasteurized and meet the requirements of the US Pasteurized Milk Ordinance.
I am not an advocate of puppy mills, but breeding puppies can be done correctly. Guardian dogs are needed on farms. If they are bred responsibly in a safe environment, breeding out health conditions and tested for genetic conditions, this can be a lucrative source of income.
Gardening – Growing Vegetables to Make Money
- Seed Starts – Sell seedlings in the spring in preparation for the growing season. Choose unique heirloom seeds that aren’t commonly available. Learn about the advantages of starting seeds indoors and how to start seeds indoors if you are interested in this avenue of income.
- Vegetables – Feed your family first, and then sell extra vegetables from your garden at a roadside stand or farmer's markets.
- Boxes of Produce – Advertise weekly in-season produce boxes for a certain dollar amount. Meet in a central location and deliver all boxes at once or have a time period every week for pickup at your house.
Pro-Tip: Start small! Don’t envision paying all your household bills with produce from your garden the first year, or you may be overwhelmed.
Your kitchen can be a wide-open opportunity for extra income. If you love to cook, sell freezer meals from your home. Enjoy baking? Everyone loves homemade bread and cookies! Does your orchard produce an overabundance of fruit? Learn the basics of canning and make jams and jellies!
Advertising your kitchen treats can be done in a way to attract a specific clientele.
- Products – Offer gluten-free, dairy-free or similar products and market to a niche that isn’t used to having locally grown products.
- Location of Sale – Sell to your local community and build relationships with your neighbors.
- Locally Sourced – Use products from your own farm (goat milk and chicken eggs) and market your goods as farm fresh.
Provide people with farm-sitting services when they need to leave their farms for emergencies or vacations. Make sure you have the necessary skills and list your job experience when advertising your services.
Pro-Tip: Purchase the necessary insurance for a service like this.
Animal Droppings (Manure)
If you have farm animals, you will accumulate a lot of manure. Rabbit poop is great for gardens. Sell it in five-gallon buckets and make your neighbors happy. You could also make your own compost to sell with used animal bedding from your barn.
Additionally, worm castings create nutrient rich soil. It is becoming increasingly popular to raise worms in order to provide fertilizer for your own garden. If you already farm your own worm castings, why not create a little extra to offer this resource to others in your community?
If you have invested in a good tractor or garden tiller, offer your services for garden prep in the spring. There are many people who would love to garden but can’t make that initial investment to get started.
There are many avenues available to sell your products today, but craft fairs are a fun way to make money and mingle with like-minded people. If you are creative and crafty, the opportunities are endless. Use products from your homestead to make your crafty wares, and you can have a unique product specific to your homestead.
How Do Small Farmers Make Money?
The variety of ways to make money on a small homestead are as endless as the people in the world. The good Lord has blessed each of us with a gift that we can use to bless others!
By themselves, these ideas may not be enough to support your homestead, but when partnered with another idea they can achieve way more than you may expect.
In conclusion, changing our mindsets to become resourceful, using things second-hand, repurposing materials, and changing your family's consumption habits to use what you already have access to can lead you on a path to making money homesteading.
Additional Posts You May Enjoy
- The Five Reasons Why We Homestead
- How to Separate Seedlings & Plant Starts
- Greenstalk Garden My FAVORITE container gardening, small space solution to GROW FOOD
- No-Till Gardening (The Various Methods) Building New In-Ground GARDEN BEDS | VLOG (Back to Eden or No-Till Gardening)
- Copper Deficiency in Goats and How to Correct
- The Best & Easiest Method of Bottle Feeding Goats
- Building Up and Maintaining Soil for Raised Beds and Container Gardening
- Building Compost on a South Carolina Snow Day
- Planting Seedlings Indoors – Advantages to Know
- Container Gardening in Soil Bags
- Where to Buy Heirloom Seeds