You’ve just left the busy-ness of the city, to move out to the countryside, where everyday life moves a lot slower.
The excitement of less stress, fewer distractions and more time for yourself is instantly overwhelming – in the best ways possible.
Making the move to a homestead requires a transition time, which will inevitably be longer for those with less experience in raising chickens, cooking from scratch, as well as harvesting and preserving a glorious bumper crop.
But, those self-reliant homesteading skills can be learned throughout multiple seasons of diligent work!
You think you’ve got it all figured out, when all of a sudden, everyone wants to know how you are going to make ends meet.
Live off of savings?
Get a local job (if there are any to be found!)?
Worst of all, what if you fail miserably and have to move back to the city?
No, no, and no.
If your dreams of homesteading are clear enough, if your “Why” is the driving factor for how you live your life, then make no mistake, there is, and always will be, a way to make a living.
It does not matter where you homestead, even if you cannot sell your goods locally, there is always the opportunity to sell them online.
All it takes is courage and creativity to find a little, or a lot of cash.
Whether your intention is just to make ends meet, or to find a way to make a wonderful living from home, you’ll find several tried and tested ideas below.
What do you like to do?
There is so much talk these days about finding your passion. Well, homesteading is about having many different passions. Some things you will be excellent at, others not so much. But chances are good that those skills you are finding pleasure in, you will inadvertently perfect yourself at – and, in turn, this will not pass unnoticed.
If you enjoy what you are doing, making, creating, cooking, etc., people will naturally be more attracted to what you offer.
It helps to make your own list to get started with ways to make money from your homestead or small farm.
In one column, come up with a list of skills that you already have, in another dream up a list of attainable skills – such as soap making, and in a third column – state the obvious: the material accessories, tools you own or would still need to acquire.
For example: you have a large garden and are able to grow crops with relative ease, most (if not all) necessary garden tools are at your disposal.
Now expand upon that thought and see how you could possibly make it better.
Could you start a CSA? Is there enough excess of crops to sell at a farmers market or to a local school? Could you cater to local events? Or introduce cut flowers into your garden for summer weddings?
Your imagination, creativity and skills are the limit.
Modern homesteaders have loads of advantages over previous generations. There are infinite resources available at our fingertips.
If we don’t know how to do something, and there is no one to show us the way, all we have to do is search online, watch a video, read an article, and feel empowered to go out and do it!
As soon as you can start making money from your land, do it. At first, it may be difficult, forcing you outside of your comfort zone, but the rewards are very real and tangible.
It only gets easier and better from there.
Once you find a way to make money, you’ll discover a second and a third.
And when the money starts trickling, then flowing in, you’ll feel so empowered to keep going – and living a simple life like your ancestors before you, only different.
35 ways to make money from your homestead
There are endless ways to make money, if you only stop and think about it. You may choose to go all out and decide to only make a living from your homestead, or you may opt to keep a part-time job in the city and focus on your craft/garden while at home.
That being said, it is difficult to have a full-time job in addition to a homestead.
There may be goats to milk and feed (not to mention how much trouble they can get into in 8 hours!), rogue roosters to chase, and weeds to harvest. There is always something to be done.
So, let’s get to it!
Food, gardening and animals
Have a large flock of chickens? Sell extra eggs. Here’s how to get more eggs from your chickens.
Love to cook? Start canning and help others to fill their pantry with homemade jams and chutneys.
Go through the list and start thinking about ways you can make money from your homestead!
1. Sell homemade preserves
Providing for your own food needs is a wonderful thing – yet it takes on a whole new meaning when you begin feeding others with wholesome, homegrown food.
If your cooking skills entice you to spend more time in the kitchen than anywhere else in the house, and you are more than proficient in canning and preserving food, then cooking and selling preserves may just be the spoon to your jam.
Those who don’t have time to make homemade preserves for themselves will really appreciate the unique flavors that cannot be bought from the store.
What to sell? Fruit jams, pickles, chutneys. Let people taste test and find out what they like best! Find some inspiration here:
Amaretto Cherry Preserves + canning instructions @ The House & Homestead
2. Dehydrated goods
If your garden happens to produce a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes and you don’t know what to do with them, drying them is the most logical answer.
Sun-dried, oven-dried or in the dehydrator, all work well with time and patience.
You could also sell fruit leather too, provided there are enough children nearby to bring it in demand.
3. Expand your garden
If you have a green thumb, growing and selling additional garden vegetables should come with ease.
Once your garden is established, all you have to do is plant more than you need for personal use and scale up from there. If you aren’t keen on selling a finished product, such as jams or dried spices, go ahead and sell your produce raw.
You could even go the extra mile and let people know why your organic produce is the best around, by means of hosting a cooking class on your homestead. 2 ideas in 1!
Selling At A Farmers Market: How To Plan For The Upcoming Growing Season @ Homestead Hustle
4. Make dried herb and spice mixes
In a good year, you can harvest a lot of herbs from your garden. In a great year, there will be so much greenery that you won’t know what to do with it all!
You can start by drying your herbs, then packaging them in glass jars. Add a cute label and they are ready for the market:
5. Plant extra seeds – sell seedlings
If you have a greenhouse and are able to start planting ahead of season, people are always very grateful for tomato and pepper seedlings that can be planted straight in the ground. The reason being, it brings their tomato harvest that much closer, without all the fuss of waiting for slow-to-germinate seeds.
Herb seedlings are often a best sell at farmers markets, as they can be taken care of indoors, and never underestimate the power of saving and selling seeds!
Market Opportunity: Sell Seedlings at the Farmers Market @ Hobby Farms
6. Sell broilers or chicken eggs
Raising a flock of chickens is a joyful experience, but it does come with ups and downs. A bunch of chickens can leave you with almost no eggs at all, to way more than you can eat, with plenty to give away.
Eggs are nutritious and delicious, just as the eggshells are too. Keep enough for yourself and sell the rest for a profit.
Start a Chicken Broiler Business on Your Small Farm @ The Spruce
7. Raise and sell heritage poultry
Turkeys, ducks and geese are not as common to raise as chickens, but there is much to be said for their meat – and eggs!
Of course, it all depends on what kind of bird lover you are, and how much land you have, including access to water – if ducks or geese are to thrive.
Not to forget mentioning the most spectacular guinea fowl, fiercely territorial birds that can be loud on occasion, but with eggs ever so tasty and wild.
The Shortcuts to Raising Turkeys for Profit @ Morning Chores
8. Start a cow – or goat – share
If you are tired of buying your milk in a plastic bottle from the grocery store, think that perhaps others are also bored with the same routine.
Go out on a limb and offer milk in glass bottles, like it used to be. People will love it when the milk is creamy and delicious!
Most people don’t have the land, or the time, it takes to raise a cow – or a goat. Start a cow share, and in exchange for raising an animal, you can profit from the extra milk, raw or pasteurized.
Owning a Family Milk Cow @ The Prairie Homestead
Homestead Goats – What You Need to Know to Get Started @ Common Sense Home
9. Sell handmade cheese, butter and other dairy products
Once your cow(s) and/or goat(s) begin producing milk, you’ll have to grab some new homestead skills and start making aged cheeses, yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, butter, sour cream and ice cream.
Become an artisan cheesemaker and soon you can start charging even more for specialty cheeses.
People will buy butter for baking and cheese for everyday meals, though you could also bake with your excess, or even sell festive holiday platters.
How to Make Butter @ The Elliott Homestead
Raw Cheddar Cheese @ Keeper of the Homestead
10. Make sausage and jerky
Beyond eggs and milk, meat is the next homestead product that fluctuates in abundance. You won’t be slaughtering everyday, but when you do, the excess is evident!
Bacon is one item that can easily be smoked and hung. Sausage making comes in next in terms of ease and marketability.
Though we have to ask, who wouldn’t love an excellent protein snack of free-range beef jerky, without all the additives you find at the store?
Venison: Making Summer and Smoked Sausage @ University of Minnesota Extension
Homemade Beef Jerky @ The Healthy Foodie
11. Raise grass-fed animals
If your homestead has the amount of land that it takes to raise cattle and you are ready to get your hands dirty – go for it!
It will, of course, take some knowledge about rotational grazing, choosing the best livestock for your land and handling such large creatures. Again, if you are passionate about it, then it is a great fit.
If you are simply looking for a way to make money, then it is going to be a lot of work.
How to Make Money Farming Grass-Fed Beef @ Small Farm Nation
12. Plant an orchard or berry farm
Orchards take patience and careful planning if you wish to succeed – and you do.
If you are starting from scratch, make sure to choose the best varieties that work well locally. Bonus points for your trees and bushes being drought tolerant.
For example, when your apple trees start producing, you could sell the fruit directly, invest in a cider press and make juice, make apple cider vinegar, dehydrate apple slices, or even make apple wine!
U-pick farms are family fun too: peach, blueberry, cherry, you name it.
This isn’t an option for the faint of heart, as it takes a considerable investment to get started, but it will provide you with income for decades to come.
Starting a Home Orchard: Plan Ahead @ Planet Natural
13. Sell homemade baked goods
If you are fortunate enough to have a farmers market nearby and you can commit to being there regularly, then you may have a fairly steady source of income at hand.
All you have to do is come up with a product that sells.
Cookies, muffins, biscuits, salty crackers made with home rendered lard or butter. Add in some garden spices or fresh flowers and make it unique.
Selling Baked Goods at the Farmers Market @ Delishably
8 Ways to Make an Extra $1000 a Month On a Small Homestead @ Practical Self Reliance
If you have bees, chances are great that you’ll have much more honey than you can consume in a year, perhaps with plenty of leftover beeswax too.
Selling honey and homemade beeswax candles are two obvious ways to profit from the bees’ hard work, bu don’t forget about bee pollen and propolis either.
4 Tips for Beekeepers Selling Honey at Farmers Markets @ Keeping Backyard Bees
15. Grow mushrooms
Even if you have little space to offer to a money-making enterprise, mushrooms may work for you.
Sell them fresh, or dehydrate them. Most of all, grow them because they are so darn good for you!
Oyster mushrooms are wonderful to work with for beginners, move onto shiitake mushrooms from there.
How to Grow Shrooms on the Homestead @ Joybilee Farm
Selling homestead food products
At some point in your homestead business endeavors, you will have to comply with local food safety laws. These will vary from state to state, country to country. Once you know what you would like to sell, investigate what regulations may be standing in your way.
With regards to meat and milk, look into local regulations before committing to any sale. It may be far easier to sell the live animal, than to sell cut and wrapped chicken breasts, for instance.
Raw milk is another debate, many homesteaders will keep a goat or cow for this very reason alone.
Making money on your homestead with creative endeavors
There is much more to keeping money in flow than selling food and perishables. How about selling art, paintings or jewelry? Things that are not only beautiful and artistic, but practical too.
16. Raise animals for fiber
Understandably, your first thought goes to sheep wool, but there is so much more to animal fiber than that.
Imagine rabbits, alpaca, llama, Pygora and Cashmere goats prancing around your farm. They are all so beautiful and useful in terms of clothing ourselves in a natural way.
Even if you do not become interested in processing the fibers into yarn or felt, someone else will – and they can be found online. That being said, outside of local farmers markets, selling raw fleece and handspun yarns is a very decent way to make a living, so long as you are the crafty type.
Fiber Livestock: 5 Animals for DIY Clothes @ OffTheGridNews
How to Raise Wool Animals for Yarn @ Timber Creek Farm
17. Sell handmade finished items
If you produce fiber and know how to process it: spinning, knitting, crocheting, etc., then you can earn even more for your craftiness.
Knit hats and scarves. Learn to weave and invest in a loom to make larger pieces of fabric for towels, tablecloths and place mats.
Add value to everything you do by including a story, as you learn the ins and outs of selling online.
25 Places to Sell Handmade Crafts Online @ Small Business Trends
18. Handcrafted soaps, lotions and cosmetics
If you are looking to go into a steady business, make something that people use on a daily basis. Soap is something that we use everyday, and we can be quite picky about our favorite ingredients and scents.
When we find the perfect handmade soap, we stick to it and buy it time and time again. How is that for a reliable customer?
Homemade Hot Process Soap Recipe in a Crock Pot @ the Prairie Homestead
Wild Rose Old-Fashioned Lard Soap @ Whole-Fed Homestead
19. Mend, sew and make clothing
You don’t need to get muddy to turn a profit on a homestead, you can make a little extra cash simply by repairing work clothes that are worked to pieces.
If you are good with measurements, you may even take the liberty to start creating your own patterns for homestead clothing, then of course, sell locally, or online.
Freelance Seamstress: Doing Clothing Alterations as a Side Business @ The Penny Hoarder
20. Tan and sell hides
With sheep, goats or rabbits on the homestead, you will have an influx of hides to tan that would otherwise be thrown away.
They can be used to cover benches, or to keep you warm in the winter months. Our ancestors did it, so can we. If this interests you, look into it further and see how you can get started:
How to Tan a Hide Using Several Methods @ Backcountry Chronicles
21. Carpentry and blacksmithing
In the past, woodworking and blacksmithing were more of a man’s trade. Nowadays, more and more women are empowered to take up the hammer and craft beautiful objects out of metal.
If you can take the heat of a hot wood-fired kitchen, working next to a forge will be a piece of cake.
Carpentry extends far beyond home building, it can even include furniture and toy making! If you can believe in the products you create, others will discover value in them too.
While this way of making money is not something you can readily step into (unless you own the essential tools), it can definitely become a lucrative way to create a sufficient stream of money coming into your life.
Working Iron: A Primer on Blacksmithing @ Art of Manliness
22. Teach workshops and classes
Have you discovered your passion yet? Or is there something that you are insanely good at? Let people know and gauge whether there is any interest among locals.
Spinning workshops come instantly to mind, learning to bake bread, making ferments and cooking lessons follow closely behind. Perhaps you are a master gardener and have words of green wisdom – and the garden to prove it!
If you have homesteading skills to share, make sure to charge for them, never give everything away for free!
Homesteading Skills We Need to Learn and Teach @ the Imperfectly Happy Home
23. Start a blog
To be honest, having the courage to start a blog is one of the best ways to put knowledge of your homestead out there. But truth be told, most blogs fail to make any amount of significant money. This happens for several reasons that we won’t go into here.
However, if you think you have the right formula of charisma, energy, creative design and blog tactics, why not give it a try?
Blogging about life on a homestead can be a wonderful way to boost your income outside of the rat-race!
Here is how some others do it:
How We Make $8000+ A Month Online From Our Homestead @ A Modern Homestead
24. Write a book
If you are a writer, know that people are always in search of new and engaging content. Setting the internet aside for a moment, books still hold a special place in every reader’s life. They are tangible – you can flip through the pages, books can be taken on hikes out in nature and they are free from a battery life.
Just as you may have homesteading skills to teach, you may also have plenty of life experiences to share in the form of writing, whether it be fiction, non-fiction, cookbooks, stories for children or even poetry. Books are excellent ways to share knowledge and pass it down from generation to generation.
Self-publish or go the traditional route, if you have something to say, let it out!
How to Self-Publish and Crowd-Fund Cookbooks @ Honest Cooking
25. Become a freelance writer
Do you come in from your bountiful garden, grateful to be out of the hot sun with inspiration dripping off your face?
No matter whether you are an introvert, or extrovert, words are just one of the ways we can express ourselves. Some people are better at speaking, others more clever with meaningful strings of words that roll beautifully off their fingertips.
If you like to write, becoming a freelance writer (in any niche!) can be one of the most enticing ways to make a living. Take the first steps by creating a simple website, or blog, then fill it with relevant content.
Tell your family and friends, search job markets and try cold emailing to get started. With a strong work ethic, it only gets easier from there!
26. Freelance photography
With a camera in hand, snapping quality pictures around your homestead can be a relatively easy way to make money.
Setting up a shop and selling prints online is one way to create an income flow, another is to sell stock images. Think chickens, garden produce, cute animals, even a pile of compost. Somewhere, “somewhen”, people will need a stunning image of a haystack or a steaming pile of manure…
Top 11 Places to Sell Photos Online and Make Money @ Envira Gallery
A few more ways to make money
Depending on your homesteading circumstances, including how much land you own, more opportunities to make money often await.
27. Raise worms
If you have a market for your worms, than yes, you have the base for a successful business. And once you adopt an entrepreneur spirit, anything is possible.
People will buy them for fishing purposes, for vermicomposting, reptile owners, and of course gardeners who are not only interested in the worms themselves, but also in the worm castings.
How to Start a Worm Farm for Profit @ Wiki How
28. Incubate eggs
If you are in love with tending to chickens, one good way to share your poultry passion with others is to sell day-old chicks.
Invest in a reliable incubator and get ready for loads of cuteness!
But before you get started, make sure you have a crowd to sell to, even take pre-orders to make the effort worthwhile.
29. Create and sell compost
If you have the land, you have the power! And you have all the space to create as much compost as physically possible. Not all gardeners are in the lucky situation to have a rotting heap of veggies in their backyard.
Animals on the farm can contribute a great deal to the pile of aged manure (cows, horses, goats, sheep and chickens).
How to Make Your Own Compost @ The Homestead Garden
30. Cut and sell firewood
When you live on a homestead, keeping a stack of properly seasoned firewood is a priceless skill to learn for life.
Absorb the knowledge for yourself, because when it comes to buying and selling firewood, another person’s “seasoning” may mean something different to yours.
If you have excess trees to cut down, more than what you could possibly burn on your own – sell it green (for less money) or season it well and sell it for more!
31. Sell straw or hay
People need hay and straw for their farm animals (feed and bedding quality), just as they need it for their no-dig gardens.
If you have extra bales, chances are that someone will be in need.
Go old-school and put up signs to sell locally, list them in a dedicated Facebook group, let your homesteading friends know – get the word out that you have excess of anything and people will often lend a helping hand, or dollars for what they need.
Making Your Own Hay @ Hobby Farms
32. Rent out your land
Say you’ve got the land, but no animals (or not enough of them) to put on it. Start renting out grazing pastures for neighbors, or allow for a dedicated space of growing crops. It is a akin to sharing your land, only for money.
You set the rules, and be sure to sign a contract about time frames, harvests and rent.
How to Make Money Homesteading @ Wandering Hoof Ranch
33. Offer your homestead for events
If you are lucky enough to have mature trees on your property and a picturesque landscape, then take advantage of it!
Offer your land/garden for photo shoots relating to weddings, anniversaries, birthdays. Just be sure to have clear expectations from both parties and create a contract for covering one-off or recurring events.
Here is an example of what your event services might look like (remember to factor in your own location):
Have Your Event Here @ John Jay Homestead
34. Start a CSA
If you find that gardening and growing food is indeed your passion and one of the reasons for jumping out of bed every day, then starting a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture scheme) may come very naturally to you.
If you are up to the challenge and enjoy creating a deeper sense of community, success is yours for the asking. Before getting started, make sure you are in it for the long-term and not just for profits.
Find more inspiration here:
How to Start a CSA @ Growing Produce
8 Steps to Start a Successful CSA as a Homesteader @ Morning Chores
35. Offer your expertise/tools to other homesteaders
If you have a tractor and implements, consider being a tractor-driver for hire in the nearby area, and help others get the crops in the ground, as well as helping out at harvest time.
When it is about more than just the money
Of course, modern wo-man is so focused on getting ahead that money often seems to be the most logical answer. Yet, there are times in life when getting by is more than sufficient.
Living life on a homestead allows you to enjoy so many things that city-dwellers simply cannot.
You have space to roam, a garden to eat from, hedgerows to forage under, trees that produce fruit, a stable for a cow, a coop for the chickens, and so much more!
As long as you have your health, food in the pantry and a roof over your head, you are doing great!
Extra money is just the icing on the cake.
No one ever said that making money from a homestead is going to be simple, neither is it easy in a city environment. Each lifestyle has its challenges, and both are full of ups and downs.
What is a right way to make money for you, may be completely wrong for someone else, so embrace your uniqueness and stand on as many feet as possible, so that there is a “steady” stream of money coming in all year long. Always remember to set some aside for a rainy day.
When you start with an entrepreneur mindset, all the obstacles in the world cannot hold you back from living your homestead dream.