is necessary for most people living off grid. Here are 50 ways to consider in bringing in some extra cash.
Fresh and dried herbs
This is a great resource – Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Chinese medicinal herbs.
There’s a quickly growing market for sustainably grown and harvested Chinese medicinals.
Selling garlic at the farmer’s market is great, but selling premium bulbs as seed garlic to other growers can command a far higher price.
These people are looking to team up with Organic Seed Garlic Growers
Especially if you opt for dwarf varieties, or prune your trees to stay small, it’s amazing how many bushels of fruit can come from a very small acreage.
Here is a great article on Creating Small Fruit Trees
A wonderful companion enterprise to a backyard orchard can be a small scale nursery. Because so little space is needed per tree, you can start thousands of trees and perennials in less than an acre.
This guide to growing and selling seedlings is a wonderful jumping off point. How to make money on a homestead seedlings.
There are 2 good reasons to grow mushrooms.
You can grow them indoors giving you larger harvests and more profits by controlling the temperature, light and humidity that they need to grow. You can get up to six crops per year in the same space.
When people think of making money from a homestead, chances are, market gardening is one of the first things that comes to mind. Whether selling from a garden cart at the end of your driveway or a booth at the farmers’ market that extra produce can be a good seasonal stream of income. One other idea – if you find that even with preserving your harvest and selling the extra, you still have surplus produce – consider donating it to your local food pantry.
Berries demand a high price in the supermarket so they can be very profitable.
Much like selling seedlings, but slightly more labor intensive. If you’ve got an established bed of strawberries, you know how many runners those plants put out. Intentionally rooting those runners as new plants can give a nice supply of strawberry plants to offer for sale in the spring.
Learn More About Strawberries
Local table grapes are much less common at farmers markets than, say, heirloom tomatoes, and demand a good price. High end restaurants love them. And if you’re in an area with small scale wineries and grow the right varietals, there’s a good chance you might be able to supply them with better grapes than what they may be shipping in.
Saving and selling seeds
Maple Syrup (and other tree syrups)
Having maples, birches, or even walnut trees on the homestead can open up another possible revenue stream.
Livestock and Meat Products
If your flock includes a rooster incubating those fertile eggs and selling the chicks can be a delightful little enterprise.
I’ve found that there’s a ready market for fertilized hatching eggs. The price they command varies greatly, depending on whether your chickens are just good old barnyard mix layers, or a rare breed or show stock. If you do have a rarer breed that’s highly in demand, you may find that being willing to ship can dramatically increase your clientele.
Especially for those who have need of a livestock guardian anyway, breeding LGDs can be a nice recurring income stream.
If you’re raising rabbits for meat anyway, why not tan the pelts and sell directly to hobbyists?
If you have good pasture, a few sheep can do very well even on a small homestead. We absolutely love our sheep, but have found them more challenging than our other livestock
If you’re raising sheep and shearing them, finding a market for that wool can be another income stream.
If you keep a boar, ram or buck – especially if he’s registered and from a desirable breed – renting out his services could be an additional income.
These delectable little birds are table-ready at just 6-8 weeks of age.
Turns out, cut flowers can actually rival vegetables when it comes to making a profit from a market garden, especially on a small acreage.
Share Your Knowledge
Blogging and freelance writing
In this digital age, there are nearly infinite ways to make extra cash writing about what you know and love. Writers Market can get you started if you’re interested in writing for periodicals and online publications.
This book can help you realize how to make money with a blog. I have been a website designer since 2000. Many people have this dream but are not sure how to get setup so they can just start writing. There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle such as :
- Domain Name Registration
- Server Setup
- Web Site Hosting
- WordPress Setup
- Installing Plugins
I can help with all of this at a very reasonable setup fee.
With a decent video camera, creating your own Youtube channel of homesteading and how-to videos can offer another income stream. Youtube has a good summary of the basics for getting started.
Teach a class
If you have homesteading know-how, and like working with people, why not do a little teaching? Say you have fruit trees – you need to prune them anyway. Might as well offer an afternoon pruning workshop right in your yard or orchard, and work with a handful of people to pass on a valuable skill.
Living on a homestead provides a unique look at the world. It is a view that most people never get to see as an intimate part of nature. If you’re fond of taking photos around the homestead, you can license some of those as stock photos might provide a nice continuing trickle of passive income.
Make Unique Products
If you go through as much feed as we do, you probably have an endless supply of feed bags that can be upcycled into those trendy tote bags, and sold on Etsy, Ebay, or right at the farmer’s market.
While you’re growing those seedlings for sale, why not make some adorable plant markers, so you can up-sell to your customers? People love unique plant markers, and I think these tutorials for hammered spoon markers , painted stone markers, and wood burned spoon markers, are especially charming.
If you have a good free supply of evergreens or grapevines, and love making your own wreaths, this one’s a no-brainer.
Have you ever thought of selling dogwood, holly, or pussy willows, by the stem? Especially if you like to maintain a hearty buffer zone between your home and the road or neighboring properties, using desirable woody ornamentals for your plantings can build a self-perpetuating stream of income for your homestead.
This is one that could piggy-back off of a backyard orchard. If you’re pruning good hardwoods like apple or maple anyway, might as well keep any desirable crooks from the pruned wood
Renting out poultry processing equipment
If you process your own birds and have good equipment – like killing cones, a quality feather-plucker, and even specialized knives – renting them out can provide some nice additional revenue. You might be surprised at the demand for drum-style plucker rentals!
Extra manure can be such a welcome resource for local gardeners. If you don’t have an enough to offer it by the truckload, even just filling old feed bags and offering them for sale at the end of the driveway has worked well for many the small farm in our area.
With a good tabletop mill, and locally-sourced grain, it’s easy to offer desirable custom-milled flours at the farmers’ markets.
Pallet-wood furniture or signs
If you make a trip to the grain store every week or two, you may have noticed a perpetual pile of free pallets by the dumpster. While they’re fabulous for building low-cost fencing and animal shelters, they can also be easily upcycled into simple pieces of furniture or signs.
Building coops, cages, and grow-out runs
If you have critters, chances are, you’ve gotten pretty good at working with wood and wire to efficiently build small pens, cages, nesting boxes, and the like. Next time you whip up a cage for a rabbit, or a grow-out pen for the broilers, try making an extra or two, and post them in your local farming facebook group – I think you’ll be stunned at how quickly they sell. This tutorial from Kevin and Dani over at the Adventure Bite is where we got the plans for our chicken run, and I am constantly being asked if I sell them. Next year!
While there will always be a market for crickets and mealworms at your local petstore, there’s also a rapidly growing restaurant market for the little critters. And talk about a side business that doesn’t require a lot of space – even a closet is enough room to get off to a good start. Check out Tiny Farms and Open Bug Farm Project to see what I’m talking about.