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As homesteaders, we have a unique opportunity to make an income on our properties! You can even make a significant money with small acreage! With that in mind, let’s take at “86 Ways to Make Money on a Small Farm”!
Many people desire to make a living from their homestead…and it can be done! Whether you have >1 acre, 5-10 acres or even more! You’ll find that many of these 86 ideas are “small farm” friendly! Some of them don’t require a yard at all!
It’s about doing your research, consider what your community would support, set up a budget and do a lot of planning.
This can be done, but homesteaders need to remember this one point….no ONE homesteading endevour is going to bring you a full-time income. You will need to choose several things to span the entire year, because farming happens in seasons.
For example, during the spring, you might sell baby chicks and seedlings. Later in the summer, you’ll have vegetables from your garden to sell. Summer also brings most of the labor-type businesses you could pursue, so you could be busy with those. Fall is when people begin to turn their eyes towards preserving food and then the holiday season. Selling grass-fed beef and other meats would be a money-maker during this time. Christmas trees come to mind next, as well as participating in a well-trafficked craft show to sell your crafts and gifts. After the holidays, people hunker down inside, so this may be your slow time.
But there’s never really a slow time on the farm!
During the winter months, I go to classes for personal enrichment, knit like crazy and build bee hives for the spring. I’m also working on seedlings for the spring, long before anyone else is thinking about it. Stay ahead of the next season and think through your entire year before you start trying to make money at homesteading.
I would also strongly suggest that you reduce your overall living expenses as much as possible, to reduce your need for income.
Also, do some research and find out what your state’s cottage industry laws are! They vary by state, and make sure you read the latest changes. Check your local ordinances and research insurance needs.
How to Make Money Selling Vegetables from Your Garden
There are numerous ways to be profitable from backyard farming!
1. CSA – CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture”, where a farmer grows produce for a group of people who financially support them. How to start a CSA and other considerations here.
2. Annual and perennial seedlings and starts– Selling seedlings at the end of your driveway in the Springtime can be a wonderful way to earn some money! You’ll have to check your local ordinances (similar to garage sale ordinances). You would need to start your seedlings early in the year to be ready for planting season.
3. U-Pick farm – If you have a decent amount of land, which ample parking, you might be a candidate for a U-Pick farm. People will need access to your field in order to pick. Good information about starting your own U-Pick here.
6. Cut flowers– Beautiful flowers from your perennial and annual gardens are a quick selling addition to any farm stand!
7. Grow landscaping plants– I’ve dabbled in this, but not seriously, but I find it to be very interesting. Mike McGroarty is THE MAN with regard to using cuttings to grow landscaping trees and plants for resale. Check him out.
8. Worms– Worm farming
9. Mushrooms – The key to being a successful mushroom farmer is to find your market. Local chefs love fresh mushrooms! I would chat with these chefs and build a relationship, letting them know that you’ll grow what they want to cook with! Small farm friendly!
10. Sell garlic
11. Christmas trees
13. Pumpkin patch
14. Microgreens – Microgreens are hugely popular in some parts of the country! Not only that, microgreens can be very profitable when approached the right way! Perfect for making money on a small farm, this can be done in your basement!
16. Raise broilers
17. Raise layers
18. Day-old chicks – This is a fabulous article about how to make $1,000 a month with 15 chickens! Perfect for making money on a small farm!
19. Breed 4H animals – I know of a farm that breeds 4H goats for her community, and has built quite a reputation for herself! Many of her goats place very well at the county fair! I also like this idea because she has just one busy time of year, which is January-April. This allows her to do other things outside of kidding and 4H season!
20. Raise and sell grass-fed beef – The same farm that I mentioned above raises and sells Holstein calves and beef during the other months of the year. That’s a great business plan!
21. Do a herd-share – There’s a herd-share in my town that offers raw milk and other dairy products, beef, lamb, herbal supplements and essential oils. It’s run by a family and their grown children. The family also educates their clients with classes and workshops.
22. Raise rabbits
23. Raise turkeys
24. Raise other poultry like guinea fowl, quail, geese, ostrich, partridge, etc.
25. Raise lambs
28. Raise goats
29. Sell goat meat
30. Sell goat milk
31. Make cheese
34. Duck eggs
36. Stud services
37. Eggs – In my opinion, eggs are not a real profit item. However, eggs can be a fantastic “gateway” product! I have two prices for my eggs, $3 for unwashed eggs that are picked up here. I charge $4 for washed eggs that I am willing to deliver within a couple of miles. This allows me to “up-sell” other products like honey and jam! Small farm friendly!
40. Petting zoo
41. Farm tours
42. Homeschool classes – As a former home-schooler, I can honestly say that home-schoolers are always looking for new and educational adventures for their children! Look for homeschool groups in your town and find out what types of classes they would be willing to pay for.
43. Corn maze
Using Your Kitchen to Make Money Homesteading (Great Ideas for Making Money on a Small Farm!)
47. Jams and jellies
49. Wedding cakes
Honeybees are an Excellent Way to Make Money from Your Farm!
52. Honey and bee products – As a beekeeper, I can tell you that I have no trouble at all selling my honey. However, there is much more money to be made from selling the bees themselves in the form of “nucs”, or nucleus hives. Check out my post here about bees and getting started.
53. Build customized bee hives – Painting and designing customized bee hives would be a unique way to attract beekeeper buyers! Get a booth at local and statewide beekeeping symposiums.
Using Your Skills to Produce Income
55. Wood carving
59. Tree services
60. Lawn mowing
Crafting (Small farm friendly!)
68. Storage – If you live near a lake or ocean, boat storage is probably something to look into.
69. Farm School
70. Farm sitting
71. Teach classes on-line – Share your expertise and passion by teaching classes, whether it be canning, cake decorating, gardening or herbs! You could also teach !
72. Wedding venue
73. Photo shoots
75. Event rentals
78. House cleaning
81. Tractor work
82. Log splitting
84. Chain saw work
86. Teach music lessons
As you can see, there are a plethora of ways to earn extra income with your property and your skill set!
Always do your research and ask a lot of questions before diving head-first into any business venture. Investigate your local ordinances and give your insurance company a call to see if you need to make any changes.
Go forth and earn money from your homestead!