You have taken the plunge and started a homestead, but now you are working yourself to death to run it and still have to pay the bills with your day job. The bills keep coming, but your heart just isn’t with your 9-5 responsibility anymore.
What do you do?
It may not be common for people to leave the workplace behind to homestead, but it can definitely be done.
Even if you don’t want to leave your job, making an extra income can’t be a bad thing.
Fortunately, being a modern homesteader, there are many options to make income without ever leaving home. And in this article, we’re going to discuss the many ways you can make money homesteading.
Be sure to check with your state to verify laws that may prohibit some of the mentioned business ventures to protect yourself in the long run.
1. Sell Last Year’s Seeds
Saving seeds is something most homesteaders and gardeners already doing every year. If you have abundant seeds that you probably won’t use in their lifetime, it’s a good idea to sell them.
It gets even better if you have heirlooms. Tell people you are selling heirloom seeds, and they will flock to you.
All you have to do is harvest seeds every year at the end of the growing season and dry them out. Then place them in bags and sell them.
Doesn’t get much easier than that.
Read this article to learn how to save your seeds.
2. When You Start Your Own Seeds, Start a Few More
And when they grow into seedlings, you can usually sell them for more than seeds. This is a good idea if you have the space to start extra seeds and don’t mind the extra work (but it’s definitely worth it).
There are some ways to sell seedlings. Take them to your local Farmer’s Market, advertise them online, or place a sign up in front of your homestead, those are some of the most popular ways.
If you don’t want to be selling all day long, using the Honor System is also a popular method of selling plants. Just place your plants on a table or bench along with some kind of money bucket and a price list.
Yes, you will face dishonest people but most people will still pay, so even if you lose a few items, you’ll still make a profit.
3. Plant Extra and Sell the Harvest
You can sell seeds for some money, sell seedlings for more money, or sell the harvest for even more money. Selling raw produce does not usually have any kind of law around it. This makes it very easy to make a profit because there are few hoops to jump through.
If you’ve been gardening for a few years, you should know how much plants you should grow for yourself and your family. If you want to make some extra money this year, start a few extra plants.
Harvest the extra you plant in your garden and take it to the local Farmer’s Market or set up a roadside stand.
Or, you can also set up a stand at the front of your property and use the honor system just like selling seedlings.
4. DIY Compost
Good compost can be tricky to make, so many people don’t bother making them and just buy. So if you know how to make good compost, this is a pretty good way to turn scraps into cash.
If you need guidance to make compost, here are 2 articles for you:
5. Save Your Rabbits’ Poop
Rabbits are one of the most productive animals to raise as livestock for meat, so many homesteaders raise them. You probably know that much. However, who in the world would even buys rabbit poop?
As it turns out, so many people.
Rabbit poop is high in nitrogen and phosphorus which plants need, and unlike most animals’ poop, you don’t have to compost rabbits’ poop before using them as fertilizer because they break down easily.
Rabbit poop can be sold anywhere between $4-$16 a pound, and a rabbit (depending on its size) can produce a quarter to 3 pounds of poop per day. That’s a nice amount of money, considering you’re selling crap.
Try your local garden supply store and ask if they’re buying rabbit manure.
If you’re interested in this idea, make sure you raise your rabbits properly because healthy rabbits make healthy poop.
6. Plant a Few Extra Herbs
Unlike vegetables and fruits, a large herb garden doesn’t necessarily need a large space.
Plant a few extras, market them, and you have another way to make a little income.
7. Dry Your Herbs
Fresh herbs don’t last long, if you’re not sure you will be able to sell them all, you can also dry them. Many people who buy fresh herbs so they can make their own seasonings will dry them anyway, so this takes one step out of the equation for them.
8. Raise Bees and Sell What They Give You
Bees are very giving creatures. All they ask is that you give them enough to survive the winter. If you give them lots of flowers that they love, they will produce honey and beeswax you can sell to make some money.
Read this article to learn how to sell honey and beeswax.
9. Raise Bees and Sell The Extra Bees
Not only bees give you items to sell, but you can also sell them.
Beehives must be split at least once a year, or the hive will be full and they swarm and occupy somewhere else you might not want them to.
Here’s the math: if you have one beehive today, you can have two by the next year. If you have four and only plan to have four hives max, then next year you can sell four new beehives.
This equates to a nice amount of money. Most people pay over $100 for one nuc or $200 for a full hive.
Here is all you will need to get started as a beekeeper.
10. Raise Chickens and Sell the Extra Eggs
Even if you don’t currently have too many chickens, everyone will have that season when all their chickens just lay a lot so they get more eggs than they can use. When that happens to you, you can take that excess and sell them.
Keep in mind that organic and free-range chicken eggs can be sold for more money than non-organic eggs. It’s definitely worth it to raise your chickens free-range and organically.
Here’s the full guide about raising chickens if you haven’t got started yet.
11. Raise Meat Chickens
Unlike egg-laying breeds, meat chickens are large and not very good at laying eggs frequently. So, raising meat chickens for profit is possible, but it’ll give you slower returns than raising egg chickens.
However, for the same reason, you will meet fewer competitions if you sell the meat locally. Definitely something to think about because low competition means you can grow your business faster.
Here’s the guide to get started raising chickens for meat.
12. Incubate Eggs and Sell Chicks
You only need to keep one rooster per 10 hens to get fertile eggs.
Then you’ll have to candle some eggs and check if it’s fertile. If it is, move them to an incubator and hatch the egg. If you have a broody hen and want to hatch chicks naturally without your influence, you can do that too. Just let her set them.
After the eggs hatch, the chicks can be sold at a day old.
Depending on the breed, they go from $2-$4 a bird. Some heritage breeds are threatened and selling their hatchlings can be very profitable. Not a bad deal considering you invested no money beyond the initial cost of the incubator.
13. Invest a Little More Time and Sell Pullets
If you raise some of the chicks to pullet size, you’ll get about $10 more a bird.
Chicks cost very little to feed and don’t require much extra energy as you have to go out and feed your own birds daily anyway. This is a great way to turn a profit with very little added work or expense.
14. Raise Sheep for Meat
Grocery stores charge you a premium price for lamb. This is where you come in. Raise sheep. They are not as easy to raise as other animals like birds and ducks, but they are more profitable.
Lamb is usually preferred to mutton because they are faster to “harvest” but you can sell them off as babies or adults for the meat.
15. Raise Sheep for Wool or Hair
If you abhor the idea of butchering an innocent little lamb, there’s another option for you: raising sheep for its wool or hair.
Keep in mind that wool sheep and hair sheep are not the same, and hair sheep are not goats even though they can look similar. Wool is worth more when sold but they also require more effort to keep and they can only be raised in certain environments while hair sheep are more beginner-friendly.
Hair sheep can also be raised for its (usually) better leather and meat quality, so that’s a plus.
If you want to learn how to raise sheep, read this guide. We do also have a handy guide on how to prevent attachment to meat animals, which you may need if you are focused on having a productive homestead.
16. Sell Turkey for Thanksgiving
Almost everyone eats a turkey at Thanksgiving in the US. If you homestead, you can raise turkey and no longer have to go to the stores and pay that astronomical price for a turkey.
If you decide to raise extra turkey, you can sell them near Thanksgiving for a good amount of money. Some heritage turkey breeds are rare and threatened, so their eggs or hatchlings fetch a handsome price.
However, as good as that might sound, there are a few reasons Turkey might not be right for your homestead.
17. Raise and Breed Rabbits for Meat
Most people don’t eat rabbits, mainly because they’re cute and commonly kept as pets. It can be hard to accept the fact that rabbits as livestock are the fastest meat producer and one of the healthiest meat you can consume, even if you compare them with chickens.
They require very little space to raise, don’t pack a heavy feed bill, and breeds really fast, making them the perfect livestock for meat. That is if you don’t have any problem with the idea of butchering and eating rabbits.
If you raise and breed meat rabbits, you can get around 400 pounds of meat in a year quite easily. You can also save some of the babies and sell breeding pairs. They go for around $30 a set.
That can add up pretty quickly and will more than cover their feed cost.
18. Make Soap
If you have a garden with some nice smelling herbs or flowers, keep some honeybees, and raise goats for milk, then you have the perfect ingredients for homemade soap.
Some people do prefer homemade soap and are willing to pay a higher price for it because they want to avoid using “chemicals.” That’s why many homesteaders start a homemade soap business for an extra income.
Here’s our favorite collection of homemade soap recipes to give you some ideas.
19. Make Your Own Lotions
Making your own lotions is a little easier of a task than soap. You can make all kinds of lotions with just ingredients from your homestead.
20. Make Your Own Candles
Homemade candles have that certain feel compared to mass-manufactured candles. When you burn homemade candles, you can’t pinpoint how, but you know it’s different. It might be just a placebo effect, or it could be real, whatever the reason, homemade candles are amazing.
Just like soap and lotion, homemade candles are easy to make. Why not make all 3 and make 3 times the profit?
Etsy.com is a great site to sell your homemade crafts if you want to reach a bigger potential customer than selling offline.
21. Share What You Know
Have you learned anything on your homestead adventures?
Maybe you’re an expert at raising chickens. Maybe you’ve learned a lot about gardening. Maybe you’re an excellent cook or baker. Maybe you are a killer soap/lotion/candle maker.
Don’t take those skill for granted.
People would love to know how to do those things. You just might be the person to teach them (for a price, of course).
So, start a class and share that valuable homesteading knowledge.
22. Raise a Pig
Some people see pigs as one of the gross animals, but pigs are actually cute. Not quite as cute as Porky Pig, sure, but they are still cute little things.
And they are tasty, which is why pig meat is very popular in many cultures.
As you might’ve learned by now, it’s hard to raise meat animals for profit if you’re selling at market price. It’s just impossible to beat the price of a large-scale and crowded industrial farm.
However, we live in a time where fresh, know-what-you’re-getting food is not something you see every day. Some people are willing to pay you a little (or a lot) extra just so they know they’re eating animals that are raised right.
Read this article if you’re interested in raising pigs.
23. Raise Cattle
Grass-fed cows can be sold at a higher price. It’s easier to turn a profit by selling cow meat than any other meat livestock. However, it does require more work until they’re ready for “harvest.”
Cow is not a beginner-friendly farm animal, but if you’re reading this article and reached this far down, you’re probably not a beginner.
24. Make Jams and Jellies
Do you have a great recipe for a jam or jelly? Maybe something unusual? The more unique your jam or jelly is, the easier you can sell it. Some people are always on the hunt for new and unique, tasty, yet unknown jams and jellies.
Here’s an idea, go to your local general store or farmers’ market and make a note of all of the unique and best-selling jams or jellies they sell. Go home, then use the internet to find some recipes for it.
Then market and sell your product.
In the next gardening season, grow the ingredients in your garden for even more profit.
25. Sell Your Excess Dairy
This one is a little tricky. Some states will not let you sell cow or goat milk for human consumption.
However, if you are fortunate enough to live in a state that does, cash in.
People love raw dairy, and it is possible to pasteurize it at home before selling.
It is natural and again, they know where it came from.
They know what you fed your animal.
They will pay a higher price to have those luxuries that are denied to many nowadays.
26. Cowshare Or Goatshare
This is new to me. I had to research it thoroughly to figure out what it was exactly.
It is actually a really good idea and a neat way to get around the laws of the state that will not allow you to purchase raw milk for human consumption.
You actually purchase shares of a cow or goat. Then because you own a share of that animal you get so much of their milk.
It is technically legal because you aren’t purchasing the milk; you are purchasing a share of the animal.
27. Become A Breeder
I’ve mentioned a few forms of this already. Any animal you raise, you can allow them to do what they do naturally—breed and make new babies.
Then sell the babies.
New homesteaders have to get their animals from somewhere. It might as well be from you, while you in turn make money homesteading.
Just be a responsible breeder.
Giving animals a good quality of life is the main concern when breeding them for profit.
28. Channel Your Inner Martha Stewart
I’ve already mentioned you could make things like soap, candles, and lotion, then sell them for profit.
There are lots of other things you can make and sell as well.
You can sell them online, at the Farmer’s Market, or take them to local county fairs.
29. Put Your Orchard To Work
If you have an orchard or berry patch, put it to good use.
Yes, the fruit is tasty to make great things for your family but if you have extra, sell it.
You can advertise online, sell at the Farmer’s Market, or set up a little roadside stand.
Because the produce is raw there shouldn’t be any local rule against it. However, be sure to check as each state/ county is different.
30. Become An Author
If you are like me and love to write, why not write a book?
This is something you can do from home, self-publish, and market all by yourself.
It is an investment of time upfront with no immediate return but if you have that dream to write a book, why not go for it?
31. Raise Your Own Bait
People love to fish. They have to buy worms. Gardeners love compost and worms for their garden.
Are you seeing the pattern? Raise your own worms.
They are great for both fishing and composting. They require very little upkeep.
Again, why not give it a try?
32. Raise Chicken Treats
If you go to a chain farm storm, you’ll see bags of treats for hens.
Why not raise your own? You can raise mealworms with very little investment.
We actually raise our own. They take very little room to raise and our chickens love them.
So will other people who raise chickens.
Not everyone is adventurous enough to raise their own worms. When people find out we do they look at us like we are a little crazy.
However, people buy those little hen treats at the store.
Market them and you might be surprised to find that people will buy worms from you.
33. Bring The Local Bakery To Your Home
So you have a great talent for baking. Why not make a living from it?
There are rules and regulations in each state about baking out of your home.
If you can comply with those, then start your own.
You can sell your treats such as homemade bread through online markets like etsy.com or sell them at the local Farmer’s Market.
Take it one step further by milling your own flour and sell the bread for even more.
34. Sell Your Flowers
No, don’t go dig up your tulips from your flower beds. But if you are like me, you have multiple flower beds.
I raise a lot of wildflowers for our bees to feed on. Why not cut those fresh flowers and sell them along with your other items?
You can sell them at a roadside produce stand. You can sell them at your local Farmer’s Market. You could advertise them on social media.
Either way, if they are pretty and people know about them, you’ll be surprised who might be interested in them.
Here are some great ideas for adding above-ground beds to your garden just for growing extra flowers to sell.
35. Sell Handmade Furniture
If you are gifted with carpentry skills, share them!
My husband is a man that I can tell him I like something, and he can take nothing and turn it into a beautiful masterpiece.
He is too modest to admit it, but I’ll tell the world. The man makes beautiful items. If you are fortunate enough to have this talent, share it.
People love unique items. So go ahead, showcase those items!
36. Sell Fresh Fish
Did you know that you can raise fish in your backyard? I’m serious!
If you are fortunate enough to live by the beach, then you could catch and sell your fresh fish.
If you are like the rest of us, you raise fresh tilapia in a pool or an aquaponics system in your backyard.
This is something I hope to try one day but have not done so yet.
However, I have read a lot of other people are having great success with it.
Again, it is food for your family and the excess has the potential of bringing a profit.
37. Make The Mushroom Lovers Around You Very Happy
I like mushrooms, but my family loves them! Growing your own mushrooms is not super difficult.
Yet, they are a premium item.
If you take them to your local Farmer’s Market, you will be surprised at what price you can sell them and how quickly people will buy them.
I was visiting my parents last summer and visited the local Farmer’s Market. They live near a larger city than I do so I was amazed at this great market.
However, I looked over and there was this little table with a young couple selling mushrooms. At the time, I didn’t know much about mushroom farming, and I thought, “That’s odd. All they are selling is mushrooms.”
Then my jaw dropped when I saw the price. They were like $8 and $10 a pound!
I was even more surprised to see how many people were lined up to buy these mushrooms.
I’ve done my research since then and many people are having great success with selling these little jewels.
38. Train Milking Animals
I’ve mentioned raising goats and cows for milk. Some people don’t want to have to buy milk.
They want an animal they can milk themselves and cut out the middle man.
You still have the opportunity to turn a profit in these situations. Raise those goats and cows and train them for milking.
Animals are not born accustomed to being milked. Have you tried milking a goat lately?
I have and let me tell you they do not like having their udders pulled on.
So if you are able to train these animals for milking, then you still have a skill that will help you make money homesteading.
39. Watch Someone’s Beloved Pet While They Are Away
If you have the room, use it.
Set up a kennel to board dogs while people are away, or you could become a pet sitter.
I use these services when we go out of town.
People will pay a decent price to ensure that their pets are well cared for when they can’t be around.
This is a great option to make money homesteading, and since you clearly already love animals (or you wouldn’t be homesteading) why not utilize that passion to support yourself and the homestead?
40. Help People Make It Through The Winter
Do you have a lot of lands that needs to be cleared?
Then utilize it. People need firewood.
If you have the land that you want to be cleared anyway, then cut up the wood and sell it off.
41. Is Your Homestead Picturesque?
If you have a particularly gorgeous spot on your homestead, then you should use it to make money homesteading.
People are always looking for beautiful places to get married, have family gatherings, or take photos.
Rent your spot out for a fee. This requires you to carry the proper insurance and to maintain the area.
For the most, this could be very passive income.
42. Help Out Other Farmers
Some farmers don’t have a lot of land so they are always looking for grazing spots.
If you have excess land, then help these farmers out.
You can rent out your pastures for their animals to graze.
Again, this is a rather passive income and a very easy way to make money homesteading, while it helps out other homesteaders in the process.
43. Turn Your House Into A Hotel
Well, not exactly a hotel but a bed and breakfast would be nice.
People are very curious about a homesteader’s life.
So if you have space, open your doors for a fee and let people get a true taste of what life on the homestead is like. With a smile and doing what you normally do, you make money homesteading.
You can use AirBnB to list your house.
44. Not Retail But Resell
If you have some retail experience outside of the homestead, then put it to use on the homestead.
Buy items on eBay, at Goodwill, or any other thrift shop. You should buy these items dirt cheap and then resell them for profit.
I use to do this with books.
You’d be surprised how many places on the internet are always on the lookout for used books.
You find them at yard sales and all you have to do is plug in the USB number on the back into the different apps for these used book sites.
If you see you can make a profit, then buy the book. Then take it home and ship it (for free usually) to the company.
You’ll get a check within a few days, usually.
45. Freelance Is The Life For Me
Do you have experience in editing, web design, or some other ‘techy’ trade?
You can utilize those skills from the comfort of your own home and make a decent living while doing it.
This takes a little searching on the internet but there is legitimate work from home jobs out there.
If you can answer a phone, then you can work from home these days.
You don’t usually get benefits and are considered self-employed but it is a great way to support yourself while homesteading.
46. Start A Blog
A lot of people see this and scoff.
However, it is true. If you put in a lot of work, you can make money blogging.
It is usually based on advertising and traffic to your site but if you will write compelling pieces, then you might be surprised who all you can attract to your site.
More importantly than that, you are able to share the knowledge you’ve attained from your experiences to help other people.
That is the most rewarding part of starting a blog.
If you’re not sure if blogging really is profitable, read how these 23 bloggers made thousands of dollars per month.
47. Dive Into Writing
This goes right along with blogging. If you enjoy writing, then do it for a living.
It takes a lot of hard work but if you will search you will find lots of writing opportunities.
I have personal experience in this area because this is what I do in order to make money homesteading.
You can write for private clients, you can write for content mills, or you can write for open submissions and other blogs.
I love it because I love to write, and I am able to learn something new every day while sharing my experiences simultaneously.
A quote I once read and it has stuck with me by Michael Fogler:
“If you do what you’ve always done then don’t be surprised when you get what you’ve always gotten.”
Let that resonate with you.
Then put your fears behind you and embrace this different lifestyle and make money homesteading. There are all kinds of freedom out there waiting for you to find it.