Want homesteading income? The secret to successful homesteading is to simplify and diversify. Keep your costs low and learn to sell several things. If you are wondering how you can make a profit off your land, here are fourteen money-makers you should consider:
Those the supermarket sells can be a month old by the time they hit the shelves, and the hens that lay them are given antibiotics which are then transferred to the eggs. Small wonder then that people will be eager to buy the jewels laid fresh from your homestead. Keep your hens in a chicken tractor - a moveable chicken coop - so they can have access to fresh grass and insects every day. Your eggs will be free range and far more valuable. You can sell them for twice what the supermarket charges.
Got an acre or two with grass? Consider buying a calf in early spring. He will keep your grass mowed. Then in the fall let friends and coworkers know you have a steer ready to be butchered. You won't be able to sell individual portions of meat, but what you can do is sell the steer for a certain amount per pound on the hoof. That way, several people can go in together, buy the steer, pay for the butchering costs and divide the meat. They get fresh, grass-fed beef at a great price and you kept your grass mowed all summer and got paid to do it.
Consider keeping a bee hive on your land. Not only will you get delicious, raw honey, but also those busy bees will pollinate your garden and make it more productive. Raw honey grown locally is also a boon for those with allergies. Take a tablespoon per day and it will help you become immune to the pollens that grow in your area. Like fresh eggs, local raw honey is more valuable than the store-bought brand, and you can sell it for a higher price.
4. Raw Milk
Babies who are lactose intolerant thrive on raw goat's milk. And now many advocates are speaking out against pasteurized cow's milk as well, arguing that the raw version is more nutritious and surprisingly safer than the pasteurized product you see on supermarket shelves. Find your own Bessie, milk her, and customers will come.
5. Grow A Fruit Orchard
If you have land with a few extra acres, you could consider planting an orchard. This is a long-term investment that could pay off in five or ten years. People love picking their own fruit for canning, freezing or just plain eating. By letting them pick, you keep your costs down and they get the satisfaction of picking their own fresh fruit right off the tree.
6. Grow Grapes
Even in Oklahoma - where I am from - there are several wineries that are looking for locally grown grapes. Provide those grapes and earn some extra income off your land. Or if you don't want to pick them, charge people to come in and pick their own fresh grapes.
7. Keep A Greenhouse
Sell vegetable and flower plants in the early spring. In the winter, raise tomatoes and lettuce to sell.
8. Sell Fresh Produce
Dig an extra garden and sell organically grown tomatoes, squash and corn. Nothing beats fresh, locally grown produce, and again, people will often pay double what they would pay for supermarket fare.
9. Homemade Soap
If you have dairy goats, you can use some of the fresh milk to make wonderful soap that nourishes the skin. You can sell your soap at craft fairs and the local farmer's market.
10. Have A Pumpkin Patch, Corn Maze Or Petting Zoo
Hitch a wagon up to a tractor and offer a hay ride. Keep rabbits, a donkey and lambs. Hang a swing from a tree so city kids can experience country life for a day.
11. Sell Chicken Tractors, Complete With Hens
Build small chicken tractors and sell them to city folk complete with a few laying hens. Raise the hens from fertilized eggs hatched from your incubator, and you will keep your costs down. This is a boon to people who live in town and would love fresh eggs, but don't have much space.
12. Offer Homesteading Classes
Many people are yearning for simpler times and would love to become more self-reliant. You can show others how to milk a cow or goat, how to can vegetables, grow a garden or make cheese.
13. Dried Herbs
These can be used for cooking, for medicinal purposes or just to smell good. Make and sell sachets or tea. Write a small booklet describing the benefits of the particular herb you are selling and attach it to the packet with a ribbon.
We have wild blackberries on our property, usually enough to make several pints of jam. Or make jam out of something unusual, such as garlic or rose petals. Sell the jam to co-workers and at craft fairs, etc.
These are just a few of the ways you can make money off your land, and I suspect there are many more. All it takes is some imagination and energy. Opportunities await. Go for it!
Sue Merriam is author of the website, Organic Gardening and Homesteading. http://www.organic-gardening-and-homesteading.com
Photo Credit: khunaspix
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