Looking for ways to make homesteading income from a small piece of land? This list is full of ideas and links to help fuel your passion to make a living from home!
The dream of making a real living from the homestead - only venturing into the hustle and bustle of things for feed and farmers' markets, and maybe the occasional bookstore - is one I'll bet most of us share. And while it can feel elusive, I can see that each year we do get a few steps closer toward making it a reality, here at our little farm.
For us, this time of year is one of evaluation, brainstorming, and planning. With the garden harvested, and firewood in for the winter, it's important to step back and review the just-finished growing season. We tweak and change our plans for the coming year based on what we've learned, and as part of that process we brainstorm ways to continue increasing our income from home.
One limiting factor about our homestead, however, is its size. We're on just a tad more than two acres here, and I know we're not the only ones working with small parcels. So what follows is a list of ways to make money from the homestead - specifically geared for those with limited acreage. This means you won't see some of the usual ideas for farm income - like raising beef. I've also not included anything that requires a large outlay of capital - like establishing a commercial kitchen, or dedicated milking parlor. Instead, I've focused on endeavors that can be done with two acres of land or less, and with very little start-up cash.
Whenever possible, I've linked each idea to either my favorite online resource for getting started, or to a book that I've found especially informative. I hope you find some of these ideas helpful, as you get your own brainstorming juices flowing!
52 Ways to Make Money on a Small Homestead:
1. Vegetables. 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, a booth at the farmers' market, or through a CSA, that extra produce can be a good seasonal stream of income. This book has really transformed my approach to market gardening, bringing a whole new level of productivity and organization to our efforts. 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. Aside from feeling GREAT about sharing all that wonderful home-grown bounty, if your food pantry is a non-profit, you can take that donation out on your tax return. Those little things can make a difference, come tax time!
2. Cut flowers. Turns out, cut flowers can actually rival vegetables when it comes to making a profit from a market garden, especially on a small acreage. It's hard to beat The Flower Farmer, for an excellent how-to on the subject.'s book,
3. Fresh and dried herbs. Again, Lynn offers excellent guidance on growing herbs for the market garden, in this article hosted by Johnny's Selected Seeds.
4. Chinese medicinal herbs. There's a quickly growing market for sustainably grown and harvested Chinese medicinals. This book is one of my favorites about getting started growing and selling them.
5. Seed garlic. 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. Bob, over at the Online Garlic Farmer's Market, has some great tips on selling seed garlic online.
6. Blogging and freelance writing. In this digital age, there are nearly infinite ways to make a real income, writing about what you know and love. Writers Market can get you started if you're interested in writing for periodicals and online publications. Blogging has actually been an enormous blessing to our family - it's how I make a full time income in just 14 hours a week, so I can stay home and raise our little ones.
7. Youtube videos. 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 here.
8. 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.
9. Feed bag totes. 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. Here's a good little video from A Nimble Thimble, on How to Make a Feed Bag Tote.
10. Orchard fruit. 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. We've found Ann Ralph's method of pruning for small trees to be a game-changer, and I also find Stefan Sobkowiak's take on permaculture orcharding to be particularly inspiring.
11. Small-scale nursery. 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 interview with Akiva Silver of Twisted Tree Nursery is enough to make even those with just a postage stamp of lawn want to get started!
12. Farm fresh eggs. This one's a classic. If you have chickens, chances are, you may have more eggs than you can use. Sell the extras!
13. Day-old chicks or ducklings. If your flock includes a rooster (or drake, in the case of ducks), incubating those fertile eggs and selling the chicks can be a delightful little enterprise. It's especially rewarding if, like me, you're a hopeless hatchaholic, who can't stop hatching out more little fluffballs than you can possibly keep! Here's a post with my best tips for hatching and selling chicks for extra income.
14. Fertile hatching eggs. I've found that there's a ready market for fertilized hatching eggs. Here are the best practices for collecting and storing 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.
15. Seedlings. This guide to growing and selling seedlings is a wonderful jumping off point. I always start way, way, way more seedlings than I can use, so this is an idea I'm looking forward to implementing next year.
16. Plant markers. 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 wood burned twig markers, hammered spoon markers , painted stone markers, are especially charming.
17. Handmade Soap. My hands-down favorite resource about soap making is this book from Heidi over at Healing Harvest Homestead. It has everything you need to really dive into soap making, along with good foolproof recipes, including my two favorite soaps of all-time. I'd seriously be lost without it!
18. Honey. Sheri, over at Honeybees Online, has some excellent pointers for getting started selling honey, including how to find customers for your honey.
19. Honeycomb products. This article has some great ideas for other value-added products that can be made with honeycomb and beeswax.
20. Breeding livestock guardian dogs. Especially for those who have need of a livestock guardian anyway, breeding LGDs can be a nice recurring income stream. The "Library" page of the Livestock Guardian Dogs Association is a wonderful resource.
21. Mushrooms. The Mushroom People have an excellent guide to getting started selling mushrooms on their site.
22. Pastured Pork. We have had so much fun raising pigs this year. We did a lot of reading as we were getting started, and I think Dirk van Loon's Small-Scale Pig Raising is a particularly helpful read. Also - consider reading my list of things I WISH I'd done before we brought our little porkers home for the first time!
23. Broiler rabbits. We're excited to be adding rabbits to our homestead next year, and I've found this post, by the folks at Rise and Shine Rabbitry, to be especially helpful.
24. Rabbit pelts. If you're raising rabbits for meat anyway, why not tan the pelts and sell directly to hobbyists? The good folks over at Vela Creations have what I think is hands-down one of the best tutorials for tanning your own rabbit pelts. We're about to try this for the first time this fall!
25. Stock photos. If you're fond of taking photos around the homestead, licensing some of those as stock photos might provide a nice continuing trickle of passive income. I especially like this article about getting started with selling stock photography. It has lots of good tips for building a portfolio and finding places to sell your images.
26. Broilers. It's pretty hard to beat Joel Salatin's Pastured Poulty Profits, when it comes to a great manual for getting started with raising broiler chickens. Here's my own experience with raising Cornish cross chickens for meat, where I detail every nitty-gritty expense and cost benefit of raising them.
27. Turkeys. I've yet to talk the mister into letting me add a few turkeys to our backyard flock, but I've always been drawn to them, and have a feeling that one of these days we might hear some "gobble gobble" around here. Again, Salatin's work is a fantastic resource, and I also like this article about the resurgence of raising heritage turkeys.
28. 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. (This is the plucker I use and love, by the way!)
29. Pastured lamb. 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 - Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep has been our go-to resource for getting started.
30. Wool. If you're raising sheep and shearing them, finding a market for that wool can be another income stream. I like these tips for helping to maximize wool quality in sheep.
31. Sheepskins. It may be 40 years old, but I really love this how-to piece on tanning sheepskins, by Roberta Kirberger. Last time I saw these offered at a farmer's market, they were going for well over $100, and sold out faster than the sweet corn!
32. Stud Services. 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.
33. Berries. We're slowly adding to our berry plantings each year, and look forward to having enough to sell in a couple of years. I've found this free publication from ATTRA to be a helpful resource for getting started.
34. Strawberry plants. 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. This site has good tips on propagation.
35. Manure. 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.
36. Wreaths. If you have a good free supply of evergreens or grapevines, and love making your own wreaths, this one's a no-brainer. Selling them through Etsy and at craft fairs, and directly marketing to local businesses, can all be good ways to add up some seasonal cash.
37. Woody ornamentals. 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 little write-up about getting started is one that we've found helpful!
38. Jams and Jellies. This guide to cottage food laws will help you know what the guidelines are for selling tasty homemade food items in your state.
39. Quail. These delectable little birds are table-ready at just 6-8 weeks of age. Talk about a quick return on investment! As I've explored the idea of adding quail to our menagerie, I've enjoyed this post, enhanced by plenty of photos, offered from the good folks over at High Lonesome Homestead.
40. Saving and selling seeds. Dan Brisebois shares his down-to-earth story of getting started raising crops for seed in this helpful post.
41. Wooden spoon blanks. 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 - these are wonderful carving out wooden spoons, and you can offer them for sale on Etsy or Ebay. This tutorial is the best I've seen on selecting wood for spoon carving.
42. Grapes. 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. There's lots of great information out there about getting established with small scale grape growing, and this book is a solid place to start.
43. Custom milling. With a good tabletop mill, and locally-sourced grain, it's easy to offer desirable custom-milled flours at the farmers' markets.
44. Foraging for profit. I really like Alan Muscat's perspective in this interview.
45. Metalsmithing. This has been a fun one for us - I love having my very own blacksmith, and Dan has really been making some beautiful things. When he was first setting up his shop, this was a book he found particularly helpful.
46. 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.
47. Raising pigeons. Growing up in depression-era Baltimore, my grandfather used to catch squabs (young pigeons), and cook them up for his young cronies. How ironic that what was once a subsistence food has now begun to grace the white tablecloths of many high-end restaurants! this site as a good place to explore the idea of raising pigeons for profit.
48. Maple Syrup (and other tree syrups). Having maples, birches, or even walnut trees on the homestead can open up another possible revenue stream. I grew up looking forward to every February as a time for making maple syrup, and it's such a delightful endeavor for that slightly dreary, end-of-winter season. This book is a fabulous introduction to the art of making syrup and sugar from tree sap.
49. Daylilies. I never knew how passionate daylily aficionados could be, until the day I offered a few extra rhizomes on Craigslist. They were in the way of my new rhubarb bed, and it seemed like a good idea. Wowzers. People love lilies! My inbox was full for days. They're easy to propagate, and - in my experience anyway, practically sell themselves. This blog offers one of the best guides to daylily propagation that I've seen.
50. 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!
51. Bug farming. I'm totally serious, folks. 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.
52. Christmas trees. I used to assume that lots of acreage was a requisite for a Christmas tree farm, but turns out that even an acre can support 1,500 fir trees, if grown with a goal height of 5-7'. Allowing for yearly turnover, and at average prices, that works out to about $9,000 worth of trees every year, in just an acre of space. I especially like this site for tips about getting started.
By no means is this an exhaustive list, but I do hope it serves as some inspiration to fuel your own brainstorming sessions. I'd LOVE to hear your own ideas and suggestions for making money on a small homestead - leave me a comment below!
I know my comment is an after thought....
I just wanted to say how much I appreciated your very informative article! My family just moved from Ontario to PEI. We’re starting out fresh with 3 acres of property & a blank slate. You’ve got so many great ideas & links to so much helpful information.
You’re enthusiasm is encouraging!
This is the 1st time I will be a stay at home mom (to a 8yr old & 4yr old). I’m excited to start a garden & have some laying hens. There are so many avenues I never thought of pursuing in your article.
Merna Scarborough says
I am unable to get to the website Creative Country Life for the tote bag pattern. Is it possible for someone to send it to me via email?
Hi Merna! Thanks so much for letting me know that link is broken. I've developed my own favorite way of making feed tote bags over the last few months and have been meaning to make a tutorial anyway - this is the nudge I need to make it happen. I'll come back and drop you the link as soon as I have it up! Thanks again for letting me know!
I NEVER leave comments, but this is probably one of the best, idea-packed posts I’ve ever read. I’m dying to get started now!
There is no yearly "turnover" when it comes to Xmas trees. The fastest growing tree is the Douglas fir and it takes about 5-7yrs for a seedling to reach sale height.
I greatly appreciate the rest of the tips in ur article, but should do more research on the Xmas tree part, as the math and info is not entirely correct....
Carol Wilk says
I am new to your blog, but really enjoyed the information. I am retiring after 31 years of big city law enforcement and have my eye on a forty acre parcel of land in Arizona. I will be building an off-grid house on that land and I am determined to live the simpler (not necessarily easier) homestead life I have been dreaming about for years. The property is considered the historic old west, aka the desert. They used to run cattle through the area years ago and I think there are some cattle still nearby. Due to the mostly dry climate (except for Monsoon season) and rocky, sandy soil, brush and cactus, I believe I am limited with what I can grow. I want to have animals to be more self sustaining (chickens to start and then add some rabbits, goats, etc.) And I want to create an additional income stream to supplement my pension. Do you know of any resources, groups or organizations in the northwest Arizona area that I could contact or join to help me learn what I need to know to get started the right way. I have a 5 year plan in my head, now I need some help putting it together and moving forward. Thank you for all the info you share. I learned a lot from your website!
Stephanie W. says
I’m just starting my farm (have 6 hens and 1 rooster) and am excited to be starting my research on expanding. Our 5 year plan is to build a barn for sheep, goats and a few horse stables to rent out as well as a greenhouse. Who knows what else we may end up venturing into. The long term goal is to make this a full time venture and income. I know I have a lot of research to do to make this into a reality and your site is one of the best I’ve found so far. Very informative and so many links! It’s amazing to me how farming communities are so helpful. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge!!
Stephanie, I'm just so excited for you! It sounds like you're really moving forward with a lot of wisdom - creating a 5 year plan, and adding strategically. That's so key, I think...taking one next step at a time. And chickens are such a great place to start. I totally agree that the homesteading and farming community on the whole is just SO warm and full of people that want to see each other succeed...it warms my heart all the time! Thank you for your kind words, and I wish you all the very best of luck as you move forward with your wonderful venture...good for you!!!!
Devika prasad das says
Thanks a ton Anna, it's so helpful & so motivational, one can be freed from financial relief and stay with a wealthy, healthy life style.
Ambika prasad das
Mayurbhanj, odisha, india
Hal Khalaf says
Great post. We just picked up a 15.6 acre farm in Pennsylvania and can't wait to get started. This article is giving us some great ideas we had not considered.
Jackie Marshall says
John Seymour's book is a real gem for small acreages as well, but aimed more at self sufficiency. I like this focus on aspects of small farming that focuses on generating income streams.
So if you are a good marketer, these ideas are great. If you are good at making, growing, raising things but lousy at marketing, you'd better be hungry and need lots of soap. Used to be only a few small producers out here. Now the competition is fierce and there are those with very deep pockets and big operations that are hogging up the market and driving prices down by mass producing under the guise of "organically grown artisan" food. For example, Turkeys eat so much they cost us more to feed them than we could possibly recoup at market prices, and we could find few buyers who'd spend $60 on an organic turkey, so paid through the nose for someone else's gourmet TG dinner. The guy over on the other side of the prairie raised hundreds of turkeys in a pole barn and undersold us. Market price is market price regardless of actual cost. Consider us educated. And turkeys love you, follow you everywhere gazing up at you adoringly. The guilt at killing day was horrible. Our Thanksgiving bird was spectacular and special, we ate every morsel and made broth from the bones. Could not waste such a gift. We can only hope the others were equally appreciated for giving their sweet ever munching lives for the dinner table.
Wow! This was the best and most original list of ideas for a small homestead. It hasn’t given me some great ideas to consider. Thanks!
I meant HAS not hasn’t. Ugh!
Aw, Heather! YAY! So very happy that you found it helpful! I really appreciate the very kind comment, and hope you have a great day!!
My sister is really into homesteading and it is really hard to make ends meet for her. I will pass this on to her. You have so many great ideas and I think that your sharing them will help other people to make their dreams come true!
Fantastic post! I want to do a lot of these ideas. Im in the military and cant wait to get my little homestead going. These seem easy and something to pass time once I retire.
The Beard + The Bohemian says
Great article! We are trying to grow excess produce this year, along with some sunflowers to hopefully sell street side 🙂
Aw, thanks so much for the kind comment! I'm so glad you found the post helpful. I just checked out your site and love it, by the way - y'all seem like total kindred spirits!! I wish you absolutely the best, and hope your sunflower-growing venture is a hit!!
Shane Blanks says
Anna, i can tell you are a positive lovely person, we are in the UK and only have about three quarters of an acre but had a few ideas on generating an income from the land but your ideas have been inspirational when you see what is possible. What a great idea to narrow down the ideas to the ones that excite you more, thank you so much Anna.
Shane, you just totally made my day! Thank you so much for the kind comment! It's absolutely amazing what can be done with less than an acre, isn't it? I wish you absolutely the best in whatever endeavors your set your hand to!
Geovanni Donnetello says
What a wonderful idea page! I am looking to maneuver my life from city to country and this makes it a lot less bleak by answering the 'how can I pay the bills' question. Thank You!
Geovanni, I'm just so glad you found it helpful! Having a few steady streams of income - even if they're not huge - really does make such a difference! I wish you very much the best on your transition to country life!!
Mark Henry says
Great information.. Thanks for sharing it and keep posting 🙂
Mark, thank you so much for the kind words! I appreciate it so much!!
I am conducting mad research right now to figure out how/if we want to try to make money off of our 10 acres of land. I have found articles such as this one extremely helpful. There are so many directions we could take, it's a bit overwhelming. Thanks for sharing!
Tara, thank you so much for your comment! YES - it can be overwhelming, can't it? Especially when you have as much land as you do - that opens up a lot of options! For what it's worth, the process I've generally found helpful is narrowing it down to the ideas MOST exciting to me, and that make the most use of what I already have (or require minimal startup cost), and then sit down and write out sketch out an what I'd expect the profit and loss to look like over the next couple of years for each of those ideas. That usually helps bring me a little clarity. Whatever endeavors you end up trying, I hope they bring you joy and are a success! Best of luck to you!!
Andrea Jones says
My husband and I had been working on building our homestead for a few years now and when I found this post on "52 ways to make money on a small homestead" I knew it would be my reference when we needed to make some extra money. Your list brings up so many different ideas that we had not considered before like selling manure, harvesting maple syrup, and handmade soaps. As we are in the process of moving to a larger farm I look forward to using many of your ideas! So Thanks!!!
Andrea, your kind words totally made my day! How wonderful that you're moving to a larger farm - you must be so excited! I just checked out your blog and it is just lovely. Hope you don't mind, I popped over to follow you on facebook! Can't wait to see what the future brings for you! God bless!!
I love this post, thanks for getting peoples brains on that good track!
Dakota, thank YOU for your kind comment!! It's inspiring to me, how very many folks I've heard from that really are longing for a more self-sufficient, home-based life!
I was so excited to read this!! I will be retireing in two and a half years ( but who’s counting) to northern Ontario. My mom has two acres of land, with an extra well and hydro hook-up for me to erect a pre-fab home. I want to homestead this property because it is my dream life, and I really don’t want to move my mom into a home. She loves it there. My son hates his job, so he is coming with me to do chickens and other critters. There is a formers market up there that goes every summer, so I will be selling all kinds of preserves and baked goods. I usually make all that stuff anyway, but I give a lot of it away. I love food lol lol. My Favorite thing is that you sustain yourselves on two acres. I will have my pension, but my son still has to make an income, so this is good news. And my mom gets to stay in her house. We will be in a different house on the same property. She likes to drink a glass of wine or brandy and sit by the campfire in the early evening. And so do we..lol. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us. Xo
Mary, you sound like such a kindred spirit! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful plans! I bet northern Ontario is absolutely beautiful. You know - there are so many readers out there who love following along on a journey to sustainability. I don't know if your son is into writing or not, but I'll bet that within these next two years he could replace his income with blogging - writing about your plans and preparations for starting your homestead...and then he'd have an income in place when the time came to move. Just one idea! ; ) My very best wishes to you both as you get you get ready for your wonderful adventure!
stefaan walleghem says
I'm really searching for new ways to make money from my backyard and you gave me a couple of good ideas. I just had to pin it to my money making board. I really appreciate you took the time to write it all down. I especially love the seedling part and the strawberry shoots. I think I'll give that a try.
What an informative and inspiring article!
My husband and I are in the process of buying a house and hope to homestead as much as possible.
We are looking for some new ways to save money and make money so that I can continue to stay home with our little one, and live a very simple life.
As an herbalist, growing and selling herbs (and making some tea blends with them!), and growing potted flowers sounds perfect! And I'm hoping to grow my very small blog and client practice over the years to help with income as well.
Thank you so much for your book suggestions, I will be checking some out! And thanks for all the other great information as well!
Kelly Strunk says
Thanks so much for this post! I am a new homesteader and have been desperately searching for streams of income. We have chickens, ducks, rabbits, and now our newest purchase is 3 goats! We have 10 acres most of it is wooded. Our next purchase I think will be bees and then pigs! I guess some things just take time to manage. We have lots of ideas in mind, but I work full time so I am just doing what I can! Thanks again!
Kelly, I'm so glad this could be helpful! You sound like a kindred spirit, with your menagerie there! Bees and pigs are both SO much fun - you will love them! But yes...I totally know what you mean about time. It can be tough to manage it all, especially working full time! Good for you with pacing yourself and adding one thing at a time! Sounds like you have a wonderful homestead!!
Forget the pigs, they are a pain in the behind. I just bought 6 acres and plan on buying 12 more. The 6 acres has a 20 year old house on it that was abandoned and needs major renovations done due to thieves and neglect. the 12 acres is an old home site w/o house. I will continue to raise chickens, fruit trees, and nut trees. I plan on harvesting some of my mature trees to sell, and re-plant fruit and nuts. I will also have a 1 acre pond to raise channel cat fish. I want to encourage deer and other critters to inhabit my property, so feeders and food plots will also help. I once tried raising hogs, I will never mess with them ever again! They destroy everything you make for them. You'd be ok to buy a piglet and feed it out to butchering size, but raising hogs is way to much trouble, besides, pork is cheap, /(except bacon). Raise Black walnut, matures quickly, harvest the nuts, and sell the trees for good money when they mature!
Dave, I have to disagree on the pigs. Our experience as first year hog raising has been fun. We have 4 pigs so far, gotten at weanling size. We have them on pasture and feed waste grain from a local brewer as well as table scraps and vegetables garden pluckings. We plan to butcher one, the other three are breeding pigs, 1 boar and 2 gilts. They are breeding right now and we look forward to having the piglets early next year! It has been a year of learning but we also did research off and on for a few years before the opportunity was given to get them. We have enjoyed the experience and plan to run about 30-40 head total eventually.
Sorry your experience wasn’t a good one! We are looking forward to our own farm raised meat coming up in a couple months!
Raising them on pasture is a slow growing method. However, the cost has been very minimal and the meat will be better ( we hope)!
2nd generation Tree Farmer says
I really liked your list, just wanted to point out the fastest growing Christmas tree (Douglas fir) takes about 5-7yrs to grow to harvest height if planted as a seedling. *There is no 'yearly turnover' for the first few years of establishment. It is also a high pesticide crop, which does not allow for dual crops or immediate land usage after tree harvest. Although the trees pay for the land taxes on our small farm, it does have it's drawbacks.
Amber Harrop says
What a perfect list and a great resource I have Pinned it for later Anna - I miss my fresh eggs ( I had to get rid of my chickens )
Kim Philbrook says
Such great ideas. Once we get moved and at least partially settled in, I'm looking at hops to add along with a small orchard. That is after the gardens are in. We build raised beds for our gardens. (The back can't handle an inground garden any more. lol) We also can build furniture and cabinets. Hubs is a cabinet maker by trade.
Another to add to the list is sewing and quilting. Many will pay for alterations if you know what you're doing. Same with quilts.
Thanks for posting all these wonderful ideas. I've pinned it so I can come back to it later when I have access to my printer. ?
Sharla Fossen says
GREAT article!!!! I am currently doing a small garden at the place I'm renting. My dream is to get my own home with land to have a vegetable & fruit garden, raise chickens, a small orchard & raise bees. I know it's a long list and it will be a LOT of work, but I'm ready for my new adventure! I'm doing all the research I can to prepare for the future now and your blog was a wonderful place to start! Thank you for writing such a detailed and resourceful blog!
I just bought 14 acres of great land in central Idaho..house , well , septic.,... Needs a lot of work but the price was...excellent!! Less than 3k for ALL OF IT!!! ( check your local county tax offices )..land is out there.. Realy looking forward to getting started..thanks for the great post and ideas. Looking forward to more.
Good for you! These are really useful ideas and some would not require a true homestead. Parents could actually begin one of these with their kids in a neighborhood (many even allow poultry now) and grow it as an introduction to homesteading, or seniors could use one of them as a profitable hobby.
Robert, thanks so much for the kind comments! I really appreciate it! It's so true - many of these can truly be done just about anywhere. I have heard from SO many folks living in urban areas, who are implementing some of these on a small scale, as they work toward a larger property. And that's such a good point about backyard chickens - I'm always delighted when I hear of more and more neighborhoods allowing, and even encouraging, backyard flocks! Thank you again for your kind words!! = )
Thank you for this very informative post. It has given me even more ideas for my dream of having a homestead.
Dory, I'm so glad you found it helpful! I truly hope that your homesteading dream becomes a reality very soon! Wishing you all the best!! ~ Anna
I love this post! We are getting ready to put in a bid for 20 acres of farmland and I really enjoy looking for options for income streams. I have a few more ideas for you: renting out rooms via AirBNB, and raising veg and tilapia with Aquaponics. Definitely saving this post for future reference!
Ida, how exciting! I hope you get those 20 acres!! And what wonderful ideas...the AirBnB is one I'd never thought of! Best of luck to you on your bid, and your new homestead!!
Veronica - hyperbrain.me says
Brilliant article! I'll definitely return to this one once I have my new piece of land settled. Had a few of them on my personal list already, but there were definitely a couple of new ones that I hadn't thought of. I truly believe in creating a poly-income for yourself. It's a great way to be resilient, even if your work situation would change (which for most people it will over the coming decades).
Veronica, that's such a wise perspective! I 100% agree - having multiple income streams makes uncertain times much less intimidating. Congrats on your new piece of land! I wish you very much the best as you get settled!!
Thank you for all great ideas, I just bought 5 acres of virgin land, cleared a road and a spot for my RV. I'm planning where to build my house, greenhouse, chicken coop ... so many things to consider. The Christmas trees are very interesting. Thanks again
Linda, WOW! How wonderful - I"m so very excited for you! You sound like you are being very strategic as you plan out your new homestead - good for you!! I wish you absolutely the best, and hope you'll post back sometime soon as you transform your new property into your own little Eden! = )
Its a great Hepl !
Thanks for the comment, Sandeep! So glad you found it helpful!
Earl Ellis says
I am thankful that I ran onto your ways to make money
Earl, why how kind of you! I'm thankful for your thoughtful comment - it made my day. = ) I hope you have a great weekend!
Everything you talk about regarding the 52 ways to make money on the homestead is the life I want to live and the place I want to be! I just need to find a little farm and ride the wave out. It's ironic that I came across your website. I've been praying for direction! Thanks for the message. I'll be researching all of your suggestions and then some. Keeping in touch!
Sandra, you sound like a woman after my own heart. There's nothing like a good, quiet homesteading life! You know, it was really not all that long ago the the Mister and I were living on a boat, pinching pennies and saving and dreaming of a homestead of our own. It felt like it would take forever to get here, and sometimes we almost wondered if we ever would. But I KNEW in my heart this was the life for us, and it would happen. I truly believe it will for you too!! I wish you the very best, and hope you do stay in touch!
Great ideas! I am always looking for extra ideas to make some income on my homestead. I love being at home so anything we can do helps. I haven't ever made wreaths with evergreens on our property, but we have a bunch so I am thinking I may start!
Kayla, I'm totally with you - every bit really helps, especially when we're home with little ones! I'm excited for you with the wreaths - they're such a joyful thing to make and sell! I need to go pick up my order of frames so I can get started. I used to just use re-purpose old metal coat hangers, but if you have a dollar tree store near you, they have those multi-strand frames for $1 each, and you can get them by the case. That's the route I went this year. (Here's the link to the ones I'm using, if it helps! https://www.dollartree.com/Metal-Wreath-Rings-14-frac14-/p350539/index.pro) Best of luck to you!! = )
I never thought to raise pigeons! That's awesome. Thanks for sharing!
Haha! My pleasure!! What's amazing to me is that there are SO many ideas I never would have though of, that folks are writing in and suggesting. There REALLY are so many ways to make extra income, without a lot of land!
These are great tips! I've been thinking about ways to make our homestead more profitable, so this is super helpful!
So glad you found it helpful, Angelica! I really love the brainstorming process, and am excited to be implementing a few more of these on our own homestead next year. Love your blog, by the way!!
tammy miranda says
you have some great ideas, we bout 20 acres 2 years ago and so far we have chickens, ducks, turkey, 2 donkeys, rabbits, we raise rottweilers and welsh corgis, and 2 boxers one is my husbands service dog (ptsd ) and our neighbors peacock ( he loves our turkey lol) pigs we want to get a couple cows and a few horses, as you can tell we love animals lol thanks for the info, maybe we can makes some money too.
Wow!Tammy, you have so many awesome things going on! You sound like a woman after my own heart. You know, I've secretly always wanted a donkey. ; ) Every donkey I've ever met has just been so very lovable, with SO much personality. It sounds like you are truly embracing life - I wish you joy and success in your endeavors!!
Amazing list. Thanks so much. You seem to have left out blogging and youtube.
Art, thanks so much! Youtube is actually #14, but you're right - I totally breezed past blogging and tucked it under freelance writing. It's definitely an endeavor unto itself! You know, it's absolutely incredible HOW many things could still be added to this list - I've actually had a bunch of folks emailing me all kinds of fantastic additional ideas. Aquaponics, raising butterflies, knife sharpening... Amazing how many ways there are to generate income without a ton of land! Best wishes to you, and thanks again!
Oops. Thanks again. We have been doing youtube for 3 mo and are thrilled with the results so far (we are putting in about 40 hrs a week on making videos).
Art, that is fantastic! I need to go check out your channel!! It's great to hear how pleased you are with the results. It is definitely one of my goals, to get past my fear of working with film, and start making some short videos one day soon. Thank you so much for the encouragement!
This is an incredible post! Can't believe all the practical ideas here. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much, Lydia! So glad you enjoyed it!!
Kathy Sindorf says
Wow! I am so impressed with your photography and your ingenious ideas! You should talk to Joe about selling your photos! And I recommend advertising your wooden spoon markers on Etsy--I'd buy them!
Oh, you are so sweet! Thank you! Dan and I are definitely percolating some ideas on the Etsy front - we'll keep you posted!
Jennifer Dunham says
Farmstead life can be so exciting with so much to do all the time! I think the stock photo idea is great...I have never thought of that!
Jennifer, you're so right - exciting, and BUSY! We wouldn't have it any other way, right? = )
Karen Merhalski says
Wonderful ideas! I would include knife sharpening too!
What a great idea, Karen! Good one!!
Love this post! While I can't do many of these because I'm in town (would love to have some acres outside of town but don't see that happening), I do have a big backyard and can do the veggies, etc. plus there are tons of other ideas I can still do here to bring in some extra cash. Wonderful!
Julie, so glad you enjoyed it! And you're right - it's amazing how much you can do with a big backyard! Best of luck to you in your endeavors!!
Linda Kissee Keys says
oh how you made my heart happy. I am 69 yrs young lol. y'all makes my day. God Willing I am planning to teach also. cooking, canning, quilting, gardening, painting murals, painting and modifying furniture, as well I love to learn. keep in touch God Bless y'all
Linda, that's just awesome! I wish you were nearby so I could come learn mural painting and furniture building from you!! We NEED more folks teaching homesteading skills. Best of luck, and God bless to you too!! = )
Many many quailty points there.
God bless you in all you do. Hope you have lot's of fun doing it! I can tell people are going to learn a lot from you because of the joy you have inside. Be happy always
My goodness, Sara! You just totally made my day! Thank you so very much!! Blessings to you as well!