9 Ways to Make Money on the Homestead

| 2/2/2015 1:04:00 PM

9 Ways to Make Money on the Homestead 

Everyone wants to make money doing what they love. For many of us, that love is homesteading. But, it gets expensive. Those feed bills rack up every week and it often seems like you're getting nothing in return. Here are a few tips to help you make some money off your homestead.

1. Eggs – Eggs. Eggs. Eggs. Everyone seems to sell eggs these days. This is a great source of income and something every homesteader should be doing. People love farm fresh, free range, pastured eggs. Wondering how to price your eggs? They range anywhere from $2 to $5 per dozen around here. You can check out your local grocery store to see how much brown eggs are selling for.

2. Rabbits – Now, we haven't had much success with rabbits breeding around our farm (I know, I know). But rabbits are a great way to add some income. You'll want to consider two avenues here - meat rabbits, such as New Zealand Whites and Californians, or pet rabbits, such as Holland Lops or Flemish Giants. Meat vs. Pet vary in prices. While a New Zealand White might only sell for $5 to $10 at weaning age, a Flemish Giant could sell for $20 to $30. We have some of both. Rabbits don't take a ton of room, making them a good addition to the homestead.

3. Fruits & Veggies – People love to see where their food is coming from. Selling fruits and veggies off the farm seems to always be in high demand. Plus, growing fruits & veggies is like growing your own money! 

4. Farmers' Markets – If there are farmers' markets around you and you can take the few hours every week to sell at them, I urge you to do so! You can easily sell things from your table such as handmade items, foods (fruits and veggies, for example) and so much more. The sky is the limit. We sell breads, milks, scarves, salves, wash cloths and a ton more at our local farmers' markets.

3/8/2015 11:36:22 PM

I think that one thing that was overlooked was WORMS. I raise Red Wigglers here in Northern Arizona and am CONSTANTLY asked "How much do you charge?". ( I DON'T sell). I feed them manure mostly. Sooooo, any homestead that does NOT have some kind of manure is special indeed. No room to speak of, no noise and no schedule. If you can keep them in an area with other livestock that can keep the air temp between 55 and 80 in winter and ice bottles (as with rabbits) will keep them cool in summer. The worms will sell through the internet direct from you or through an agreement with a "big time" worm web site. The local market for worm castings is HOT. We are having a co-op bazaar at the end of this month and I already have a ton of interest in castings. I have been "drafted" to do at least one seminar at the next Prepper Expo here in Kingman. Not to mention the castings and worm tea for your own plants. It's a good thing to at least look at.

3/5/2015 8:06:19 AM

To Melinda, Try to find an online buying club or co-op in your area. There are new markets for local food and produce becoming available now. Though, I'm not sure if there are non-food markets. The ones I have seen are like a farmers market online with fruit, veg, and prepared food like cheese, bread, desserts, even soup being ordered online and then on a certain day or days of the week the orders are collected (like at a central location) and then further distributed the places where the customers have a set time they have to pick it up by. Here is an example of a facebook page for what I am talking about but for some reason the main website is not working. https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Local-Flavor-Farm-Buyers-Club/104452007817

3/5/2015 7:55:51 AM

The problem is it seems like there are hidden costs to every smart entrepreneurial farm idea one can come up with. Don't tours and classes on the farm require extra/different insurance? What type of fees and restrictions are you looking at with your local farmers market? etc. On the other hand, in addition to selling chicks you can sometimes find good market for all ready laying hens. Depending on how smart you are in your feed choices (like using permaculture principles to even bring your feed costs down to zero) and how much room you have this could be a great option. In Virginia I have seen laying hens fetch a premium price with the onset of interest in backyard gardens and chickens. This often depends on the breed, though. Also, consider letting some of your hens go broody and letting them raise incubator-free and potentially more hardy (and better foraging) chicks for you.

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