Well, you have spent your money to build a small farm, and you are now worrying about how to make money from it. Besides, paying the bills will require some creativity. Becoming a modern homesteader doesn’t mean going off-grid or living in a faraway land. Homesteading is incredible as it gives you a chance to escape the noisy city and move to a place where life is a bit quieter.
The excitement of fewer distractions and stress excites many towards turning this life. Adjusting to a homesteader life can take long especially to those with no basic farming skills, i.e., rearing chickens, and planting of crops.
However, you can learn these skills through the seasons, provided you do diligent work. This life means that you won’t go to town anymore unless it’s necessary or look for an outside job. You’ll have to make money from your farm. However, don’t worry as you only need new ideas of making money. Below are the top things you can do to make money in your homestead.
Table of Content
Top 15 Ways To Start a Small Farm for Profit
Money from the Farm
1. Selling Farm Produce
The top way of making money in your homestead is by growing and selling farm produce. It’s the most profitable venture, and you can different types of crops. Whether you want to grow whole grains such as maize, millet, and sorghum or beans and legumes is up to you. You can also venture into the growing of fruits as the niche is quite profitable.
There are multiple markets in the US for farm produce, i.e., farmers market booths, a mini-community supported agriculture (CAS). In CAS, people pay you some amount so that you’ll deliver farm produce to them every week.
U-picks are also a great way of making money if you have an orchard. In U-pick routes, you charge someone based on the pounds they have picked. You can sell the remaining produce to groceries and some gas stations. Independent grocery stores are the best as they share the proceeds from the sales directly with you. Some of them also accept flowers and herbs.
2. Selling Seedling
If you’re planning to get money without spending a lot of money in your homestead, then grow excess seedlings, especially the tomato and pepper seedlings. These are in high demand, and people will be grateful as they can be planted on the ground without further nursery care.
Many farmers prefer seedlings as unlike seeds; they don’t require extra care hence allowing them to reach the harvesting season earlier. The demand for herbs seedlings is higher as one can care for them indoors. Also, don’t underestimate the true value of many seedlings in your home.
3. Manufacture Items From the Produce
Did you know that you can manufacture items from your produce? Well, if you want to try this, then check the cottage laws first. Besides selling your produce, you can use them to make kimchi, salsa, tomato sauce, sauerkraut, and jelly, etc.
Depending on where you’ll be producing them, it’s essential to obtain a license, use the recommended tools, and have a food handling permit. Of course, when canning, you’ll require some equipment that incorporates the latest food technology to ensure the food stays for long without going bad.
4. Make your Compost Manure
Organic compost manure mainly consists of animal and plant wastes. Compost manure is high in plant nutrients, which improves the soil nutrient count and physical characteristics. Due to the ongoing popularization of organic farming, most farmers are dumping inorganic fertilizers for organic ones such as compost manure.
The preparation of organic manure is simple and only involves the piling of farm and animal wastes in layers to a compost pit. These wastes will then decompose in a biochemical process leading to the development of a black, dark, and nutrient-rich manure called compost manure. Enhance your skills in making compost manure and sell the products to other farmers.
5. Start a Mushroom Farm
The demand for mushrooms is fast increasing as more people are embracing them. Mushroom farming is one of the top business ventures that generate hundreds to thousands of dollars for medium and large scale mushroom farmers. It requires less space which makes it ideal for those with few acres of land. Mushrooms are sold as either fresh or dehydrated. Most of all, grow them because they are beautiful and will supplement your diet too. As a beginner, go for oyster mushrooms then later grow the shiitake mushrooms.
6. Grow Medicinal Herbs
While most farmers are growing lettuce, they are saturated in the market and have little profits. But medicinal herbs are hard to find, and you can take advantage of their absence to start a fulfilling business opportunity. Most herbs are vigorous growers, and the compounds they use for repelling pests make them medicinal. Besides, most are resistant to pest and deer attacks.
Some also re-sow every year, eliminating the need to plant new ones continuously. Herbs are excellent: they’re profitable, perennial, and, most of all doesn’t require pesticides. Start with echinacea tincture or backyard medicine as they are simple to grow, and they have a higher demand in the market.
7. Make Small Greenhouses for Sale
One thing most people love about greenhouses, is they look elegant on any farm. They’re one of the best practical ideas on farming, and finally, it’s not hard to DIY. You can make a small greenhouse without coughing too many dollars. It only requires simple materials such as hardwood, metal, glass, and a polythene bag.
You can make small greenhouses for growing herbs, seedlings, and vegetables in your home. Greenhouses are ideal during winters and summers as they provide the plants with the warmth and cold they require, respectively, during the two seasons. There are many free DIY greenhouse plans on the internet and guides on how to make them at home. Ensure you make many of them for selling.
8. Lease a Part of the Farm
Well, if you don’t intend to use the whole part of your farm, then leasing out becomes the best option. The person can use it for farming or rearing their livestock. Alternatively, if you have a large barn, then you can turn it into a rental space for meetings and gatherings. These can include business meetings, ceremonies, or even step classes. To get clients, you have to advertise it in local dailies or bulletin boards found in your area.
Also, you can hire out your land to be used by members of the metal detecting clubs. Plant metals in different parts of your farm or let them search for existing ones. It’ll be the best platform for them to improve their skills and you’ll get some compensation.
Money from Livestock
9. Selling Hatching Eggs
Many homesteads make extra bucks by selling hatching eggs from their hens. Chicken and duck eggs are in high demand, and one can make over $7 by selling a dozen duck eggs to wholesales. However, ducks eat twice food than backyard chickens. Their eggs are quite expensive though. To ensure this venture becomes profitable, keep many chickens or ducks on your farm.
Hatching eggs are also quite expensive than normal eggs, and its good if you have rare breeds with desirable traits. If you’re looking for an earnings estimate you can earn per month with 15 backyard chickens only; then it’s between $800 to $1200.
10. Selling Livestock and Chicken Meat
If you’re rearing poultry and livestock, then you can make good money by selling them to their meat. There are three ways of selling your meat: via a USDA facility, selling packages to grocery stores and selling it to a local butcher. The first two options are time-consuming and expensive, as you’ll have to follow some legalities, including storage of meat, business operation, and other taxes. On the other hand, selling to a local butcher is easier as you can instruct him to come for the animal from your home and process it on their premises.
Most pig farmers sell either or the full pig. Beef farmers sell ¼ or the full cow. In this arrangement, you give the butcher the details of the person you’re selling the meat to, and they’ll hand them over after slaughtering it. They then charge for the slaughtering, cutting, and wrapping of the meat. You are responsible for picking the payments from the customer. Farmers usually raise, slaughter, and sell chicken meat in their homes.
11. Sell the Animals
Apart from selling their products, you can also sell the whole animal. For chicken, you should attend chicken auctions as there are many potential buyers. It’s advisable to buy and sell much chickens if you want the business to be profitable. The business of selling cattle, on the other hand, is very profitable, provided your herd is healthy and of high-quality.
Most buyers are willing to pay only for healthy cattle, and if you mistreat your cows then you’ll end up getting bad prices. To succeed in this venture, you need to have a business plan, business goals and choose only the profitable breeds such as Angus and Hereford. These usually fetch reasonable prices in the market. Also, check the operating costs, i.e., that of keeping the cattle as you look for a buyer and see if it’s worth continuing with the business.
12. Sell Animal’s Fur
If you’re rearing fur producing animals such as sheep, angora rabbits, goats, and llamas, then you can get fur from them. There are farmers also harvesting cow fur, but it’s lucrative than selling of fur used in making wool.
In 2008 alone, there over 56 million pelts of fur produced. The fur is an essential raw material in the manufacture of clothes, and the US is the top exporter of the material. Besides, there are fewer federal regulations on the sale of fur. You can sell it to the clothing industries in the US.
13. Selling Milk
Most farmers rearing dairy cows understand the hidden potential in the selling of milk. Dairy farming has not been fully exploited by farmers and is one that can be very profitable for any farmer. However, the quality of milk here is essential, and it narrows down to the health of the animal.
First, ensure the udder of the dairy cow is healthy and always provide enough food and supplements to your cows. Also, milk fast and ensure the storage containers are sterilized. Another advice is to raise only pure foreign breeds as they give out a lot of milk, even in adverse weather changes. Use also packed feeds and artificial ones as they ensure your cow has the required nutrients and hormones and sell your milk to consumers directly for more profit instead of selling it to co-operative milk unions.
Money from Your Homestead Kitchen
14. Selling Baked Goods at Farmers Markets
Well, if you’re talented in the kitchen, then baking cookies might be a good idea for you. Also, if there is a farmer market nearby then the better for you. It’s a good source of income, and all you have to do is to get a good product such as biscuit, cookie, muffin, or salty crackers. Add some spices or flowers to make the taste unique.
15. Make Soaps for Sale
Farmers who want to make a steady income should go into products that we use every day. Soap is a good example, and it requires a few ingredients and scents. Just look for the top ingredients and choose a scent that anyone will like. Finally, add some garden flowers to make it more perfect and look for customers in your village and even at village markets.
If you recently traveled to the homestead to start your life away from the noisy city, then you’ll love to hear that you can make good money too. Just explore the opportunities around you, and you’ll realize that a homestead life could be exciting, just like living in the city. You have the farm, and all you need to do is come with an idea and execute it.