Hi Friends! Are you looking for a creative strategy or two to bring in some extra income on your homestead? I see a lot of great ideas online, but many of them involve selling meat, dairy, or animals. Those strategies may work for you; however, with the Sunshine Farm being primarily a plant-based homestead, with no plans on making money from animal products, I put together a list of ideas that offer some alternatives to making money on a homestead, without the use of animal products. These tips are great if you are also looking to have a plant based homestead, or maybe you have already exhausted revenue streams from animals.
Here are my tips on how to make money on a homestead, with 15 creative ways that don’t involve selling animal products that will help you creatively make some extra money on your homestead.
1. A Spare Room
You don’t have to have an extra building on your farm to do this. You can even rent out a spare room in your house through an avenue like AirBnb (check your local town codes before doing so). We rent out one of our guest bedrooms on the weekends throughout the year, and earn about $150 each weekend it is rented out. We also offer breakfast with farm fresh eggs and homegrown veggies, and it is always a big hit with guests!
2. A Cabin, Tiny House, or Trailer Hookup
People love the idea of renting out a tiny house for a weekend getaway. There is a whole movement of ecotourism where people are wanting to experience the sustainability and self-sufficiency of farm life without jumping in head first. Some people travel all over the country staying at different farms, learning about the farm and homesteading life. If you have an outbuilding that can be turned into a living space, or if you have a place to set up a trailer, this may be an option for you! You could even invest in a cabin or do it yourselves. We have plans to do this in the future, but need to figure out the logistics and costs before doing so.
3. Horse Boarding
Do you have extra pasture space or a setup ready to go for horses? There are a lot of people looking for a quiet place to board their retired horses to live out the rest of their lives on pasture. As an added bonus, you would get to enjoy seeing the beautiful animals roaming your pastures, while also appreciating the benefit of having some free lawn mowing services. Horses do well outside 24/7, as long as they have a run-in or covered shelter with wind break. Most horses do need to live with other horses, so boarding at least two is a good idea.
There are a lot of other things to learn about horses before considering boarding them, but if you’re a horse person and are looking to make a little extra money each month on your homestead, this option may work for you.
From the Garden
4. Sell Seedlings
Do you have a greenhouse or great indoor setup for starting seeds? A lot of people lack this option and are looking for organic, locally grown seedlings to plant in their garden. Organic seedlings can often be sold at a higher price as well, even though it doesn’t necessarily cost you more to grow.
If you create your own compost and save your own seeds, it can be almost zero cost to be able to grow and sell seedlings, which would increase your profit margin. You can use Facebook, or you can find a local farmers’ market to sell your seedlings at. Where we live there is a weekly plant sale at the city farmers’ market during the springtime for people to buy seedlings.
5. Grow a Cash Crop
It can be intimidating to consider gardening for market, and having to determine how much you need to grow to produce both food for your family AND food for sale. One way to make this easier is to focus on just one or two cash crops to grow, on top of the typical garden you have reserved for your family. Maybe you are really good at growing beautiful tomatoes, or you enjoy growing hot peppers. You could also grow colorful carrots, beets, or other root vegetables. You can simply add on to your existing garden and prioritize the new space for a one or two cash crops.
When considering cash crops, you will want to think about the shelf life of what you are growing. If you grow something like garlic, onions, potatoes, or winter squash, these have the potential of being able to be sold throughout the fall and winter; whereas, tomatoes won’t provide that same option.
6. Homemade Canned Goods
Do you love making pasta sauce, pickled veggies, jams, or hot sauces? This can be an awesome way to make some extra money, and the best part is, you can do this on top of the other tips above, and earn some money even after the growing season is wrapped up. You could even combine some homemade canned goods with some of the crafty recommendations below and market the bundle as a gift basket, which could be really popular around different holidays. If you want to explore this option, check with your local and state laws on selling processed foods, before jumping into it!
7. Natural skincare products: soaps, lotions, salves, etc.
You can make natural skincare products and sell them through Etsy, or through your own website. You can even use dried herbs from your garden to add natural scent and health benefits. Or you can source out coconut oil, shea butter, or another base in bulk.
The products below are made by JeanieGreenHens, a homesteader in New Hampshire who sells her homemade goods in her Etsy shop. A lot of people also make homemade soap using goat’s milk, but there are some great plant-based options as well.
Following a similar approach to above, you can make homemade candles using natural oils and even add in essential oils to add incredible scents. I made DIY soy candles as wedding favors for our 2015 wedding, and they were a big hit! They were pretty easy too and did not require a big investment. Plus, who doesn’t love candles?!
9. Hand-knit or sewn products
I see a lot of female homesteaders selling hand-knit or hand-sewn products, like these beautiful and adorable slippers, again from JeanieGreenHens Etsy shop.
10. Drawing, painting, photography
Do you enjoy drawing, painting, or taking beautiful pictures? These are all ways to bring in income on a homestead. I see many people using their art skills to create watercolor portraits of animals, or hand-drawn garden designs. I follow one page on Instagram that focuses primarily on animal watercolor paintings, and has created a pretty great following just in that area alone.
If you love photography you could try to find a niche as an animal photographer or landscape photographer. With talent, commitment, and a strong following, either artwork or photography could bring in a fair amount of income for you and your homestead, while also allowing you to work from home.
Another option for earning some extra income on your homestead is getting into woodworking. Chris loves diving into woodworking projects and has made some really awesome things for our home and farm. This can be really time consuming and takes a lot of skill and tools, but if you have the time, the setup, and the passion, this might be a really wonderful option for you and your homestead.
12. Selling “Merch”
The last crafty strategy I will mention is selling merch for your farm or homestead. The options for this are pretty endless, but some pretty common options are t-shirt, hats, other clothing, and glassware. This option does require a fairly loyal following either through social media or in your own community. You will want to make sure people are invested in your farm and your life and are willing to commit to buying merch that represents your farm. If you have a loyal following, this could definitely bring in some extra revenue.
Social Media & Content Creation
The next three strategies require a lot of time, learning, and patience, and are geared entirely around the world of social media, which requires a loyal following. If done well, and the following is there, these avenues in conjunction with other approaches, or as a standalone, can bring in enough income to support you, your family, and your homestead, if you’re willing to put in the work and you can find a needed niche. At this point, neither my blog nor my YouTube channel are bringing in any revenue, and we don’t plan to do a podcast, but I will continue to work on consistency and focus with our blog and vlog and explore the possibility of either, or both, generating any revenue.
Do you love to write or share about your farm and/or other adventures? You may not think blogs are a revenue-producing option, but they actually can product quite a bit of income if you post consistency and provide value to a particular audience. When starting a blog, it is good to keep it somewhat focused. Even this blog can be unfocused at times, jumping from animals to gardening, to finances. It’s good to start out broad and see what sticks and what you enjoy writing about. As time goes on you will learn what people like reading about, and it may help you focus in a bit more.
Blogging revenue mostly comes through ads, affiliate links (for example, linking amazon products and readers purchasing using the links), and also paid sponsorships. A great perk of blogging is that if you create enough of an audience, you can be paid to share about some of your very favorite products.
I recently read someone talking about how their minimalism blog does not bring in much revenue because they do not feel comfortable posting affiliate links while also talking about reducing the things you buy. This is important to think about. IF you want your blog to product revenue, it’s important to think about these things beforehand and how you can weave in affiliate links and market to brands.
14. VLOG through YouTube
For vlogging you can follow many of the tips mentioned above. Finding a niche, practicing consistent uploads, and being patient. Both blogging and vlogging are great things to start on the side, while you continue making money through either a job or other methods. That way if it takes a long time to produce an income, you aren’t discouraged or relying upon your blog or YouTube channel.
YouTube revenue generally comes through the same sources as a blog; ads, affiliate links, and paid sponsorships. However, you can’t sign up for these right away. You have to have a large and consistent following before you can even monetize a YouTube channel and make any money.
Podcasting is very popular right now. There are podcasts for almost any niche you can think of, and people are always looking for new and creative podcasts to listen to. While a blog provides a visual experience, and YouTube provides both visual and auditory, a podcast offers a standalone audio experience, which can be great while in a long car ride or working on a mundane task that requires your visual attention.
Podcast revenue comes through similar income streams as blogs and YouTube channels, like ad revenue, affiliate sales, and paid sponsorships. Many times podcasters also offer featured content through Patreon or a certain kind of membership. This can be another option for you if you have a loyal following that wants exclusive content and they are willing to pay for it.
Do you have any other ideas that I didn’t mention here? Share them in the comments below, we would love to hear them!
That’s all for now friends,
All my best,