You don’t need a lot of property to make this happen. Get your ideas flowing about making a living on your homestead. These 53 ways will help you get started.
Guest contributor Tammy Trayer of Trayer Wilderness lives off-grid on her homestead in the woods. Today she’s sharing things that have worked for her family.
Living a simple life to your liking, contrary to the cookie cutter mold that the majority of society is following, may require some strategic planning and creativity, but it is very possible!
My family and I embraced an off-grid traditional homesteading life in 2010. Living such a lifestyle is a breath of fresh air and provides a freedom beyond your imagination!
There are many things that you can explore as you start to make income on your homestead, remember, you may need to progressively work your way into living your dream. That may require you to work away from home for a while as you get everything in order on your homestead. Making a plan, having goals, a budget and working toward both will help you move forward.
Early on in my life God was lining and setting things up so that I would be well prepared and set to live the life we are living. I grew up in a home without a computer and never really got a lot of time on computers, but felt very driven to learn how to program while I was in high school. Directly out of high school I was hired by a programming firm where I was apprenticed for a year and continued working with them for 11 years prior to having my children. Then once I had children, through my knowledge, I was able to create my own web design business in an effort to enable me to be home. My profession is what allowed us to embrace our off-grid lifestyle because as long as I had an internet connection, I could work from anywhere.
As we lived in an 8’ x 14’ canvas tent for 8 1/2 months on our raw wilderness land while we built our home and homestead. I was able to keep the business running via satellite internet and either a small solar panel, the truck, or a generator. The internet is an amazing source of income or extra income which we will talk more about later.
The varied skill sets that you bring to your homestead may be a very viable source of income which was also true of my Mountain Man.
Become a Jack of all Trades
My husband Glen is a “Jack of all trades and a master of many”! He is my MacGyver – I always say he could make a pistol out of a paper clip. He has a very mechanical mind and is a very gifted man. This allowed us to be able to build our home ourselves and save a lot of money. Keep in mind it is not just the income you are bringing in, but the amount of money you can also save for yourself by doing many of the projects yourself. Glen is also a blacksmith and makes many of the things we need in his smithy, but he is also known to fabricate things such as our homestead plow and our sawmill, just to name a few.
Consider ways that you can incorporate your hobbies and the things you do for pleasure. Once you have identifies a market, these can be a great means of extra income.
Contrary to many peoples beliefs, bartering is still alive and can be a great help in achieving goals on the homestead and saving money. When I say bartering, I am not just referring to good, but also services.
20 ways we make a living on our homestead
- Web Design Business
- Writing – for freelance magazines, blogs, and your own books
- Selling things on eBay and Etsy
- Selling by-products from our animals such as meat, eggs, and goats milk
- Selling Metal Art
- Contracted to make varying metal wares and custom furniture
- Milling Lumber
- Backhoe work
- Educating on our lifestyle
- Making custom paracord items and leather items
- Making soaps, candles, recipe cards, woven coasters and gift baskets
- Host a Weekly radio show (Mountain Woman Radio)
- Selling ad space on our blog and websites
- Data entry work
- Welding & fabricating
- Crafted items
- Trapping – selling the hides
- Selling natural health items, dried herbs & things from our garden
- Traditional Cabin Building (this took us off the homestead but for limited times)
- Construction Work (this took us off the homestead but for limited times)
33 additional means of making an income homesteading:
These are not income sources that we have personally tried, but we have friends that have been successful with these ideas.
- Selling seeds
- Selling started plants
- Selling manure
- Raising meat for sale (depending on your location and the county limitations) The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals: Choose the Best Breeds for Small-Space Farming
- Selling hides for leather or brain tanning the hides for sale
- Selling home canned goods (check regulations for your area)
- Selling home-baked goods (check regulations for your area)
- Crafting. Sell pottery, crochet, knitted, sewn items are sought after. Handcrafted cards, recipe cards, etc.
- Make and sell leather or burlap canvas bags
- Selling fruits and vegetables through a CSA or farmstand. See Compact Farms: 15 Proven Plans for Market Farms on 5 Acres or Less
- Selling dried herbs
- Raise and sell items on demand in your area (ie worms, mushrooms, fish, etc.)
- Breed animals for sale
- Sell stud services
- Sell pine trees or fruit trees
- Foraging extras can be sold; think berries, mushrooms, etc.
- Sell fresh flowers at the local market
- Raising bees and selling the honey or selling the bees (homestead gold)
- Selling goat or cow milk (check regulations for your area)
- Raising sheep or alpaca for the wool
- Build milking stands, coops, hutches, etc.
- Make and sell soaps, salves, tinctures, etc.
- Selling eggs or poultry for meat (chickens, quail, turkeys, guineas, duck)
- Selling fertile eggs
- Raising meat rabbits and also selling the pelts
- Educating on what you do on your homestead
- Sell firewood
- Sell woodwork (ie signs, furniture, yard craft)
- Babysitting for children or animals
- Write books
- Create a blog
- Work from home on the internet (ie virtual assistant, data entry, copywriting, voice-overs, etc.)
- Utilize your land to entertain – (ie tours, parties, bed and breakfast)
It is definitely important to do your due diligence and research the local laws, guidelines, and requirements for your area for raising animals and selling by-products. There are SO many ways to make an income. For us, it meant coming together as a family and being resourceful. We could have easily taken a job in the local towns, but that was not how we wanted to roll. Our freedom and the comforts of our home are so strong and important to us, and that is where we wanted to focus our efforts.
For more ideas to make money on the homestead try these posts: Growing Mushrooms for Profit and The Reality of Selling Eggs from Farmstead Chickens.
What is important to you? What are your goals for your homestead? What ways have you made an income on your homestead?