Buying a huge piece of property, going off-grid and producing enough food to feed a small army; sounds pretty amazing huh? Moving out to a rural homestead and being completely self-sufficient is a dream for a lot of preppers.
Unfortunately it’s no longer possible to load up the wagon, head out to wilderness and carve out your own little piece of paradise. (I mean you can try, but don’t call me when the cops show up!) It costs a lot of money to go completely off grid these days. Even after the initial expenses of land, housing, power and all the other basic necessities, moving to a rural homestead still requires some expensive upkeep.
Rural homesteads can still be completely self-sufficient, even in today’s modern times. However, it’s just as important today to be financially independent as it is to grow your own food and produce your own power. Money might not grow on trees, (still trying to find out the right permaculture class to figure that one out!) but with some hard work and ingenuity, rural homesteaders can easily make a comfortable living on their property.
This isn’t a comprehensive list by any means and for some of these ideas there would be some pretty significant setup costs to get started. Others obviously require specialized skills not every homesteader might have. Some of the ideas might even seem a little far-fetched. That’s not really the point. Above anything else, today’s post is about thinking outside the box to find ways to for YOU to become more financially self-reliant on your homestead or how to make your homesteading dreams a reality.
The only real job security these days are jobs you create yourself, and by putting your homestead to work, whether it’s on 100 acres of rural land, in a suburban backyard, or even in a small apartment, you’re turning your home into an money-generating asset, not just an expensive place to sleep.
The following list was comprised of ideas that real homesteaders are using to generate extra income from home. Hopefully this list will give you some ideas for ways you could make making some extra money from your homestead too, however big it may be.
- Growing vegetables and fruits for sale – This is probably my favorite idea. With as little as a half of an acre, you could easily grow enough food to feed your family and make some decent money selling the surplus at farmer’s markets. If you’ve got the extra land, a couple of tables and your Saturday mornings free, you’ve got yourself a potentially lucrative business.
- Growing and selling fruit trees – Sapling trees are very inexpensive, and if you’ve got the time and space on your property to do it, you could easily start growing dwarf fruit trees and selling them when they mature for a tidy profit. The only real investment you’d need to make for this is time as it could take a few years before your stock is ready for sale. However, if you plant new saplings every year, you could eventually have a yearly income stream that require very little work
- Growing and selling premium hardwood trees – Along the same lines as fruit trees. Some hardwoods are extremely expensive and even a small tree could be a great investment opportunity that requires very little work.
- Leasing your land to hunters – Very good money here; but if you already hunt on your land you might want to keep that game for yourself!
- Producing and selling honey – Beekeeping does require a bit of an investment and time. However there is a huge market for organic, local honey. After your first season you should be able to recoup your initial investment and will be profitable moving forward.
- Producing and selling starter plants – Another one of my favorites. This is an idea that you could start today even without a rural homestead. A greenhouse or even an indoor growing setup doesn’t cost very much (you could even DIY it for next to nothing) and starter plants are a huge money maker. A great way to get started is by contacting local neighborhood garage sales and working out a deal with someone to use their driveway to sell your starter plants. There’s a few people doing this in my immediate are and are making over $500 a day during the spring garage sale season.
- Renting garden space to others – There are a lot of people that don’t have access to a large garden space would be willing to pay a small fee to rent out a piece of your garden. You could even charge extra for maintenance and upkeep of the area.
- Teaching permaculture classes – Permaculture is becoming more and more popular, even outside the homesteading and prepper movement. If you’re a serious student of permaculture and enjoy teaching others, hosting classes on your property is not only a great way to make a little extra money, but it’s also a great labor resource for your own permaculture projects.
- Open an at-home daycare – As a father of two I know for a fact that daycares make very good money. With just a couple of craigslist ads offering daycare service, you could easily develop a very lucrative business from an at-home daycare in no time.
- Open an outdoor gun/archery range – If you have the patience to go through the licensing process and have the necessary training this idea could be a goldmine for the right homestead.
- Livestock breeding services – Studding services have been a lucrative business for generations. This should be a no-brainer for anyone raising livestock for profit.
- Gunsmithing services – If you have experience in gunsmithing there’s no reason why you can’t do basic repairs or modifications in your local area from home. You could even apply for an FFL license to make extra money from importing online gun sales from your area.
- Custom knifemaking – Good custom knife makers can easily make a full-time income selling custom knives. There are hundreds of online marketplaces to sell custom knives, let alone the opportunities you could find locally. If you have the skills, tools and a little money for materials, there’s no reason you can’t make extra money selling knives.
- Sharpening services – hairdressers, farmers, chefs…they all use sharp instruments every day. Most of the time these people will pay professionals to sharpen their blades. With the right setup and a steady hand, you could be making $10-20 for a couple minutes of work sharpening knives.
- Canine obedience courses – I’m not a big pet person myself but there’s a multi-billion dollar industry out there for pet care. Obedience courses, pet kenneling, grooming; the right person could make a lot of money offering these kinds of services on their homestead.
- Wilderness survival courses – Wilderness survival training is extremely popular. Even if you’re not quite a master woodsman yet, there are companies out there like Sigma Survival where you can get expert survival training that you can use to open your own school. Some companies even offer franchise opportunities for new survival instructors and can help you get started.
- RV storage service – There are tons of people out there that pay landowners to store their campers and RVs in the off-season. If you have the space, or even better an empty barn (you can charge more for indoor storage and winterizing) you could make some pretty decent passive income by just keeping an eye on some campers over the winter.
- Guided hunting service – If you’re hesitant to sell hunting leases on your property, offering guided hunting trips could be another way to make some extra money, while still having control over who comes on your land and when.
- Mushroom production – Growing culinary mushrooms is a very lucrative business. It doesn’t require a big investment to start buying spore kits and setting up dedicated mushroom habitats on your homestead that you can pick and sell at the markets year after year.
Hopefully today’s post has given you some ideas of what you could do to make money with your homestead or at least given you some ideas for potential moneymaking opportunities; even if moving into your dream rural homestead is still a few years away.
Until next time, stay safe out there everyone!
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