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Best Money-Making Options for a Homestead?

 
Posts: 26
Location: Wisconsin
monies urban homestead
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I want to develop a plan to live on a homestead in the future. I've learned that there are a lot of different ways to earn money on a homestead, and that it's rare to be able to live completely off what you can grow and sell. Knowing this, I want to determine how I will make most of my money, and build a plan around that. However, the sheer amount of options is a bit mind-boggling.

What are some common activities homesteaders do that can provide a significant source of income?
 
pollinator
Posts: 3114
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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Run a landscaping/snow removal biz.
Run a market garden/CSA
Run a city youth summer program.
 
Posts: 53
Location: 5000' Albuquerque, NM
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Let's say that you have a giant pile of money and you decide to go shopping for things or experiences that you love. You might say, "Hmm, I'd buy a giant oven for my cabin" or "I'd buy that super sleeked out sewing machine" or "I'd get me one of those giant cider presses and build a shed for juicing and fermenting and distilling." Well, whatever you'd do with all that money, you could work backward and say, "Hey, I could incorporate myself, sell a little extra on the side and call all that cool gear that I want to buy 'assets' and have my stuff depreciate over time and each year subtract it from the money I make."
So, what do you love and want to share with others?
 
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Phil Patterson wrote:I want to develop a plan to live on a homestead in the future. I've learned that there are a lot of different ways to earn money on a homestead, and that it's rare to be able to live completely off what you can grow and sell. Knowing this, I want to determine how I will make most of my money, and build a plan around that. However, the sheer amount of options is a bit mind-boggling.

What are some common activities homesteaders do that can provide a significant source of income?



Have a large nest egg and plan to be in the red for the first year or two. Write off the business expenses for your farm. For the first year or two it might be a good idea to have a work at home job not related to the homestead. Once you have a nest egg or  work from home JOB (notice I said job, not business, not income producing hobby, but job you can rely on a paycheck or direct deposit from) then start developing your farm income.
You do not need to be living on a homestead or small farm to start your farm income and business name. For instance I sell strawberry runners and strawberry jam, I propagate the runners from containers and grow bags. Is it ideal? No, but it gives me the experience and income and networking for when I have a homestead.  Start growing vegetables where you currently live and instead of focusing on just your food and canning, sell some at the local farmers market. See what your customer base is like and what they will want in the future. I sell plants, jam, sourdough bread, pies, soap and candles that I make by hand either on my bus or in an apartment depending on my circumstances. I know my current market is saturated with handmade soaps so I won't be focusing on that as much when I have a homestead, I also know there are multiple egg vendors so investing in a flock of laying hens would not be ideal in this area.
There are a lot of homesteading like income streams that you can do from a city or town to build up clients and a website etc. Do you have any skills or talents that other farmers in your area do not have? Do you see your local farmers market lacking any particular item or items? Is there a home delivery CSA? What items does your market have too much of, if any of these products pique your interest what would you have to do to have customers come to you instead of the other vendors in the area?
One of the best selling items that I do not have the skill set to provide are burl would sculptures, it is amazing to see someone come to the farmers market with a log and carve out an eagle or a bear in front of the patrons! People will leave tips like they are a street performer and other people will pay more for the pieces created on site than the ones in their booth.  
 
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Posts: 2544
Location: southern Illinois.
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Much depends upon what you mean by significant income.  Some would accept $6000 a year, others would want $80000 or more. Of course. then there are the issues of your skills and education.  I walked away from my first attempt in MN due to climate and income.  I saved enough to buy a place in the southern tip of Il ...much better growing season and better income opportunities.  
 
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