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6 Money Making Ideas for Your Homestead or Small Farm
As a small farmer, to keep things going, you also have to be a small entrepreneur. Here on my 11.5 acre horse farm, I am slowly expanding the homestead side of things, and that means expanding on how my farm makes me money and helps pay my bills.
1 – Horses
First, my horses. I originally bought my piece of land to run a horse boarding facility, and I have hit that goal! I am currently full and enjoy the extended family that the horses and their owners give me. The Farm has also recently expanded its small lesson program.
Don’t have horses? That’s ok. There are plenty more ways that your small farm can make you some side money.
2 – Chickens
There are several ways chickens can make you some extra money. First you can raise and sell chicks. I have a very friendly rooster named Brant. This is my first year with him, but he is one handsome dude, and I am hoping he helps my girls make some pretty barn yard mix babies. You can sell fertile eggs, or hatch them and sell the chicks. Each breed varies in price from barn yard birds to pure bred show birds; so pick your favorite and get to hatching!
Don’t want to keep a rooster? Or if hatching eggs is just too much work, you can just sell eggs. With enough birds, you can set up at a local farmers market, or just advertise for on the farm pick up. People will pay extra for free range/cage free fresh eggs. If you are already raising chickens you can understand why, they taste so much better!
Birds drop feathers. Crafters buy feathers. This is another way your birds can help you make some extra cash. Especially if your birds have some color or pattern on their feathers. I walk around my chicken run and collect them in the am when I collect eggs. I save them in a freezer bag and sell when the bags are full. I sell mine on Bonanza.com.
Chicken Bonus! Chickens are great little composters. You can save money by giving them certain types of food scraps that would otherwise be filling up your trash cans. Double Bonus! If you have a garden, the mix of chicken poo and bedding makes excellent compost for your garden, and if you make enough of it, you can sell compost to local backyard gardeners.
3 – Wood
Have extra wood laying around? Take advantage! My fencing on the farm is made of wood planks. The horses are constantly breaking planks, forcing me to replace them. But I don’t throw the old planks away! I sell them to local crafters, and do some crafts myself which I sell online.
No old barn wood laying around? I bet you have trees! Trees can chopped and sold as fire wood. They can also be sliced and sold as wood cookies or slices. Wood slices are popular items for crafters and well and I have sold a few on local wedding sites.
Take some time and explore Pinterest, there are a lot of really cool ideas and tips on what to do with old wood.
4 – Land
Have extra land you aren’t using? Make it work for you! I have a spot on the farm with a large firepit that I have listend on Airbnb.com as a designated camp site. You can also open a spare bedroom to Airbnb travelers. I have had a lot of fun with this! You meet some really interesting people, and its easy money. The site takes care of all the booking and holds insurance should something go wrong.
If you have extra space that is fenced in, or can be fenced in, you can rent pasture space for a variety of different animals. I have ben contacted by people wanting space from everything from horses to sheep and goats. If animals aren’t your thing, this can be a great way to make some extra money and get animal experience, but have other people take care of the herd.
Does your land have something interesting on it? An old barn? A cool looking tree? A pond? Photographers are always looking for new places to take their clients. You can advertise locally on Facebook or craigslist. This wont make you a ton, but its so easy. I rent my farm to photographers by the hour, they pay a small fee, and sign a release form, than the photographer takes care of the rest.
5 – Plants
Do you have a greed thumb? Take advantage! If you have a few raised garden beds, you can rent space for a community garden. Most places charge a one time fee, and then the renters grow the plants in their designated space. If you want to grow the veggies yourself, and you can grow enough, you can offer crop sharing or sell at your local farmers market.
If you have a green house, or even a few sunny window sills, you can start seeds inside during the colder months, and sell them after the last frost to local backyard gardeners. Bonus if you can do organic!
6 – Share With Others
Have something to teach others? Do you have great tips on how to raise backyard chickens, or grow the best garden? Are you a home repair expert or excellent baker? Share these skills! You can offer classes on your farm to teach people in person or you can start a blog to reach thousands.
Blogging can be a great way to earn extra income. There is always something that needs to be done, even on the smallest farm. But sometimes you need to sit down and channel your energy other places to clear your mind. Or a project for when the weather is bad, or it is just to dark and rainy outside to work. I started my blog, which has made some side money, using the course from StartAMomBlog.com. Her course is easy to follow, packed with a ton of information, and not just for mommy bloggers.
Have some other ideas or have you tried anyof these suggestions? I wwould love ot hear about it! Please comment and share this post. Happy homesteading!