Old Fashioned On Purpose

52. 4 Ways to Make Money on Your Homestead

December 04, 2019 Jill Winger
Old Fashioned On Purpose
52. 4 Ways to Make Money on Your Homestead
Show Notes Transcript

This is what we all dream of, right? Of course our love of the homestead life is why we get involved in the first place, but the idea of actually making a living off the homestead (or even just a little extra money) can seem far-fetched. Today I’m not just here to explain why this is entirely possible, but I’m also providing 6 proven ways to start making money off your homestead. From selling animal products to creating homestead experiences and everything in between, I know one of these ideas are sure to spark something in your mind. Have you done anything to make money on your homestead? If so, be sure to share!

• For more ideas and inspiration on growing a profitable homestead on your own, be sure to grab my free ebook at https://www.theprairiehomestead.com/income

spk_0:   0:01
Welcome to the old fashioned on purpose podcast. Imagine this: a self sufficient homestead that not only produces food but also produces an income for you and your family. So you never have to leave and go work for someone else. That's the dream, isn't it?  

spk_0:   0:24
On today's episode, we're going to die of into four proven ways you can start making money on your homestead, and hopefully by the end of the episode your entrepreneurship juices will be flowing. I'm your host, Jill Winger. And for the last 10 years I've been helping people just like you who feel a little disenchanted by modern life. I'll show you how to create the life you really want by learning how to grow your own food and master old fashioned skills.  

spk_0:   1:00
So when we started to build the compost pile back in the day and bring home the chickens, I never, ever would have imagined that homesteading would end up being the gateway into the world of entrepreneurship. I think this happens as I dissect you know where we've been and where we're going, I think it happens because homesteading got us thinking outside of the box, and it gave us this revelation that we didn't have to be like everyone else.  

spk_0:   1:37
You know, that started with our food supply as we started to realize we didn't have to be dependent on the store or three industrialized food system. But then that ended up flowing into the idea of, you know, what else can we do differently if we're? If we're standing for this idea of better choices and more intentional living with our food, what does that mean for the other areas of our life? So we started to examine our jobs and, you know, Christmas that point was driving to town every day and working as an electrician. And so we started to debate and discuss as to whether or not he was wanting to do that for the rest of his life. And if he wanted to be leaving the homestead, you know, six days a week all day long and being away from the kids. And so it really just caused us to start asking questions, which I think is where all of the good journey starts.  

spk_0:   2:36
So we might not have begun our homestead life with the idea of becoming business owners later, but we quickly got to that point as we started to immerse ourselves more into this lifestyle. Now I really want to highlight as we talk about this, that everyone will have a different story here. You know, our story is heavy in the digital world. Many of you know, we we started with a blog that was helping people learn about homesteading. It's still there, theprairiehomestead.com and then that drifted into this idea of having an essential oil business, which we've been very successful with. And now we're still doing the blogging and providing services and systems for people who want to begin homesteading as well.  

spk_0:   3:26
But our story is mainly in this online space. There are plenty of other homesteaders who are making a living doing completely different things. So this there's not a one size fits all journey here. There's a lot of room for creativity and ingenuity, and you can really create your own adventure if you will, as we dive into this idea of using your homestead as an income source. So I'm gonna give you some ideas in this episode, but I don't want you to feel boxed in to just these ideas. Really, the sky is the limit here, and the the goal of this episode is just to get your ideas flowing and get the inspiration coming to you. And then you take what you hear and crafted into something that will fit your situation.  

spk_0:   4:18
But let me reassure you, creating an income from your homestead is possible. It's very much doable, and it's extremely fulfilling. Okay, so here are some ideas. Number one, this is the most obvious. And I think we need to just still talk about it, though for a minute, because there's some things to keep in mind here. The one that I hear people say definitely hands down the most is, you know, I'm going to start a farm store. I'm gonna sell the food that I'm growing on the homestead. So that's the one that comes to mind. First, it's probably the most popular. Now I think this idea is very romantic to a lot of us. The idea, at least for me of growing something, you know, having the vegetables and baskets or the eggs and the cartons or the milk in the jars and being able to share that with someone else and receiving money in exchange for of the fruits of our labor is just this an amazing concept. You know, we all want a piece of that.  

spk_0:   5:20
I think the pros if we're talking pros and cons of each of these ideas that we get to provide people around us with high quality food, you know, we are going to be producing food anyway and we're gonna be able to monetize that. That's a huge benefit. It's also providing our community with local options with which I know if you're anything like me, sometimes local options can be really difficult where we live in Wyoming. One of the things I love about Wyoming, but it also frustrates me, is we can be a little bit behind the times with things. So, you know, local organic foods. We have some here. We don't have tons like other parts of the country might. So you know, the idea of bringing more local quality food options to the community is super exciting, like that's fantastic. Now, the cons, the downfalls of this idea of selling farm goods, and I think a lot of people don't realize the margins. You know, for example, if you're selling eggs, you're really gonna have to mark your eggs up in order to make a small profit. And it could be really challenging because consumers are so accustomed to buying the cheap, commercially produced eggs or milk or meat at the grocery store.  

spk_0:   6:46
So it takes a lot of education to help the consumers understand why it's good to pay more for the eggs. And if you can't get that education across, you're gonna be marking your farm fresh food down to compete with the grocery store, and you're either gonna be breaking even or taking a loss because it's definitely cost money to produce. You know, the milk or the eggs with the meat. There's definitely investments there for you as the farmer. So I feel like the idea of selling food from your homestead is not necessarily as lucrative. Right off the bat is a lot of people assume it might be,  so I really would advise you to look at your numbers, map it out before you dive in. And I really think it's harder than it looks at times, depending on where you live.  

spk_0:   7:40
I know A lot of folks were surprised recently when Joel Salatin, I know a lot of you know who he is, he's like the king of sustainable farmers in the United States, but he announced that they were going to start selling online because for years and years, he's been very, very passionate that they would only sell locally in their community, but they were having a hard time keeping, you know, the sale's coming in even with his notoriety. And he has amazing food, amazing products. And so they made the choice to start branching out and selling and shipping, which a lot of people have been, you know, there's been some controversy around that.  

spk_0:   8:19
I wholeheartedly support that because I know that that's what they need to do to keep their farm business moving forward. But just know that even someone like him, you know, has to get really strategic and creative with how he's marketing his farm goods. So not to discourage those of you who want to sell your eggs in your mouth, just really plan it out ahead of time. Also, something to consider if you are gonna be selling any sort of food products from your homestead is in certain states, there are different restrictions as to how the food must be handled or prepared. So, for example, if you're going to be making home canned foods, jams or jellies and selling them at the farmer's market, oftentimes it's a requirement that you make those foods in a commercial kitchen.  

spk_0:   9:09
So sometimes you need to rent a kitchen or find someone that'll let you borrow a commercial kitchen. But there are definite regulations, not to mention when you get into the world of things like raw milk that can get a little bit sticky, depending on the state you live in. For years and years, Wyoming, where we live, would not allow raw milk sales. They did update that a couple years ago, so now I can sell milk to a neighbor legally. But prior to that, it was 100% against the law for me to sell a gallon of milk to the neighbor if it was intended for human consumption.  

spk_0:   9:46
There are ways to get around that with things like cow shares. Some people do things like label it for pet use only Wink wink. So anyway, if you want to sell milk, you'll just want to be very well educated into what the regulations are in your area because you can get in trouble if you are selling milk illegally. All right, idea number two, animal husbandry. And basically, this is just encompassing this idea of raising animals or, uh, selling animals or breeding them all of that stuff. And this, I think, is a really exciting option. Aand you can get really creative within this space.  

spk_0:   10:31
So a little bit of a caveat here, if you do plan on breeding animals and selling their offspring, please become as knowledgeable as you possibly can in that unique breed or species that you are focusing on. Know the bloodlines, get familiar with best breeding practices, and the desired characteristics of the animal. What I see happening often is folks breeding animals willy nilly. You know they do this buck, go to this doe that the neighbor had in the backyard, or, you know, this random cow to this random cow, and it's just produces a lot of animals that are flooding the market that aren't high quality.  

spk_0:   11:20
They don't really have the traits that anybody is looking for, and it just is a little bit irresponsible. Not that any of you guys would do that. I know you're better than that. But just to caution you that if you're going to get into selling animals, I would challenge you to set the goal of becoming the best you can be and spending the time getting to know the breed and getting to know the an industry. So you know your stuff and you can have the pedigreed animals, the ones that are high quality, to have the best milking lines of the best meat production. And you can really be at the top of your game. Okay, a few pros or benefits of focusing on this idea of animal husbandry as an income source. A lot of the time, not all but some, you're gonna have a bit better margins than you would be selling farm goods so it could be a little bit more lucrative, especially at the beginning.  

spk_0:   12:17
It also has the opportunity to allow you to take part in conservation of different species. There is the Livestock Conservancy Association. I don't think that's their official name, but basically they're a group of people who are committed to helping these older strains of farm animals not become extinct. So let's say you decide to get into Icelandic chickens or, uh, Jacob sheep or another one or different strains of goats or cattle that are listed as thes species or breeds of animals that are in danger of disappearing. You can help keep that breed alive. You can provide high quality offspring to other enthusiasts who are looking for animals in that category, and it also could help you make a little bit more money because it's unlikely that the market for those specific animals are going to be a saturated.  

spk_0:   13:18
Now, a few of the downfalls to looking into this animal husbandry idea is there is a little bit more of a startup cost. So if you let's say you're going to be breeding Nigerian dwarf goats, for example, you're gonna be breeding them and selling the babies. You have to invest in the breeding pairs. You probably have to pay for registration and make sure you have the appropriate facilities, and you can, you know, kid the goats without having issue and have the stands and the equipment. So a little bit more of a startup cost. Also, it's a little bit more knowledge required up front. Also, if you live very, very rurally, sometimes it can be a bit more challenging to find buyers for more specialty breeds.  

spk_0:   14:08
Now, that's not to say you can't advertise them online or use the Internet to help you market. But you know, I know where we live, [eople very much like the standard breeds of pigs and chickens and cattle. And so if I have something super exotic, it might not be as popular at the beginning until people start to realize what it is or we do some education on the benefits of it. So a few ideas to jot down in your notebook that you could potentially create a business around in this category of animal husbandry would be to sell fertilized eggs for folks who want to hatch them at home. You could also start selling chicks or pullets. This could be especially lucrative if you have the ability to raise chicks that are of a more rare or popular you know desired breed. You could also sell bees. You could sell worms for either composting or for fishing. You can raise and sell home dairy animals.  

spk_0:   15:17
This is something we've dabbled in a little bit in breeding are brown Swiss milk cows and then selling the heifers as milk cows. For other families, you could keep a male animal,  a ram or a bull or a buck, you know, high quality one with good bloodlines and then sell the stud services for that animal. That's an option. You could also become an AI tech. When I say I have to realize that a lot of people think it's artificial intelligence. It actually means artificial insemination, right? Not robots. It's breeding. So you could become an AI technician.  

spk_0:   15:56
Usually their schools or certifications that you can go through that will train you on the process of breeding cattle or breeding other animals. And then you can provide that as a service to oher animal owners. Christian, last year, I believe, went and became certified, so he now can breed all of our cattle himself. Prior to that, we would hire someone. We hired a neighbor, and he would do it for us, and he had actually has a business doing that. So, that could become a full time profession if you wanted it to be any lived in the right area. You could also raise and sell bottle calves if you live in an area where you have a supply of those or keep fiber animals and sell the wool.

spk_0:   16:40
So as you can see, there's lots of options there, lots of room to get creative. For me, the animal aspect of homesteading is one of my very favorites. That's when I think that excites me the most. Okay. Category number three: providing an experience. We talked about selling farm goods. We talked about selling animals or animal products. What if you provide an experience to folks who don't have a home set of their own?  

spk_0:   17:10
So more and more people are craving a taste of farm life, even if they have no intentions of ever buying a homestead, and you can play an active role in providing this. So one of the best benefits of this idea is you don't have to manufacture products or necessarily sell products. That's a pretty attractive not to have that upfront process. The cons are the downfalls of this would be a little bit more labor involved. You're gonna be a little more hands on here. You also would very likely need to have some sort of liability insurance. If you're going to have people on your property, that's really, really important, especially if they're doing anything with animals or any sort of risk involved.  

spk_0:   17:57
Definitely check into insurance. Also, this is kind of a side note, but if you are an introvert, having people on your property for many, many weekends or many, many days in a row can be a lot. So a lot of people were surprised to learn that I am an introvert. I can be extroverted and high energy and groups, but after I'm in a group of people for a prolonged period of time, I come home and crash and I need it silent. Ah, and like people free for at least a couple days, so I have to really balance how much people time I have. So if you are an introvert like me, just keep in mind that you'll want to plan out quiet times around the busy times. So some ideas for creating an experience would be to have a pumpkin patch. I've always thought that would be a blast so you could do the whole fall autumn experience, where you do the pumpkins and the hay rides and the the scare crows and the corn maze is depending on how much land you have, but that would be amazing.  

spk_0:   19:03
There's also the idea of U-pick farms where you plant the strawberries or you have the apple trees or whatever, and then people pay by the bucket or the basket to come pick the fruit or the vegetables right on your farm. That could be something you create other income streams around as well. Maybe once they're on the farm, they're gonna be buying other products you have for sale, and that could become a whole enterprise for you. There's also creating a bed and breakfast if you have an old farmhouse, so you have a really beautiful setting Bed and breakfast can be an amazing way to capitalize on that, as could the whole concept of Airbnb.  

spk_0:   19:46
If you put that up, I know people can make a lot of great income with Airbnb. Obviously, if you're living in your house the whole time, that may not work. Maybe you have a guest house. Maybe you travel in the summer so just get creative. That's definitely a possibility, though. And then, lastly, my other idea for this experience concept would be to rent out your barn or your lands or your backyard if you have a really great setting for weddings or other events. I've seen some fantastic venues that are Barns when they have the lights and it's just this gorgeous setting that people use is an event space. And that could be something that be very lucrative for you if you're willing to help with the setup and the marketing, lots of potential there.  

spk_0:   20:35
All right, last idea set for you is number four teaching, and this is the one that I have had the most success with and the one that I enjoy the most. If you have a natural bend towards teaching others or inspiring them in this old fashioned way of living, that could be an amazing way to provide value. So the benefits of this would be you get to teach what you know and what you love what you're already doing, and the cool thing about teaching is it helps you to know your subject matter even better. S

spk_0:   21:10
o I find that every time I am teaching a video class or writing a blog post or creating a book, I think I know it pretty darn good going in. But I know it way better on the other end as I'm wrapping up the project. That's kind of a fun bonus. The downfalls of this idea of teaching is you're definitely gonna have to become savvy with marketing. So whether that's online teaching or you're doing local classes, you're gonna have to have a way to get the word out. Also, if you're doing anything in person, you could be a little tricky if you live very rurally to find people to attend classes.  

spk_0:   21:53
That's not to say it can't be done. You just might have to be a little more creative. So a few ideas here for you in this category of teaching to create an income would be to host on farm workshops. You know, you have everybody over you teach them how to milk a cow, or then you teach them how to can in your kitchen or how to do fermentation. You wouldn't even have to have the workshops be on farm necessarily. I've seen people rent spaces, you know, at local venues, and then they have a sauerkraut class or yogurt making class, so there's definitely potential there.  

spk_0:   22:31
Another idea would be to partner with a local college if you have one and teach one of those continuing education courses. When I look at the booklet that comes from our neighboring college, I see all sorts of little workshops in there, and some of them are in gardening themes or food preservation. So if you have that as your passion, you absolutely could potentially teach a class and have the college help with the marketing. You can also shift into more of the online world in this concept of teaching. Write e-books, you can create courses. You can start a YouTube channel and monetize it with banner ads. It's very, very easy. Well, maybe not easy is the right word, but it's more doable than ever to self publish a book these days. You don't have to have a traditional publisher, and you can use all of those avenues to help you teach skills to other people. And, of course, my baby is blogging. I love to blog. I started blogging almost a decade ago. It has helped me to connect with so many amazing people. Just a little bit of word of warning in any of these online avenues. Keep in mind that it can be a little harder than it looks. I think a lot of people, and I know a lot of people personally who have started the blog or started the YouTube channel and they get a little bit into that and realize, Oh my goodness, there's so much more to this than I thought. 

spk_0:   24:06
So it's not to say that there is not amazing opportunity in the online space for teaching, but it takes a lot of consistency and a lot of learning what each platform and what each industry requires. So definitely possible. Just definitely a little bit of a learning curve there. All right, so wrapping up here a few takeaways, I want you to keep in mind. Remember, there are tons of ways to make an income with your homestead. Your way will not look like my path. You get to write your own story and choose your own adventure with us. Just remember that no matter what path you pick, it's going to require some creativity and some grit on your part. The statistics show that most businesses fail not just homestead businesses, any business. And so before you get started, have a plan. Map out the margins, map out the numbers and be committed to sticking with it all the way through.  

spk_0:   25:17
And if you can do that, I think that's where you'll find the most success. So for more ideas and inspiration for growing a homestead business of your very own, grab my free How to make money from your Homestead e book at theprairiehomestead.com/income. And that is all, My friend, thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed today's episode, I would be so honored to have you pop over into your favorite podcast player hit, subscribe and leave a quick review so more people confined this podcast and bring home setting into their lives. Thanks so much for listening and all plan on catching up with you next time on the next episode of the old fashioned on purpose podcast