Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm curious what sort of home-based businesses people run. I know there's a lot of possibilities, starting with the obvious of selling veggies at farmers' markets or running a CSA, to things I'm sure I can't even imagine. What do you do to generate income, primary or extra, from your homestead?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,460 Posts
I'm curious what sort of home-based businesses people run. I know there's a lot of possibilities, starting with the obvious of selling veggies at farmers' markets or running a CSA, to things I'm sure I can't even imagine. What do you do to generate income, primary or extra, from your homestead?
My neighbors all grow pot, and they seem to be doing pretty well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
We sell lemons twice a year and do pretty good. A lot of interest in our meat rabbits as well. Just getting started in that.

I also made several hundred bucks selling rabbit nesting boxes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
Raise pigs and make them into sausages, hams and bacon. Raise broiler chickens. We sell to friends and neighbors on the down low but make decent money with it.

Have sold plenty of veggies and probably will again but that's not useful money like the meat.

I drive a backhoe on friends farms, that's my main cash. Welding too, sometimes. I call these homestead businesses because it's stuff I do on our farm and can offer as services on other farms.

Getting ready to start a farming school. My schoolhouse cabin is almost done. Got no idea what we'll teach but make something up when the students get here. Probably something about plants, animals and construction.

Wife has a proper job managing a local private nature reserve.

Pretty lucky we're doing good this week. Very thankful
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Getting ready to start a farming school. My schoolhouse cabin is almost done. Got no idea what we'll teach but make something up when the students get here. Probably something about plants, animals and construction.
That seems intriguing. I'll have to see if there's anything like that around me. If you're located anywhere near Raleigh, let me know when you get it going!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
That seems intriguing. I'll have to see if there's anything like that around me. If you're located anywhere near Raleigh, let me know when you get it going!
I'm in Costa Rica but the bidneth will be focused on receiving foreign students. There's not a whole lot I could teach a real Costa Rican country boy or girl they don't know already.

The farm will be sort of like a wwoof farm except with more of a focus on teaching students rather than just a work exchange. (That's the pipe dream at least)

If you ever want to go travel come see us!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
My wife and I are transitioning back to homesteading after years of chasing the money, and although we don’t have an established homestead business at the moment, we have several pokers in the fire to slowly build upon.

Our property is ideal for growing shiitake and oyster mushrooms and the local market has a very high demand for it. So we’re in the process now of inoculating and we’ll see how that goes.

My wife has already been successful at crafting and jewelry making and has made thousands selling it on Etsy before. So we’re picking up on that again, which will also serve well to occupy our time inside the cabin during the long cold winter months.

In the last 4 months I have successfully turned 100 red wiggler worms into nearly 1000, and I can tell just by the amount of food I have to throw in to keep up with them. At this rate of expansion I’m considering the possibility down the road of selling worm castings as organic fertilizer and the worms as fishing bait. Worse case, I’ll have at the very least good fertilizer for my own garden and a good source of protein for the chickens. Other than the initial cost of the 100 worms, I’ve yet to sink another penny into it.

I also have some good artistic skill and have made hundreds of dollars burning art into wooden furniture and kitchen cabinets. It’s long tedious work and it will never work out for a profit for my time as a FT business, but it’s a skill I can always turn to as a source of a little extra money if I really need it.

My wife and I also both enjoy refurbishing old wooden furniture that we find for free on the roadsides on garbage day. We always stop and grab something that someone is throwing away and eventually turn it into a piece that can be sold.

We love the diversity of our own interests and we feel it’s best to have as many different sources of income as possible. This way if one venture suffers in any way the others can still provide.

Edit: I’ll add in too that a big part in our approach of trying to generate a homestead income was also to reduce expenses to begin with. Part of the reason my wife and I put homesteading on the back burner for a while was to earn enough money to buy a homestead property cash, which we’ve accomplished. So no rent, no mortgage, no car payments currently and we’re working on reducing that grocery bill as much as possible. Collectively we hope these efforts will allow us to pursue all of these homestead ventures in a way that prevents us from the need for either one of us to work FT in town.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
MJR, wow, you've got a lot going on there!

I would try getting into growing things, but I don't know that I have enough clear space to make it worthwhile. And I don't know what would be best to grow, too.

"This way if one venture suffers in any way the others can still provide." Far from the first time I've heard that advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
MJR, wow, you've got a lot going on there!

I would try getting into growing things, but I don't know that I have enough clear space to make it worthwhile. And I don't know what would be best to grow, too.

"This way if one venture suffers in any way the others can still provide." Far from the first time I've heard that advice!
It does seem like a lot, but the worms and mushrooms don’t demand a lot of time. Once it’s going it’s more or less just checking in once in a while to make sure things are on track. Maybe 3 or 4 hours total a week.

The wood working and crafting takes a lot of time, but we spend our time on that anyway during the cold winters in Maine. We’d loose our minds if we didn’t have that outlet to keep busy every night. Lol.

We hit the farmers markets a lot when we first moved to our area. We learned what was in abundance, what was less available, what sold really fast and what lingered. From there we took a look at what our property could realistically produce and that’s how we settled on trying mushrooms. They sold really fast at the market at a really good price and we have the environment just right to grow it. There are also a lot of local restaurants that like to buy local food as well and that’s another potential outlet for our mushrooms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
I don't really do anything that could be called a business but rather do many different things to bring in some cash (or often for barter). With all the things listed below I can cover all my yearly cash needs with a little extra for savings and get a fair amount of labor and materials (iron, steel, sawn lumber, and old equipment and tools, etc.).

I have a young man that comes up on Friday and picks fresh vegetables (tomatoes, green beans and peppers are big this time of year) and takes them out to the main road and sets up a stand on Saturday. He often has orders for specific items or amounts for the the following week. I usually let him keep the profits in return for help around the homestead... which works well for both of us.

I also have a young man and lady that come up on Saturdays, do some work and prepare 8 or 10 CSA style boxes that we take to church on Sunday for local elderly and/or "in need" families. They themselves are "in need" so in return they take home larger boxes for their family with a few extras thrown in (fresh bread, butter, cheese, jelly or jam, etc.).

My hay and large job crews get a pot luck dinner, a roasted whole hog and a side or two for supper and an evening around a bonfire... with live old time music.

In the spring I sell extra piglets, lambs and chicks. In the summer I usually barter sheep fleeces for spun wool. In the late summer/fall I have standing orders for 100 bushels of potatoes.

Following the seasons I sell some maple syrup, honey, sorghum syrup and apple cider.

If it were legal, I might barter with or sell some smoked country hams, fresh churned butter, homemade cheese, hard cider and maybe even a small bit of corn liquor... if any of that were legal ;)!

I dig some 'sang, some bloodroot and yellow root, and gather some moss. I do some trapping in the winter and usually make stuff from the hides and sell finished products rather than raw furs.

I make walking sticks, wooden bow rakes, hay forks, baskets and brooms (both besom/twig and straw... big sellers in the late summer/fall) . Around Thanksgiving I start selling hand dipped beeswax candles, and handmade garland and wreathes... all big seasonal sellers. I also make ladder back chairs with hickory bark seats. A bunch of this stuff is sold in an outlet store (tourist trap) about 50 miles away.

I do leather work, blacksmithing and woodworking and every year get a commission or two for a custom flintlock rifle which is all hand made except the barrel. Most often I make a complete set up with hunting knife, leather shooting bag and accouterments (powder horn, ball mold, etc.).

My daughter (soon to be 31... aaaack!) and granddaughter (12) started making handmade rag rugs and quilts for sale. Grandson (10) and granddaughter (8) are still working on what they want to specialize in :).
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top