While not every homesteader has the same financial goals, it’s still important to think about how you can earn some money that will support your homesteading ways. So, how can you make money as a homesteader – no matter how much land you’ve got?
The best ways to make money as a homesteader will vary, depending on your land, what you produce, and what services or products you’re willing to sell. Your income will also vary depending on what work you’re willing to in order to make money homesteading. Here are 75+ ways to earn money homesteading.
Ready to see an insane number of ways you can make money as a homesteader – on any quantity of land? Keep reading – and let’s break things down.
How to Make Money as a Homesteader
Bringing in some income is a great way to offset your homestead’s inherent costs. Or it can be a fantastic way to earn an income. No matter what your financial goals are as a homesteader, there can be a way to reach those goals – with some dedicated planning, work, and willingness to change as you go.
First, you need to decide what you’re willing to do in order to earn money.
- What are you willing to grow, produce, or provide in exchange for money?
- Are there some things you aren’t willing to do in order to earn an income?
It’s important to answer now for a few reasons.
- There’s an awful lot of money to be made in some grayer or outright illegal areas. However, those ventures carry a lot more risk (especially legal risk). It’s always good to know your own moral standing – and to have that proverbial line in the sand. Just for the record – I recommend sticking to legal and above-board ventures.
- If you don’t want to do something – don’t do it! Doing things you don’t enjoy is a surefire way to misery.
- If there is something you want to do (but it requires a lot more time, effort, or investment than you currently have available), it’s okay. Set it as a goal and work towards it. It’s all about baby steps – so create a way to reach your goals.
Clear as mud? Well, let’s go through the different general possibilities of ways to earn income as a homesteader – and then we’ll go through specific examples. 75-plus examples – and then it’ll be a lot more clear.
Generally, there are a handful of ways to make money. Here they are.
|Way to Make Money as a Homesteader||Example|
|Provide a raw product||Raw products are things that you grow or develop and sell as-is, like garden produce, eggs, flowers, or milk.|
|Refined products||Refine products are things you develop and then further refine, like soaps, combed wool (as a skein of yarn), cheeses, jams, preserves, and pickled goods.|
|Provide a service||Homesteaders often have valuable skills like design, building, or being an advisor.|
|Teach or provide specialized information||This could be via in-person or online-based classes, a blog, video tutorials, or any other means.|
|Hospitality||You could board animals or build an area that could be rented out to interested parties – like a campsite or a rental cabin.|
|Raise, show, breed, and sell livestock (or other animals)||There can be a good-sized demand for various types of show-quality livestock or other animals.|
|Entrepreneurial Ventures||Build and maintain some sort of a business on your land, like a drive-in movie theater or a petting zoo.|
|Lease or Sell Mineral, Water, and Land rights||You could also lease or sell various rights to your land – including the land itself. Renting any of these would generate a smaller but more regular income, while sales would be a larger, one-time thing.|
Okay, seeing those categories may have gotten a few ideas going. But now let’s really get those creative juices flowing – and go into 75+ specific ideas for making money as a homesteader on a few acres of land – or less. Then, I’ll cover those same ideas based on how much land it would probably take to realistically implement those ideas.
Oh, but a quick caveat before we dive in. These ideas can all work – but not all ideas will work in every instance. Make sure you check with your local laws, ordinances, and other applicable codes (or HOA covenants) to make sure you’re following the rules that apply to you and your situation.
Raw Products You Could Make and Sell
- Grow garden produce (fruits and/or vegetables) and sell it at a farmer’s market or to neighbors. You could even just hang a sign in your front yard saying you’ve got fresh produce for sale.
- Grow a dual crop to optimize space, growing time, or both.
- Got chickens? Sell your eggs to friends, neighbors, restaurants, or stores. Organic, free-range backyard eggs can sell for several dollars per dozen. In our area, organic free-range eggs sell for upwards of $5/dozen at the grocery store. Check stores in your area for an idea at what prices you should charge. That income can help offset the costs of keeping chickens.
- Keep bees and sell raw, local honey.
- Grow and sell unique, local, or specialized flowers at a farmer’s market. You could also sell those flowers to a company that sells bouquets or floral arrangements.
- Gather and sell heritage plant seeds online.
- Grow and sell herbs (fresh or dried). Herbs are amazing at providing both flavor and health benefits. However, know that selling things for health benefits does mean you’d need to know what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says about that kind of marketing. As such, it may be easier to stick to selling herbs as flavor enhancers.
- Does your land have a renewable timber source on it? You may want to consider selling firewood. Chopped, split, and/or bundled firewood cords could bring in a decent income.
- Got plenty of animal manure? You could sell it “fresh” as fertilizer or compost and sell it as garden-ready compost.
- Got a lot of edible, safe wild plants in your area? Harvest and sell specialized, safe-to-eat wild plants like mushrooms and berries. Just make sure you’re an expert at identifying those wild consumables. There’s not a lot of room for error.
- Instead of foraging for mushrooms, you could instead opt to grow gourmet mushrooms. That might be easier – or at least safer.
- Speaking of gourmet, you could also farm snails.
Grow what you’ve got room for – and go with that as a great starting point. As you go, you can start adding in some more things.
Refined or Processed Products That Sell
Ready to get your fresh produce and products upgraded for a bigger income? Refine them – and the profits should rise, too.
- Take your garden produce (fruits, veggies, etc) and preserve it in a jar. Ideas include jams, jellies, preserves, and pickled products (veggies and eggs being the most common options). If you go this route, be sure to check your local laws about food handling. You may need a dedicated, commercial-grade kitchen to be able to do this.
- Do you make and bottle your own juices, wines, or ciders? That could sell well.
- Make crafts and sell them on Etsy or another such site.
- Got (goat) milk? Make and sell goat milk soaps and lotions.
- If you’ve got woodworking skills, you could build and sell furniture or various homesteading equipment that you’ve built.
The sky is the limit, depending on your skills and ability.
Services You Could Offer
Services are a great thing to offer because you can decide how much work you want to do. Work when you have time. Take time off when you need a break.
- Become a pet sitter. You can advertise via word-of-mouth or sign up to be a pet sitter on an app like Rover. When our usual pet sitters are booked, we use Rover to find a sitter. It’s easy and fantastic.
- Want to do more for animals? Offer an animal daycare service. Not only could you pet sit, but you could also offer training, grooming, or other services.
- Confident in your woodworking skills? You could offer that as a service – by making custom furniture or working on specialized projects.
- Another service you could offer is to build and sell homestead equipment. A common example is chicken coops – many new-to-chickens people are willing to pay for a well-built coop.
You get to set your own hours – and your own income.
Ways to Earn an Income by Teaching
Teaching can be a fantastic way to earn a reliable income. And contrary to the popular phrase, the best teachers aren’t those who can’t do – the best teachers are the ones who do well and can explain how to do it, too.
- Start a blog. Blogging can be as passive or active as an income and a job as you want it to be. For more information on what resources I recommend for this route, please check out my recommended blogging tools for homesteaders.
- Keep bees and teach others how to do the same. Or offer tours and teach people about the importance of said bees.
- Make how-to videos (or blog posts) about how you make your crafts or other products. This could be offered on your website or on a YouTube channel.
- Make farming and homesteading how-to videos.
- Lots of people would love to learn more about farming and homesteading! Offer tours or classes on how you do what you do.
- What you teach doesn’t have to be homestead related. You could teach something else – music, crafts, or whatever else you’re skilled at doing.
- Rent out space for educational purposes or create an educational camp.
- Rent out space (or an empty field) to any of various clubs. Metal detecting clubs could rent space – and help you find any lost tools at the same time!
Teaching is an amazingly rewarding path to take. I mean, hey – you’re here. Wouldn’t you say it’s been helpful? I’d love to hear your feedback – and how I can make these articles more awesome for teaching you what I’ve learned. Use this page to contact me with your feedback.
Earn an Income via Hospitality
Hospitality means having to do with travel, visitors, and accommodations. So, let’s make your land even more attractive to travelers and campers.
- Improve your land so it’s got buildings, roads, trails, and awesome spaces that will attract visitors.
- Do you have a fishing pond or a lake? Or do you have space to create a fishing pond? Do it. Then, rent out access to your fishing pond (or lake). You may need to restock your lake on a regular basis – but that could be a cool perk to advertise.
- If your homestead is in an especially beautiful, remote, or desirable area, you could set up a bed and breakfast.
- Rent out an area of your land to campers or motorhome enthusiasts.
- Turn part of your land into a preserve for camping.
- Build a dedicated campsite or campground for renting out to travelers.
- Build some tiny houses on your land. Rent those out to campers or travelers.
- Build a memorable rentable property on your land – like an epic, Swiss Family Robinson treehouse, a bunker, or an Earth-bermed house (think hobbit hole).
- Build a lodge, camp, or full-out sanctuary for retreats.
- Set up a restaurant or other food service to feed your visitors.
This sounds like a lot of fun to me – both to visit and to build!
Animals and Livestock Could Be Your Income Path
Livestock can be an amazing source of raw and refinable products. Just make sure you’re treating them humanely, kindly, and with the respect your animals deserve.
- Raise livestock of some sort. You can pick whatever species (singular or plural, as space permits) that you want to. You could raise bees, fish (tilapia), rabbits, chickens, turkeys, goats, sheep, pigs, cows, or whatever else.
- Raise specialty livestock. Examples include ostriches, alpacas, deer, bison, and emus.
- Set up a live livestock feed – people love watching animals!
- Sell livestock byproducts. This could include eggs, manure, stud services, pelts, wool, leather, milk, cheese, or whatever else.
- Start your own dairy farm – with cows and/or goats. This can be something that starts small and builds – or it could start bigger and keep growing. You may need to dig into your area’s laws before going full-fledged dairy farm mode, though.
- Raise a few goats and sell goats milk products.
- Got space in your stable or barn? Board other animals. Or you could even build a dedicated horse stable for boarding.
- Those goats you’re raising? You could also rent a few of them out for eco-friendly yard maintenance. This might be a good use for your wethered males.
- Offer outdoor fitness/wellness classes like goat yoga or Zumba with the cows.
- Open up a petting zoo – even with your farm animals. Just be sure to pick the most docile and kid-friendly animals for your petting zoo. You may also want to have waivers and maybe get some extra insurance, too. Just in case.
- Got space for pigs and love bacon? You could raise pigs for butchering. Just don’t name any of them Wilbur – or you may get a spider who can spell.
- Okay, so most people won’t think of worms as a type of livestock. But worms are amazing. You could easily raise worms for bait or compost in as much (or little) space as you wanted.
- Participate in animal shows and fairs. Breed, show, and sell animals. You could opt for livestock, show dogs*, or even something a little bit more exotic, like alpacas.
*Please note – I’m not recommending you create some sort of an animal mill or an animal Ponzi scheme. I’m suggesting you stick to legitimately raising, caring for, and selling animals for which there is a legitimate and reasonable demand.
Entrepreneurial Ventures and Interesting Income Ideas
Ready to catch the entrepreneurial bug and make some money? Here are some fun, amazing, or just plain zany ideas to help you use your homesteading land to make an income.
- Build a seasonal business – like a corn maze, pumpkin patch, or Christmas tree farm. Not only can you charge for what’s taken home, but you may also be able to charge an admission fee if you have extra attractions.
- If your land is along a popular road, you may be able to rent out space to an advertising or billboard company. Sure, you’d have a billboard on your land – but that could generate a nice monthly income. Or you could build your own billboards and manage things yourself.
- Build some sort of a specialized park and charge admission fees – or a monthly membership fee. Ideas include a park with a train, a skate park, or a dog park. You may need to use some of your income to get extra insurance, though.
- If you’d rather offer fitness and wellness classes without your livestock present, that’s totally a valid option, too.
- Got space, berms, and a love of shooting sports? You could set up an outdoor shooting range.
- Barns, farms, and pasture settings can be hugely popular settings for special events. Rent out your available space for weddings, photoshoots, or other special events.
- Build an outdoor movie or drive-in theater and charge an entry fee. Just check with how to properly license any movies you feature so that you don’t run into any legal issues.
- Got space and the right climate for a vineyard or an orchard? Build one. You could even bottle your own bottles of juice, wine, or cider.
- Have a field that’s not being used? Startup a swap meet or your own farmer’s market.
- Turn part of your land into a preserve. You can charge admission to hike it.
- Depending on where your land is located, it may be profitable to turn an unused area or field into a paid parking lot. It could be temporary or permanent.
- Build an arena for paintball, nerf gun, or other sporty destination.
- Build a golf course (full-sized, miniature, or frisbee golf-sized).
- Build athletic fields. Be careful about building a baseball park in a cornfield, though, unless you can guarantee ghosts of baseball legends will show up.
- Build a concert or festival ground.
- Build an obstacle course (indoor or outdoor). This could be a highly popular way to attract high adventure types of groups.
- Got a great view on your land? Build a scenic outlook and set up a restaurant that specializes in homestead-grown produce.
There are so many options for making money if you’re willing to get creative – and do some marketing.
Rent or Sell of Your Land and/or Rights (water and mineral)
Renting and selling can be very different. Renting will give you a nice, regular income – though much smaller than the one-time-income bolus you’d get by selling. Even so, let’s start with renting – and end with selling.
- Rent out small plots of your land so that people can have space to garden. This can be done on an individual or a community level.
- Do you have a lot of land maintenance equipment? Consider renting it out when you’re not using it.
- Do you have a lot of unused, open space? You could rent or sell storage space. People will pay to park their RVs, boats, and extra vehicles in an open area.
- Let part of your land be used by landscaping companies to store their landscaping supplies. It’s a generally pretty harmless venture, though you should expect trucks during daytime work hours that will be both delivering and picking up various landscaping materials.
- Got some money or time to build a bunch of small sheds? Build yourself a storage center – and rent out the sheds to store people’s stuff.
- Lease out portions of your land for recreational use, like four-wheeling. Maybe only lease out a part that you don’t mind tire-tracks getting everywhere, though.
- You can rent out land to festivals and concert venues, too.
- Rent out a section of your land to other farmers. During my research, I was surprised to find that there are farmers who would love to rent a few acres of land in order to farm it.
- Got land in an area with hunting privileges? Rent out swaths to hunters.
- Harness alternative forms of energy, like wind and solar. You could build (or allow to be built) an energy farm on an available area of land.
- Rent, lease, or sell power, mineral, oil, or water rights. Just know that your lessee may need to build some big things – especially if you’re dealing with something like oil rights.
- Let your city build through-roads on your land. Depending on the arrangement, this could be a rental, a sale, or just a way to get roads built on your land that makes your life easier.
- You could also sell a part of your land. This could generate you a one-time payment or a monthly income if you’re willing to do a for-sale-by-owner-with-financing kind of deal. Just make sure you’ve got a good contract.
- If you’re willing to go into real estate development, you could also go that route – selling off parts of your land as you’re able to develop them.
- Donate part of your land for tax purposes. This could include turning part of it into a community resource, like a park.
Because rentals and sales involve more laws, please be sure to talk to a reputable and knowledgeable lawyer in your area first. I’d also recommend you talk to your accountant and a financial planner, too.
Money Making Tips by Acreage
Okay, if you read through all of the ideas so far, you may already have an idea of what you’ll be able to do with your land. But just in case you skipped ahead, let’s go through things again by available land size. Or, you could also scroll up and see all 75+ ideas in all of their amazing glory. Either way.
Oh, and here’s a good general rule of thumb when it comes to making money from your homesteading land and efforts.
The more land you have – and the further it is from population centers (read: cities), then the more latitude you’ll have in being able to leverage your homesteading land to make an income.
The downside to being further from cities, however, means that your market does get smaller – and there could be fewer people around to buy your goods and services. It’s a trade-off, but it can be worked around with some marketing, patience, and time.
Ideas for Making Money with Less than 1 Acre
An acre of land won’t be enough to have a dairy farm – or to sell off pieces of it. But it is enough land to have a good-sized garden and a few animals (depending on your local laws).
Where we’re at, we’re on a half-acre plot. We’re able to have a garden, an orchard, chickens, goats, and alpacas. It’s a good amount and variety – and we have a lot of options.
At this size, the limitations are space and coding issues that prohibit us from opening any sort of hospitality venue or subletting land. We also can’t build some amazing sort of entrepreneurial venture. This means that, for homesteads under an acre, we focus on the following areas as sources of income.
- Raw products – whatever you can grow or produce on your acre of land.
- Refined products – limited to what you can produce in your home or in a commercial kitchen (if you have one or can rent access to one).
- Providing services – limited to what can be done legally within your land’s size restraints.
- Teaching – whatever you can do from your home or an easily accessible area. Very few (if any) limits exist, thanks to the internet!
Hospitality– it’s probably a no-go, thanks to common limitations placed on lots under an acre. If your area has fewer restrictions on being able to build accessory buildings or renting out as an AirBNB type of place, then this still may be possible. There will just be far more hoops to jump through, know, and rules to follow. For our half-acre homestead, this isn’t an option.
- Raise, show, breed, and sell livestock (or other animals) – this will be limited to what animals you can raise on your acre (or less) of land.
Entrepreneurial ventures– again, due to size and common legal issues for a small parcel of land, this probably won’t be possible. Lease or Sell Mineral, Water, and Land rights– most small lots of land don’t have any (or many) mineral or water rights. There are also far more likely to be multiple legal or zoning issues that prohibit renting out space on your acre for any of the ideas listed above in this article.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have an entrepreneurial spirit, though. It just means you need to focus on keeping things small – and to your acre or less of land.
Tips for Making Money with 3 Acres
Having 3 acres of land will open up far more options than if you’d only had an acre (or less) of land. However, it’s probably still got a few more restrictions on what you can do with your land than you would have with a larger homestead, depending on where it’s at.
If your 3 acres are in a town, for example, then you may be subject to more city ordinances or zoning laws than if you were in an unincorporated area.
But that’s okay – you’ve got about 3 acres of land to work with and you can still do some amazing things (and make a good-sized income!) from a variety of options.
- Raw products – with more space, you’re going to have more options for the raw products, produce, and other things you can make – and sell! So have fun with it. Grow and produce what calls to you. And use that to make an income.
- Refined products – Having more raw product choices means you’ll also have the ability to offer more refined products – or a better quality refined product. So take advantage of that ability. You may still be limited by the availability or requirement to have a commercial-grade kitchen, though.
- Providing services – You may still be legally limited in what you can do, based on your acreage. But you’ve got some room to be creative.
- Teaching – Thanks to the widespread availability of the internet, you’ve got very few limitations on what (or where) you can teach. And if you’d rather teach in-person classes or host camps? You’ve got more space to do that. However, you probably won’t be able to host large groups of people. You still only have 3 acres, after all.
- Hospitality – You may have some very limited options, depending on your laws, codes, and zoning limitations. However, 3 acres could be enough space to put up a small campsite or build a small cabin for renting out – either by word of mouth or an AirBNB type of deal.
- Raise, show, breed, and sell livestock (or other animals) – You’ve got more space, so your options are less limited. Again, this will still largely be dependent on any livestock space limitations (imposed by your city or state). In our area, 3 acres would let us have a handful of large animals and more smaller-sized livestock. That’s enough for a small, intimate dairy. However, it still wouldn’t let us have a full-scale dairy farm.
- Entrepreneurial ventures – Your options here may still be extremely limited, simply due to your acreage size. However, you may still be able to do a few things – just on a smaller scale and by picking one thing at a time. You probably won’t have space (or ability) to do sixteen things all at once. But maybe you’re better at multitasking than I am.
- Lease or Sell Mineral, Water, and Land rights – Again, you’re probably going to be extremely limited by this option at this size of acreage. This isn’t just because of your land size, though that’s definitely one possible reason. The main reason is that, at 3 acres, your land is probably not able to stake a claim to many (if any) underground mineral or oil rights. You’ve probably got some water shares – or a well. But as long as you know which rights you own and have access to, you might be able to leverage those into an income.
Having a 3-acre homestead is still a smaller-scale homestead – but that’s okay. Small homesteads can be just as profitable – as long as you’re willing to be flexible and try things out.
Ideas for Making Money with 5 Acres
Just as having 3 acres of land will open up far more options than if you’d only had an acre (or less) of land, so will having 5 acres as compared to a smaller homestead. Where your land is at will still potentially limit what you’re able to do with your land to earn an income.
Being closer to a town, for example, may mean that your acreage is subject to more city ordinances or zoning laws than if you were in a more rural or unincorporated area.
But that’s okay – let’s work with our 5 acres and see what options we’ve got for earning an income on that homestead.
- Raw products – You’ve got 5 acres – so have fun with it! Grow and produce what calls to you. And use that to make an income by selling at farmer’s markets or by setting up your own stall.
- Refined products – Depending on where your acreage is, you may have more cottage industry laws that could help you in this area. So know your laws. However, if you still need a commercial-grade kitchen, that may still limit your ability to make and sell jams or jellies in particular.
- Providing services – You’ve got some room to be creative. So go for it! If you’ve got a dedicated workshop or a barn to use? That’s awesome. You’ve got a good working space.
- Teaching – With a 5-acre homestead, you’ve got space for more in-person teaching experiences. Or, stick to online teaching – and don’t worry about space limitations.
- Hospitality – Having 5 acres gives you more space and freedom to have a room, cabin, or small campsite to rent out. Just be sure you’re following your local laws, codes, and zoning requirements.
- Raise, show, breed, and sell livestock (or other animals) – Five acres still won’t let you compete with a large-scale dairy getup, but do you really want to? I wouldn’t want to, either. But with five acres, you can have a few small pastures for rotating – and totally sustaining your smaller herds of livestock. Or, go for a slightly larger flock of animals and supplement their diet with sustainable feed.
- Entrepreneurial ventures – With more land comes more options. Remember that drive-in movie theater idea? A small one might be possible – and actually sustainable at this size of a homestead.
- Lease or Sell Mineral, Water, and Land rights – At 5 acres, your land probably may not have many (if any) underground mineral or oil rights. Know which rights you own and have access to so that you can leverage those into an income.
Having a 5-acre homestead is still a small homestead – but it can be just as profitable and amazing as a large farm… as long as you’re willing to think smarter and work towards your goals.
Money-Making Tips for 10 Acres
10 acres of land is getting into the level of things where you could be totally self-sufficient as a homestead if that’s your goal. By that, I mean you could produce enough food and other goods for your family. You’ll probably still want to rely on trade so you aren’t having to do ALL the things.
Even so, with 10 acres you’re probably further out from a town or city – and have a lot more freedom with what you can do with your land. Just make sure that if you are subject to any specific zoning or city ordinances, you’re still following those. It’s good to play nicely.
So let’s dive into things with your 10 acres and see about earning an income on your homestead. You may still have to prioritize your options – you won’t be able to do all the things. But your options are far less limited than smaller homesteads are.
- Raw products – 10 acres is enough space for a garden, a small preserve, and space to grow your own cereal crops. And you could also have pasture space, too! So do what appeals to you. Make an income by selling at farmer’s markets or by setting up your own roadside stall.
- Refined products – Okay, so even rural Utah homesteaders will still need to follow a few specific guidelines about refined or home-canned products. However, there’s more leeway than if you’re in the city. So look those up – all you may need at this point is a separate kitchen that your animals aren’t allowed to come into. Refine those products and sell them in-person or online as allowed.
- Providing services – What services do you like providing? Are there skills you’d like to develop so you can offer those services? Do what you can.
- Teaching – 10 acres won’t be enough to let unguided tours tromp through your fields, but it’s enough that you could offer guided tours and education sessions. Or, stick to those online options if that’s more your style.
- Hospitality – One of our family’s favorite campgrounds is on a few acres in Idaho. It’s small but awesome. If that’s the road you choose, you could set aside a portion of your land for dedicated camping or other hospitality ventures.
- Raise, show, breed, and sell livestock (or other animals) – 10 acres is enough that you can raise animals. Pick one type of livestock and go big – or have several smaller groups of multiple types of animals. You’ve got options and space. Just don’t expect to compete with big-time operations yet.
- Entrepreneurial ventures – Will you choose to have a dedicated entrepreneurial venture on some of your acreages? Or will you have a fallow field that lets you get creative, even while it rotates each year?
- Lease or Sell Mineral, Water, and Land rights – With 10 acres, you’re much less limited than smaller homesteads. However, you still aren’t totally free to just rent, lease, or sell rights. You may need to check your deed to see what you can do – and you may need to check with any local laws or zoning issues to see about renting or selling portions of your land.
Look, 10 acres of land is still amazing. And you can do a lot with it. You’ve got far more options and choices than smaller homesteads do. But you still may need to think creatively in order to make a great income.
Tips for Making Money with 40 Acres
Generally speaking, homesteads with 40 or more acres of land aren’t usually found in the city (though, I can think of one exception to this rule offhand – Wheeler Historic Farm in Utah is a 75-acre working farm with educational experiences – and it’s in a city). So you’re probably less bound by city rules, ordinances, or zoning restrictions.
Even so, make sure you know if there are any that apply to you and your homestead. Don’t forget to check any state laws, too – they’re more likely to apply to your homestead if it’s in an unincorporated area.
With your 40-acre homestead, though, you’ve got far more options and choices for making an income. Feel free to get creative – and have fun with it.
- Raw products – If you don’t have your own stall at a farmer’s market by now, think about getting one. Or at least set up that roadside produce stand already. If you go the full-farmer route, consider investing in farming equipment.
- Refined products – Always see what rules you need to follow, but think about selling some homestead-refined products at your farmer’s market or roadside stall.
- Providing services – Got some extra time? Build some chicken coops for some of us backyard homesteaders. If you’re great with woodworking, it can be a fantastic way to provide a service (and a product) to those without space to build their own homesteading equipment.
- Teaching – A 40-acre homestead gives you space for setting up a small preserve, teaching classes, or sticking to your blog. It’s your choice.
- Hospitality – Always follow your local laws, codes, and zoning requirements, but 40 acres means you can probably set up a rental cabin or a campsite. Or set up a bed and breakfast getaway if that’s your style.
- Raise, show, breed, and sell livestock (or other animals) – If animals are your thing, you’ve got more space to let them roam, pasture, and feed. Having animals could also be a fantastic way to attract visitors. Who doesn’t like taking pictures of cute farm animals?
- Entrepreneurial ventures – Okay, so if you aren’t close to a city, some of these ideas are less likely to work. A movie theater out in the middle of nowhere sounds more like a plot device from a Stephen King book, after all. But still – get creative. There are ways to make these ideas work.
- Lease or Sell Mineral, Water, and Land rights – With 40 acres, you could very feasibly rent out smaller areas of your land to other homesteaders or farmers so they could have a rental farm. Or you could look at your deed and ability to lease out other rights.
A 40-acre homestead has so many options for earning an income. Don’t feel like you have to do all of them, though. We’ve still only got 24 hours each day to get things done!
Money-Making Ideas for 100 Acres
With a 100-acre homestead, you’ve got lots of space. Your limiting factors are more likely to be time and energy – a 100-acre homestead has to be handled much differently than a 1-acre homestead does. That’s normal! So figuring out how to make an income from your homestead will, naturally, also be different.
As always, please make sure you know which ordinances, laws, or zoning restrictions apply to your homestead, depending on where it’s at in relation to cities, towns, or unincorporated areas. And while you’re looking that up, see what rights (mineral, water, and other) you own.
Now that’s out of the way – let’s see about ways to earn an income on a 100-acre farm or homestead.
- Raw products – With 100 acres, you could farm as much (or as little) of your land as you’d like. You may need to start investing in some more specialized farm equipment to be able to handle all of that work, though.
- Refined products – If you choose to go this route, you may need to start small – and then find a reliable way to scale up. Maybe that means hiring workers who can help you can all those jars of preserves – or make all those soaps. Oh, and always know and follow applicable cottage industry or food-handling laws.
- Providing services – With 100 acres, you’re probably doing a lot of other things – and this may fall to the wayside. However, it might be a good way to earn some extra income on a weekend – if you’re totally bored and not exhausted.
- Teaching – One of our favorite educational places to go is a 75-acre working farm here in Utah. They teach people how to milk cows, farming basics, and they let kids take pictures sitting on a tractor (it’s turned off, of course!). So not only does this farm make money selling its raw and refined products, but they also make a decent income by teaching – and providing a cool field trip experience for schools.
- Hospitality – With 100 acres, you could go all-in on the hospitality idea – and still keep it totally separate from your fields, garden, and animal pastures. You could do both – though you’ll likely want someone to manage one part so you can focus on the other.
- Raise, show, breed, and sell livestock (or other animals) – With 100 acres, you’ve got a lot of options for raising, showing, and selling livestock. How do you want to do it? The sky’s the limit – or at least the fence is at the end of your acreage. But at least it’s good distance’s walk away.
- Entrepreneurial ventures – With your 100 acres of land, you could set aside part or all of it for your entrepreneurial ideas. You could even rent out larger areas for concerts, festivals, or whatever else. And being in the middle of nowhere isn’t a drawback – some festivals prefer being away from a city.
- Lease or Sell Mineral, Water, and Land rights – With 100 acres, you’re more likely to have rights to the minerals and underground resources. It’s still not a guarantee, though, so check your deed or talk to a real estate lawyer.
A 100-acre homestead is an amazing thing to have. And you’ve got a ton of ways to leverage it to make an income – and it can be a good-sized income at that!
Other Money-Making Business Ideas for Vacant or Unused Land (of any size)
Okay – so now let’s do a general list of ideas for making money – for an any-sized piece of land.
- Raw products – A garden can be grown on any size of land – or it can be done in containers if all you have is a patio. The smaller your land, though, the more you’ll need to rely on small-footprint, vertical, or square-footprint gardening techniques to see bigger yields. With larger swaths of land, you can afford to spread your crops out more or use more traditional farming techniques. It’ll be harder to maintain a square-foot garden on 100 acres unless you’ve got a team working with you.
- Refined products – This money-making method does have more limitations – if you’re selling edible refined products like jams, jellies, preserves, or pickled goods. If you’re making soaps or other byproducts, there still may be some legal hoops to know about. As long as you know the rules, you’ll be able to find a way to make this work no matter how big (or small) your homestead is.
- Providing services – Providing a service can be a great way to earn an income with a smaller homestead. With larger homesteads, you may have less patience for this as a money-making technique – especially if you’ve got other income streams to rely on – and that is far easier on your back.
- Teaching – Teaching can be as hands-on or virtual (and hands-off) as you want it to be. And this is one of the income streams that can be used with any size of a homestead – and is totally scalable for any growth or increase in homestead size.
- Hospitality – This income source is much more limited when you have a smaller homestead. The options definitely increase with your available space you can dedicate to it. Oh, and you’ll definitely need to know about any applicable laws or ordinances that could impact this income stream. You’ll also want to consult a lawyer, an accountant, an insurance agent, and maybe a financial planner.
- Raise, show, breed, and sell livestock (or other animals) – Generally speaking, this is easier with more land. It’s still possible with a smaller homestead – as long as things are done on a smaller scale. Space, pasture, and feed all need to be considered – no matter how big your homestead is.
- Entrepreneurial ventures – Most big entrepreneurial options will require more land. And some may require an upfront investment. Some, however, can be done with less land and a good deal of bootstrapping. You just need to be creative. You may want to consult appropriate professionals.
- Lease or Sell Mineral, Water, and Land rights – The general rule of thumb is that this won’t be a reliable income stream for smaller homesteads – especially if they barely have enough land for the basics. This is more of an option for larger homesteads – provided they have the rights to the land, minerals, or whatever else is being considered for lease or sale. Definitely consult a lawyer, a real estate agent, an accountant, and other appropriate professionals.
Having a homestead is a dream for many people. And, no matter its size, it is totally possible to earn an income with it. You just need to be creative, diligent and dedicated. Oh, and you should probably also be willing to put in some old-fashioned elbow grease. Then, over time, you’ll be able to make your homestead a profitable one – and see a great income from it.
Do Homesteaders Have Jobs? Homesteaders may be full or part-time at homesteading; they may choose to have a career or job outside of homesteading or not. Career choices are up to the individual homesteader. For more information, read my full article on homesteaders and jobs here.
What Land Should I Buy for My Homestead? What land a homesteader should buy will depend on their goals, financial situation, and desired location to live. Ideally, buy enough land to meet your goals while still living close enough to a market and area where you’ll be able to sell your services, goods, and products. In the meantime, start your homestead where you’re at – read the complete guide to starting a homestead from scratch here.
How Much Land Do I Need for a Small Homestead? A small homestead can be built in a backyard in as little or much space as is currently available. Small homesteads on as little as 0.1-0.25 acres can produce enough food for a family for a year. Read my article on how much land you need to homestead here.