1 – Fruit and Vegetable Gardening
Growing your own food is key to your health and ultimate survival on your homestead. This is also a smart way to make some extra income.
Just double (or triple +) the number of fruits and vegetables you are growing for yourself and take rest to a local farmer’s market. Here are some hardy plants that you can grow almost anywhere.
- Sturdy Summer Vegetables: Amaranth, Asparagus, Eggplant, Peppers, Okra, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes and Summer Squash
- Sturdy Winter Veggies: Carrots, Spinach, Leeks, Collards, Parsnips, Lettuce, Cabbage, Turnips, and Swiss Chard
With homestead survival, gardening will be one of your most renewable resources. You can use it to feed yourself and your livestock. You could also use it to sell the produce and the seeds. If there is anything left over, use it for compost.
If there is anything left over, use it for compost.
Successful gardening is a must if you plan on living and making money off of your land. So pick up The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible (it’s a 4.8/5 star book with over 500 reviews).
2 – Harvesting Wild Plants
Each piece of land will have its own hidden gems. Some may be abundant in wild edibles and others with timber or a stream filled with fish. Maybe your land naturally produces edible mushrooms.
The key is to decide which of the resources your land is rich with. Make sure to survey your land thoroughly for these hidden gems as they might just add some surprising cash opportunities.
3 – Grapes for Wine/Alcohol
Wine and alcohol can be a very profitable way to earn extra income right on your land. Depending on the type of alcohol you decide to produce there are many first aid uses, which will come in handy living off the grid.
Other alcohol and wines just make a tasty treat for you and a popular commodity to others.
*Making your own alcohol without proper knowledge can be dangerous as the alcohol content can rise to dangerous levels. Please do additional research before attempting this method.
Here’s our recommended resource to help get started making money with grapes: The Backyard Vintner.
4 – Holiday / Seasonal Opportunities
Christmas tree farms and pumpkin patches. These are highly dependent upon how close you are to a city population. You’ll also want to research how much competition there’s is.
However, if you do your homework and it checks out this could be an excellent money-making idea. Plus it limits your lands exposure to “strangers” for a very limited number of days. Sure you might have hundreds or thousands of city slickers visiting your land, but it will only be for a month or so out of the year.
If you scale the opportunity up large enough, you might be able to live off this income for the remainder of the year. It’s a very lucrative setup for many survivalists and homesteaders.
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Livestock not only creates an ongoing protein food source for survival but also more income to buy the items for stockpiling or bartering. Here are the most popular homestead livestock options:
5 – Cattle
The first thing that you need to decide is whether you are going to raise dairy cattle or beef cattle. The difference is significant.
Dairy cows are raised for milk and beef cows are raised for meat. Both types of cows will eat 3 to 6 percent of their body weight a day depending on if they are lactating.
If you have a healthy pasture, cattle can graze from late spring to late fall. If the field runs short of grass, you can feed them hay, grains of corn, oats wheat and barley. However, you must carefully plan to grow these winter feeding options or plan to spend significant money to buy it.
Extra vitamins are also necessary to maintain the health of your herd and are also costly.
On a hot day, cattle can drink up to 18 gallons of water, so a fresh, abundant supply of water is essential. You may need to invest in water wells on your homestead to supply ongoing water needs.
You may decide to have a few beef cows and a couple of dairy cows. With both, you can have the benefits of milk, cheese, and meat for yourself and help diversify your income.
If you decide on a dairy cow, you must be dedicated to milking her every single day, without exceptions. Investing in a proper milking machine will help you be consistent.
Each cow will need two to five acres and a sturdy six-foot-high fence. So, if your homestead is small, you may consider raising goats as an alternative.
Here’s our recommended resource to help get started making money with cattle: Guide To Profitable Livestock
6 – Goats
Goats can be a great source of milk when you’re strapped for space.
However, they are more sensitive to their surroundings than cows. They are highly sensitive to wind and water quality and need shade available at all times.
As with dairy cattle, dairy goats must be milked once a day, no matter what.
Goats should be fed a similar diet to cows, grazing the pasture, hay, and vitamins. They will eat two to four pounds of their body weight a day.
They will drink up to three gallons of water per day unless they are grazing. If they are grazing, they are getting most of their water from the grass they eat.
They are also highly sensitive to poisonous plants like allspice, poppy, parsnip, hemp, stagger grass, and buckwheat.
They will need at least a 36 to 70 square foot covered stall. If you have more than one, which is suggested, a 70 square foot stall will be needed. Goats may take up less space than cattle, but they are very sensitive creatures.
If you choose to have them as livestock, you will need to allow additional time in your schedule to care for them.
Here’s our recommended resource to help get started making money with goats: Guide To Profitable Livestock
7 – Chickens
Chickens can provide a good protein source for you and an easy sell at the local farmer’s market. If raising chickens for eggs, you should have a steady flow of one egg each day per chicken.
If you allow the chickens to roam free will help you cut down on weeds and help fertilize your garden at the same time. Win, win.
Of course, if you want to raise chickens you’ll need to know how to build a chicken coop.
8 – Pigs
A full-grown pig can give you a hearty meat supply for sale, trade, or to feed your family. Pigs will grow fast when feeding them a steady supply of table scraps, lots of corn, extra vegetables, and fruit.
While they are chomping down the 6 lbs of food required a day they will create 1.5lb of waste. Now that’s a lot of manure!
You should save manure for your garden and crops. For the rest, have another local farmer or gardener lined up that will buy the remaining manure from you. A pig’s manure alone can provide you with a steady supply of cash if you play your cards right.
When building your pig pen, keep in mind that it should be twice as long as it is wide, each pig needs 50 square feet. Keep their water at the opposite end of the pen from their food. They usually defecate near their water supply.
The pen should also be partially sheltered because pigs can burn easily. You will also want them to be able to find shelter if bad weather comes in. Consider a mud wallow as pigs have a hard time regulating their temperature.
As the pig grows older, you will want to keep an extra eye on its weight. Some pigs will stop gaining weight no matter how much you feed. This is the first sign they are ready for the table.
Once the pigs are 280lbs or more, it’s time to take them to the butcher and cash in on the meat from your pig.
Here’s our recommended resource to help get started making money with pigs: Guide To Profitable Livestock
9 – Turkeys
You should buy your poult (baby turkey) from a reputable breeder. A good breeder will cut down on possible illnesses. You can buy a poult for less than a dollar each. Although they are inexpensive, their additional needs are not.
Turkeys are extremely sensitive animals at the start of their life. You will more than likely lose a few from your flock in the first few weeks. Before you get your poults, you will need to clean battery (housing system for raising turkeys).
Completely disinfect the entire unit. You will also need to purchase a 100-150 watt clamp-style lamp. This will help keep their nest around 100 degrees in the first week.
After they survive the first week, you will gradually lower the heat each week. When you make it to week ten, they won’t need an extra heat source.
When you are feeding your poults, provide plenty of feed mash and fresh water.
Once the turkeys reach the maturity of fourteen weeks, they are ready for the marketplace or your table. A grown turkey will weigh in around 35lb to 45lbs making a few good meals for you and your neighbors.
Here’s our recommended resource to help get started making money with turkeys: How To Raise Turkeys
10 – Tilapia Farming
Fish farming can be very lucrative in certain climates, and you can harvest tilapia every 6 to 9 months, depending on the species. So, if you have a pond already on your land, your set! If not, maybe you’d better start digging.
The simplest way to raise tilapia is by building a cage that will stay in your pond. With some plastic piping, sturdy netting, and some fingerlings you have a great fish farm to help you survive year round.
“OK, but where do I get the fish to start farming?” There are some websites that sell live tilapia specifically to fish farmers like Lakeway Tilapia,
Buying them from a notable fishery gives you the peace of mind that the fish you are receiving are top quality. This means disease free. You will also be able to get the right male to female ratio for mating.
Here’s our recommended resource to help get started making money with tilapia farming: Tilapia Farming Guide
11 – Beekeeping
These little guys will not only help you satisfy your sweet tooth with honey, but they will also pollinate your garden.
The easiest and fastest way to get started is to get a basic bee starter kit. Your kit should include hive tool, smoker, frames and foundation, feeders, hive body, hive stand, queen excluder, inner/outer cover, honey supers, cotton/poly overalls with attached zipper veil, mesh helmet and vented leather gloves.
Next, locate where you would like your hive to be located. If you put your hive within a quarter mile of your garden, the bees will happily pollinate your fruits and vegetables.
Now, pick your bee! There are many races of bees, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. So do your research before you decide which honey bee will be best for you. Once you pick your bee, you’re ready to get started.
Sit back and enjoy the honey.
Here’s our recommended resource to help get started making money with beekeeping: Beekeeping For Beginners
12 – Raising Rabbits
Before you start buying rabbits get some rabbit hutches ready. Rabbits are notorious escape artists so make sure your hutches are 100% secure with no gaps or holes.
The one pro with raising rabbits is they are relatively easy to breed compared to other livestock. They also don’t take up much space. So this means you can raise a lot of rabbits quickly in very little space.
However, the downside of raising rabbits is the equipment necessary to get started can be pretty expensive. Also, rabbits are not meat that is currently widely consumed in our culture in mass so you may not get a lot of money for your rabbit meat.
In survival turmoil tho, rabbit meat would become a major source of protein, widely accepted and enjoyed.
Here’s our recommended resource to help get started making money with rabbits: Guide To Profitable Livestock
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If you ‘re making the effort to raise and keep livestock it only makes sense to receive every benefit that animal has to offer. Milk, eggs, cheese, and manure are popular commodities.
13 – Milking A Cow
A dairy cow must be milked daily but can produce from two to six gallons of milk. That’s a lot more than most families can regularly consume. So make sure you have plenty of room for refrigeration or customers ready for delivery, as it adds up fast.
Start by securing your cow to a post.
Clean the cow’s teats with warm soapy water. This will prevent bacteria from contaminating the milk. Dry the teats by gently patting them with a clean cloth.
Sitting next to the cow, place a milking bucket under the teats, and secure it by putting your foot on either side. You may choose to apply Vaseline to your hands to reduce friction.
Wrap your hand around the base of two teats. Using your thumb and the first finger squeezes downward to push the milk out. Don’t let go of the teat or the milk may flow back up the utter.
Continue to alter this motion going back and forth using alternating hands.
Depending on how many cows you have, you might want to consider a milking machine to reduce your workload.
14 – Eggs
If you have multiple laying hens, then you probably have an abundance of eggs. Enough to eat and still have some left over. This is an easy opportunity for extra income.
You can sell fresh eggs at the market. If the rooster and the hen mated before the hen laid the egg, you could even have day-old chicks.
Day-old chicks don’t sell for much at the market. But, if you have a brood of chickens you could make a little bit of money off of your land from selling chicks.
15 – Making Cheese
Using your extra milk, you can make all sorts of different types of cheeses.
To begin making cheese, you’ll need warm milk. You can either use the warm milk straight from the cow or warm your chilled milk over a stove. Once you have the warm milk, you will need to add the yogurt culture.
This process is known as “acidifying the milk” and the technique you use will determine what type of cheese you will get. Then add the coagulant to the milk which will cause the proteins in the milk to link together.
Once the yogurt culture and coagulant are added to the milk, stir thoroughly. After some time has passed the milk will begin to form a gel. Cut the gelled milk into smaller, more manageable pieces. Stir the vat of curds to allow the acid to develop further and dry out the curds.
Next, cover a large bowl with a cheesecloth. Make sure the cloth is draping over the sides so that there is something to tie together when the cheese is in place. Carefully pour the mixture into the bowl and close the cloth around the cheese. Squeeze the cloth tightly to remove any excess whey.
Then your cheese is ready to salt and age until consumption or sale.
16 – Manure
All of the manure from your livestock can be used as fertilizer to maximize the production in your garden and hay field. So don’t waste it. If you produce more manure than you can use, sell it to other local homesteaders who may not have livestock but have agricultural needs.
Prices can vary depending upon local supply and demand so do your research to fetch the best price.
17 – Stud Services
Stud services when done right can be very lucrative.
It’s a good way to hold on to that male animal that you think is too good to be turned into your next meal. Ideally, this is an animal you wish all your stock represented.
Studing services ensure you maintain the quality for your own herd. Then you can make money on the downtime your stock is not in heat.
All you need is a willing partner for your stud. Using word of mouth will get it to know to the community around you. Find out who could use your quality specimen of an animal for their herd. When others need his services, you receive payment to rent him out.
After a short period, typically five to ten days he is then returned to you. Hopefully, he has successfully bred.
As your stud ages or you are presented with a better specimen of that species, your stud is still no waste to you. He is then returned to the cycle and butchered providing food for your family or even to be sold. Stud services are popular with large animals such as horses and cows. It’s also popular among pure dog breeds.
In most situations, you will not need more than one stud until your herd gets bigger.
18 – Pelts
More than likely when you purchase a piece of land there will be some form of wildlife inhabiting it. There are both positives and negatives to this.
Depending on what vegetables you are growing, deer and rabbits may think that they have a feast and eat your crops. Coyotes, if hungry enough will eat your livestock.
There are barriers that you can put in place to limit access to your crops. Livestock can be harder to protect so you may want to get rid of the threat altogether,( i.e.coyotes). You don’t want to eat the meat of a coyote or other scavengers as they can carry many diseases. However, you can skin them and sell their pelts.
The deer and rabbit, on the other hand, you only want to hunt when you need meat, and your food sources are low. But the hide of the deer and the pelt of the rabbit can also be sold at market.
In some locations, they can make you a pretty penny, too.
Rent/Sell Portion Of The Land To Others
Renting or selling sections of your land can be lucrative. It can also be less labor intensive than other ways to make money off your land.
However, theirs always downsides. One of the bigger downsides to these options are bringing other people onto your land. If you are setting up a survival homestead or bug out location, the fewer people
snooping visiting your land, the better. These concerns can be combated by thoroughly vetting anyone you negotiate with.
19 – Rent To A Farmer
Maybe you’ve acquired land with excellent agricultural potential but have no desire to become a full-fledged farmer yourself. Don’t let this potential go to waste. Instead, find out what your land’s per acre market is worth to rent to a local farmer.
There are several ways to negotiate a deal. You can rent it for a $ per acre or a % of the harvest profits. Just do your homework to ensure you are getting the best deal possible with the least amount of headaches.
20 – To Hunters
If you have an abundance of wildlife, many hunters (or hunter groups) may be interested in paying you for rights to hunt your land. These rights will likely include exclusive rights clauses but with that comes a bigger price point.
You’ll also need to lay out a lot of ground rules and get it all under contract to keep these hunters from taking advantage of you and your land.
21 – To Fellow Survivalists
Maybe you have some survival friends or acquiescence who could use a small tract of bug out land. If you have plenty of acres, you could rent or sell them a small portion of your acres so they can set up their survival homestead.
This can be a fantastic win-win in a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI scenario to have other like-minded survivalists you can trust. It’s also a smart way to build your future survival coalition next door.
Just remember the first two rules with survival coalitions: Only team up with people you can trust and who pull their own weight.
22 – Dog Kenneling Services
If you love dogs and money, then you could build out a few extra kennel stalls. Then you would need to advertise your dog kenneling services. People will pay a decent price to leave Fido with like-minded caretakers.
Make sure you know your local customers and offer accommodations and services that will attract their business.
You could offer special one-on-one play times per day or grooming services to go with the kenneling. The options are only limited by your creativity.