So, you’ve got a little bit of land, you grow your own vegetables, milk a goat, raise your own hogs, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’ve made great progress on the road to independence. However, you still need cash to buy things you don’t grow yourself, pay taxes. and take care of emergencies. What are some ways to generate cash on the homestead without working a job off the farm? Here are a few ideas for your consideration…
Home Manufacture and Etsy Shops
Etsy shops are a great opportunity for marketing home manufactured products. An “Etsy Shop” is an online store were you can sell your wares to people who are looking for quality products made by family businesses. We market most of our all natural soaps through Etsy as well as cloth bags that Leah makes for knitters. We have also sold yarn and knitting supplies there in the past. It is easy to use and allows people to pay online. The possibilities are endless. What could you make to sell? How about wooden toys, leather work, hand sewn items, knitted items, hand spun yarn, naturally dyed fiber, hand forged knives or tools. If you think about it, I’m sure that there is something you can make and market on Etsy.
Of course, you don’t HAVE to market through an Etsy shop. Our friend Herrick Kimball manufactures clothes pins and parts for his “whizbang projects” and markets them through his own website. I do think that home scale manufacturing has loads of potential for those willing to work hard and use the web to market.
Market Local/Organic Food
Local and organic food is huge right now. There has never been a better time to get into this niche. Location is key, and if you are near upper income suburban and urban consumers it is certainly worth looking into. However, if you live in a very rural, lower income area you are better off growing food for your use and not plan on making huge profits selling your excess produce unless it is something like garlic that can be dried, stored and shipped. Every year at garlic planting time, seed garlic sells out fast. With a yield of ten pounds for every pound planted, seed garlic (as well as gourmet eating garlic) could be a profitable venture. You may be able to sell excess eggs and frozen broilers. Depending where you live, rabbit meat can also be worth considering. Raw milk, cheese and butter demand top dollar from the health conscious local food buyers. Just remember that the most important thing is that you produce your own food first.
Direct sales, or network marketing, is one of the fastest growing segments of the economy right now. Direct sales companies allow individuals to start their own business with very little start up capital. The best ones offer great training and resources to those who are involved. These businesses can be as big or small as you choose, and can be grown at your own pace. Our family has recently gotten involved in direct sales, with my wife Leah becoming a Lilla Rose independent consultant. Lilla Rose is a very impressive company with a great line of products that practically sell themselves. There is huge income potential for homeschool mothers and young ladies selling attractive and durable hair accessories. I have been very impressed with what my wife has accomplished with this venture. If you would like to find out more about it, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and she would be glad to tell you all about it. There are many other direct sales companies out there to look into as well. I believe many of these have the potential to earn sizable income for homestead families. There are direct sales opportunities for selling everything from essential oils to herbal remedies. Look around the web and see if there is anything that you might be good at selling.