Homesteading 101: Making Money Off the Land

No matter how self-reliant you are, you will need money in this world for one thing or another. Whether it’s to pay taxes, buy the groceries you can’t grow or raise yourself or fix a leaky roof, money is a necessary evil. Sure, when you homestead you need a lot less of it, but you still need some.

Fortunately, the land that keeps you alive can also provide a small amount of money for necessities. We are just getting into using our land to make a little extra money. In fact, we’ve been making enough each month to cover the cost of chicken feed, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but makes our eggs (and favorite hobby) 100% free. Here’s what we sell:

  • Eggs. $3/dozen. This is the obvious way to make your chicken empire self-sustainable. A little more than half of our flock are pullets, so I also sell pullet eggs for $2/dozen. I’ll be raising the price to $2.50/dozen on pullet eggs soon because they’re getting bigger. By the winter, they should all be $3/dozen. I only sell what we don’t eat and feeding my family always comes first.
  • Veggies. When the garden is cranking out more eggplant, squash and tomatoes than we know what to do with, we sell them. They don’t go for much – $1 per eggplant or squash, 2/$1 on cucumbersĀ or $2/pound on tomatoes, but every little bit helps.
  • Chicks. We have an incubator, so in the spring I’ll be selling straight run chicks for $5 each. That’s a much nicer profit than the eggs sell for.

Now, if you’re thinking about selling things from your own land, it’s important to know your local economy. My father-in-law also has chickens and lives in a cheaper area, so he can’t sell his eggs for $3/dozen. They tried that. The eggs didn’t sell and they wound up with a fridge full of questionable eggs. I try to price mine slightly higher than the grocery store, but lower than the farm down the road. Since the store is $2.80 and the farm is $3.50, I priced mine at $3. I could have done $3.25, but I don’t want a ton of quarters hanging around and I figured people would be more inclined to make the extra stop to save 50 cents. It helps too that I’m on a main road.

The other thing I do is I advertise on Facebook. I don’t just put a stand by the road. I make an appointment and have people pick up their items. That way, they are willing to make the drive because they know I have what they want. It also helps prevent veggies and eggs from siting out for any length of time.

Do you sell anything from your land? If so, what?

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