When we moved to our homestead 5 years ago, we both had jobs. As time went by I started to feel like we should be able to make money off of our property! Isn't it the American dream to be business owners and self sufficient? Why, YES it is!
Most of our 13 acres are wooded. We have very little space that is open to grow enough food to sell and make a profit. This led to the question - what else can we do?
We started with chickens. Mainly for ourselves but you know all about chicken math, I'm sure. We ended up with way more eggs than we personally needed. We tried to sell eggs but we live rural so a lot of people have their own chickens! People also didn't want to pay the price we ask. We aren't making any profit and generally don't break even.
We added rabbits next. There are so many things you can do with rabbits. At the moment we only sell breeding rabbits. They are TAMUK New Zealands and are great rabbits for meat production. You can also sell rabbits for human consumption, raw feeding for your animals and you can find places that will buy the pelts.
Rabbits and chickens didn't win us the million dollar lottery though! Haha! I didn't expect it to and that is ok. I do want, though, to be able to pay bills and buy Christmas presents for the kids. We don't ask for much.
A dear friend of mine was growing her own homestead in Missouri at the same time. She beat it into my head that Multiple Streams of Income is the answer.
You know what?! She is right!! We have been on a mission since!
We increased the amount of trees we tap for maple syrup that we sell. Of course the last 2 seasons have been bad but you keep plugging along.
I started to look at everything differently. What can we do or expand to start making money?
We now have goats. Ok, ok. I wanted goats anyway. Because....well...who doesn't?! They are so dang cute!
I regress. Goats will provide: milk to sell, milk to make soap to sell, meat to sell (goat meat is actually pretty tasty!), and we can sell young goats that we can't or won't keep.
We built an outdoor kitchen and had it Health Department certified. Now we can sell our jams, jellies and spices wholesale or retail and on our website.
We have been planting a small orchard. It will take a few years but we eventually will have copious amounts of apples, peaches, pears, grapes, plums, kiwi and blueberries.
Jay has been in the workshop and makes incredible handcrafted items that we sell at markets, fairs and online.
Unless you have a lot of open acreage to homestead, you have to start thinking outside of the box.
I've talked about a few things we are doing around here, what are some things you are doing?!
P.S. Hop on over to our YouTube channel to see our outdoor kitchen video!