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How to Make Money Homesteading (Instead of Emptying Your Wallet)

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How to Make Money Homesteading So You Can Enjoy a Secure, Self-Sufficient Life” is a new book by Tim Young, author of The Accidental Farmers: An urban couple, a rural calling and a dream of farming in harmony with nature. Tim and his wife, Liz, farmed at Nature's Harmony Farm in Elberton, Georgia.

How to Make Money Homesteading So You Can Enjoy a Secure, Self-Sufficient Life - Many ideas for income streams, reducing expenses and creating your dreams

One of the most memorable passages in the book (to me) is where Tim discusses the role of money in our lives:

I suspect what we really want is not money. Rather, we simply desire increased freedom…the ability to do more of what we want, when we want, without our time (labor) being controlled by someone else. And since most of use were born into a world centered on money, we seem to believe the path to this increased freedom is having more of it.

He goes on to discuss ways to reduce our expenses, which to my mind is a common sense choice for most of us who wish to have greater financial freedom.

Pros About How to Make Money Homesteading

  • Suggestions for Reducing Expenses and Eliminating Debt
  • Many, many ideas for income streams – from those that require larger acreage to those that can be done in a small home or apartment
  • Interviews with real homesteaders are various stages in their homesteading journeys
  • Personalized Homestead Entrepreneurial Life Plan Template to help your organize your homestead income making ideas

Each of the 18 interviews includes the following questions/information:

  • Name
  • Location
  • If you left a “real job” prior to breaking away to become more self-sufficient, what was it?
  • Homestead/Farm Highlights
  • What inspired (or scared) you into pursuing a more self-sufficient lifestyle?
  • What were your criteria when looking for land? how did you make your choice?
  • What are your income streams now?
  • Why did you choose these income streams?
  • How did you acquire the knowledge/skill to generate income this way?
  • If starting over again on the path to self-sufficiency, what would you do differently?
  • If relevant, what do you miss about city/urban life…you know, the “real” world?
  • Finally, what advice do you have for someone considering leaving a “real job” to become more self-sufficient?

This information can help readers to see if a similar option may work for them in their area/circumstances.

Cons About How to Make Money Homesteading

I'm always a fan of photos, so I would love to see the small black and white images replaced by color, but that doesn't significantly impact the utility of the book. I was also hoping to see more interviewees who were making a full time income off their homesteads. Instead, most are still working full time away from home. Hard numbers would be great, too, although I realize most people would be uncomfortable sharing that information. There's a better breakdown of potential hourly wages from various homesteading income sources in The Weekend Homesteader.

To Summarize:  If you're stumped for ideas for possible revenue streams to fund your homesteading dreams, this book is chock full of possibilities.

How to Make Money Homesteading So You Can Enjoy a Secure, Self-Sufficient Life - Many ideas for income streams, reducing expenses and creating your dreams

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Originally published in 2014, updated n 2017. This post originally included a giveaway, which has now expired.

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108 Comments

  1. I am currently raising an eight year old child, so working outside of the home is not an option for me. And my goal for 2105 is to be completely self sufficient as far as food and cleaning and body care items. This book would greatly help in kickstarting me with the knowledge I will need.

    Thank you, Deborah

  2. I would love to read this book and then pass it along to my grown children. Over the years, I have learned a lot about saving money…cut husband and boys hair, grow a garden and can the produce, hang the clothes outside to dry…etc. but I haven’t found a way to make much money.

  3. We are a family of 5 living on 38 acres, 60 miles from the nearest town. Completely off grid, self employed and love it. Would really enjoy reading others experiences down this path.

  4. I just started doing some part time free-lance data analysis work for a previous boss who is now working independently herself. The real challenge so far is carving out a chunk of time without feeling like I’m shortchanging my kids or husband or completely losing any personal time. The time management is the biggest challenge I think, regardless of what you are doing to generate an income.

  5. Live in middle tn om 10 acre farm . We have grown are own food since moving here . This year we added to the gardens and starting selling are produce and put up a green house to grow food all year round. We are on are way but would love to get further off the grid and learn other ways ti make money from your book.

  6. Oh! I could use this inspiration for our 1/2 acre little suburban farm. I have yet to make money here. It is more of a cash hog. What little (world’s view) we have is a blessing (our view) that has cost us our sweat and tears…. and cash, lots of it.

    Sometimes I have extra produce or eggs, but I have no way of selling them. Then, there are the liability issues if we were to try and make money on such a small scale. So many folks are quick to sue. And what I’d get for our small surplus is so nominal.

    I’d love some ideas about how to make this place a money-making endeavor!

  7. My daughter is a stay at home mom with 2 small boys. She would love to read this book to figure out how to make money without having to go to work in town from our homestead.

  8. This would be a useful tool in the journey my husband and I have started. We are down to one income and would love to make our land self-supporting.

  9. We bought 31 acres and a dilapdated old house last year. We have not had time to put into the homestead until we get our home in better condition. Next summer we should be able to shift gears to our land. Still remains to be seen what we decide to try and what sticks.

    Our 8 year old son is planning to grow and sell potatoes next year – Peters Potatoes. Good start, I think. I plan on setting up bee hives and preparing more garden area. Am also interested in goats but down the line. Would love the book to help us factor the pros and cons of some of the possibilities. Thanks!

  10. I’m going to be finishing up graduate school this spring and will be looking to slowly start a homestead of my own, but don’t even know where to start in terms of how to make it a little profitable down the road, so I’d love to read this book.

  11. I’m a somewhat recent high school grad, still living on the family farm, and in need of some ideas/help for getting this place on track to be even marginally self-sufficient. My dream is to one day have a totally off-grid homestead of my own! … but I kinda need some help planning my trajectory 😉

  12. We are very interested in changing our lives and homesteading. Cannot wait to continue reading now that I’ve found your blog!

  13. I currently have goats and chickens and would love to find ways to make money from them, or other/more animals! Especially since my husband would be much happier if they didn’t cost us so much! I find difficulty in the fact that I live in the Arizona desert and have to outsource all my feed as it is difficult to keep vegetation growing all the time to lower my feed costs! This would be a great book to at least give me some ideas!

  14. Wish I lived outside the city with a bit more land, but making do with what we have. Doing pretty well, too! Would love to hear what others have done.

  15. Looks like a book that’s very interesting as Im always looking for ways to improve my gardens as well as my flower beds and such… I grow a lot of my own food and either cann it or freeze it. I never sell anything from my gardens I just simply give away everything extra… Help those in need know what I mean !

  16. We are a family of 7 (5’kids- 8, 6, 4, 2, 6 months)… We are planning a large garden, have chickens, ducks , and turkeys, and plan to get pigs, a cow and goats next spring. I also bake from scratch

  17. Can’t imagine that, at our age, we might sell more than a few eggs. We use all else we produce. I can sew, but don’t care to. Thanks for the opportunity to win this reference.

  18. We are trying to plan our future in which we would love to have kids. The only thing holding us back in our financial situation. We both have college degrees and respectable full-time jobs. We would love to raise our kids ourselves (which mean I would quit my job to stay home). However, we don’t believe we could manage with just one income. We currently live comfortably and already try and minimize unnecessary “wants.” We have no cable/satellite, no smart phones, and I still drive the car I bought in high school (granted that was only 7 years ago). I would love to learn of ways I could have a steady income from home. We are ready for kids, but we just want to make sure we are able to provide everything that is needed.

  19. In the process of selling our current home and getting ready to move a little further south. Looking to purchase a few acres of property and a house on our way to becoming a little more self reliant. Being able to make some extra income would help make this a reality. Thanks for offering this great giveaway.

  20. The book’s quote:

    “I suspect what we really want is not money. Rather, we simply desire increased freedom…the ability to do more of what we want, when we want, without our time (labor) being controlled by someone else. And since most of use were born into a world centered on money, we seem to believe the path to this increased freedom is having more of it.” …

    is the best draw that I have read in a while; it really made a lot of sense to me and it would be interesting to note what else the book has to say.

  21. This is just what I am looking for to spark ideas this winter for one or two Homesteading Projects to jump into this Spring!!! I cannot wait to plan!

  22. My husband and I have been focusing on becoming debt free. We have a ways to go but it’s close enough now that I’m also focusing on homesteading and how to make money doing it. It’s all so exciting!

  23. We currently have a small horse boarding operation in Northeast, Kansas. I am a beekeeper and blogger and make honey based skin care products for sale. I grow herbs and can fruits and vegetables. We lease ground to local farmers for crops and summer cattle grazing. My husband will retire next year and we will expand our garden so that I can become a regular fixure at our local farmers market. It’s hard work but pleasure more than outweighs the pain of a sore back and callused hands. Loving what you do is the best reward!

  24. Oh my goshhh…! This is amazing! By 2017 I hope to be married and starting a homestead, but we’re kinda at a loss to what we’d do about money, since we’d be living in the middle of nowhere, and he doesn’t want to be working away from home. This is absolutely perfect – I’d use this book to pieces. (if that’s a phrase lol)

  25. This is something I’m working towards. It sounds like this book would be a valuable resource for me and my family.

  26. I’m from a small town where I grew up in a family where we had a huge garden, canned our own food, raised chickens, pigs, had all the venison in the freezer and all the jerky, made our own seems like everything. I now live in an area where I cant have the huge garden and I don’t hunt….so I make my own laundry detergent, cleaning sprays, soaps, lotions etc….and go to craft fairs and the such and sell them. I also am taking herbalism classes and learning how to make tinctures and just general healing with wild crafting and Chinese herbs! I can everything I can get my hands on from my small garden to the local farm stands. I also involve my son in all my endeavors! He knows a lot and he’s only 12! As a single Mom I would love to read this book and expand on new ideas to make us more efficient and more money in the years to come! God willing!

  27. I recently became unemployed after 45 years in the work force. I would like to be able to stay home and have some form of income other than a years worth of unemployment. I have been cutting osts in the food area and canning and I just love it! Winning this book would really help me with ideas that I crave to learn.
    Thank you and God bless.

  28. My husband and I are just getting started and about to have our first child. Having a self sufficient homestead is our dream. Hopefully we can find a way to make it work someday. 🙂

  29. This would be a great resource for my husband and I. We are moving from the city to a farm and our plan is to work at making a living on the farm. 🙂

  30. I am a stay at home mom and hope to someday have a small homestead. Right not we live in the suburbs where I have a small garden in front of my house, but no animals. I’d love to be able to make any income at all from my homestead, so I’d love to read the book!

  31. You have to think seasonally for money making projects….right now it’s wreath making, along with knitted and crochet items!

  32. Wow, what a cool book. I would love to know more about this. We currently live in town but have a mini homestead going as much as the rules allow. I would love to learn how to support ourselves at this! thank you!!

  33. I raise chickens, next year will be bees, make my own soap, deodorant, toothpaste, and more. I would love to read this book, to keep discovering and doing!

  34. I sell some of my “excess” produce and hand made goods at the local farmer’s market, garage sale sites, and etsy for extra money.

  35. I am not a homesteader. But I want to be. My aim in life is to get out of the rat race, so I am currently focussing on making enough money for that. So if once I get there, I could read this book and become a little knowledgeable and a little more self sufficient, that would be a huge bonus.

  36. I try to raise as much food as possible and I can and dehydrate. I also sell some handmade items online for some extra income. I think this book would be really helpful and I would love to win a copy.

  37. I have been working to build a homestead for myself and my children. Life has been hard since my husband left us, and I started with some vegetable beds, then got some chickens. I have faced hardship after hardship, most of my backyard is shaded a good deal of the day, so I had to get rid of my laundry-lines to be able to put in vegetable beds, I am facing having the city confiscate my birds because one of my neighbors has been on vacation for almost a month now and I can’t have him sign the slip the city sent saying that he doesn’t mind me having chickens if he isn’t home.

    I had two dairy goats for several months, I couldn’t find anything either direction on them in the city code, and one of my neighbors (three houses down) saw them one day and called the police. they were nice enough to give me a week to move them instead of just taking them away, so now they’re at my mothers house and I go to my mothers twice a day to milk them. I had to prove to the woman at animal control that I could not find the law on the city’s website by showing her. The only livestock animals they talk about are chickens (which require a permit) and that large animals such as cows and horses are forbidden to reside within city limits. Well, she printed off the law and sent me a copy later, but she was very surprised to find that after over an hour of combing the city’s website, even her searches couldn’t find it.

    Even a well kept vegetable bed is not allowed in the front lawn where I live, but I have managed to get 8 6×4 raised beds set up in the sunny areas of my backyard.

    It has been hard to do while holding a full-time job and trying to raise two children alone, but this is the life I want for my boys. When my husband left us when the baby was four months old, this was over six months ago, I decided that I needed to go back the the life I knew. I have greatly missed caring for animals and sticking my hands in the dirt, and for the longest time I thought I couldn’t do it living in town, but bit by bit I am making it work, and my autumn crops of beans, broccoli and greens did very well.

    I would love to be able to make a living off my small farm, or maybe be able to find a place out in the country where I can make a living off a larger farm so that I can be there for my children and give them the life I have always wanted to be able to give them. Not a life filled with the newest bit of tech or the best video games, but a life of fulfillment. Knowing where their food comes from, and the pride of looking around and knowing that they helped build this.

  38. A new reader. I would love to win the book. My husband and I are trying to settle on house plans {something very small}for our move to our 14 acre homestead.

  39. I would love to add this book to our just growing collection. My husband and I are just starting to look into making this our new life.

  40. I’m on the cusp of making my love of all things homesteading a money making adventure. Don’t need a lot, just enough since the military had these forced cuts, and we will be civilians soon.

  41. This is a great opportunity for those of us looking for ways to supplement our income. I would also share it with my kids. Currently I am making things to sell on etsy but would really like to do something that would be a more worthwhile contribution.

  42. We’ve got the acreage, but could really use some ideas for how to live off this farm again in a sustainable way. (We were dairy farmers for 25 years, but sold the herd in 2000 and have rented out our land since then.)

  43. I started with chickens. Chicks really 🙂 and what they call a Postage Stamp Orchard ( a collection of dwarf fruit trees) but… After 8 years we have given up on the little trees. The Second year after we put them in there was a fire at the house next door and they got a little hot. I thought they might be ok but we’ve never gotten anything off them. They hens though give eggs like mad 🙂

  44. My biggest challenge is getting started, having the disabilities I have. But I’m certain I can work around those, with God’s help and a little know-how! Plus great support like good neighbors on and offline, and people like you! Thanks!

  45. I am new to homesteading , well not in my heart I have been doing this all along…but for real now .
    I live on 128 acres. but only five that I am currently using. I have 18 hens and a beef cow that I am
    raising. I also have a thirteen year old son that I home school. Biggest challenge getting everthing done before dark . now that we have shorten days sometimes its rough …but I would not change it for the world…just currently unemployed so that’s very rough…but lord guiding me we will be fine..
    thanks for the chance to win …Bless you Tracy

  46. we live in a very small community and have a few close neighbors. we moved here 2 years ago and although i have done wood works and canning and baking for money in the past the neighbors have also done the same. i have shared a few wood works i did and now they are doing the same thing. I make quick breads from things we grow and have to compete with the neighbor who uses box mixes costing less than my natural ingredients. So I am on the learning other ways to make money on the homestead.

  47. We have a 1/2 acre but not a lot of money and currently the neighborhood covenant doesn’t allow chickens or bees, so looking for some other ways/ideas to generate some income to supplement our small income from working for a non-profit.

  48. Homesteading is about self-sufficiency. To be self sufficient, you have to be able to afford to continue doing what you do and that requires revenue streams. I believe this book may help us find over-looked possibilities.

  49. I am able to sell or barter my preserved/fermented/dried foods to friends. Not on a large scale, but every little bit helps.

  50. I’ve really thought about starting a homestead and would love to win this book so I can learn way to also make money from it’s resources as well.

  51. I’d love to win this book so I can learn more about making money with my future homestead. It’s in the planning stages for now.

  52. I would love to be able to come back home. My husband is already self employed. Being close to retirement this is my heart’s desire.

  53. My challenges are as many as others. I also like to can everything I can get ahold of, and have it for future use. I am learning about bees and beekeeping to collect honey. Also learning of pallet furniture, but not a lot of used pallets here. Would love to read this book and learn more.

  54. I currently work part time and raise a 4 year old girl and a 1 year old boy. I would love to find a way to be self sufficient and make money. That way I can stay home with my kids.

  55. I am a single parent on 5 of the original acres of my grandparents homestead that I bought back a few years ago. I have been gardening, canning, making my own skincare, and cleaning products for years now. I am also a teacher and decided to do a farmers market this past summer. It was not as successful as I had hoped. I would love to find a way to make more of a living off of this property so I can possibly retire early and do what I love on a more full time basis (I love teaching, but my heart longs to be working on the place). Would love to see how others do it! BTW, love the blog, the ideas and the creativity it gives me, thanks!

  56. All my life I have wanted to homestead. Been doing my best in a suburban backyard and kitchen in my spare time. But for my retirement I want to do more so I can pass on this knowledge to my children and grandchildren.

  57. This sounds like a wonderful resource. I totally agree that we all want the freedom to do what we love and what an awesome thing this book has ideas on how to do that! Can’t wait to read!

  58. Becoming self sufficient and making money off my homestead is my goal. Right now I’m self employed and on the side I sell baked goods at my local farmers market. I’m making and selling Cranberry Butter and most of all having fun while doing those things.

  59. I would love to read this book. We are very interested in homesteading and sharing knowledge, skills, and bartering with other homesteaders!

  60. I have spent years saving money, cooking from scratch, cutting hair, etc. However, this was all done because we had one injured child and later a disabled one. It was all survival due to our situation, not making a dime. I would love to find a way to have our upcoming homestead be more than just mere survival for us, especially as the primary caretaker of our sn child.

  61. I have had to quit my job to take care of my sister. My sister is a veteran and has a TBI which causes seizures. I am trying to become more self sufficient. Would love this book.

  62. I’m disabled and live alone, so it is very difficult to meet all of my own needs. I garden, cook from scratch, and will soon start making my own laundry detergent. My survival policy is “make do or do without”. It would be so very helpful to learn of more ways to support myself.

    Thank you for offering this. It would be such a blessing to win it.

  63. Love that passage at the beginning of the post. I was discussing this exact same thing with my mother just yesterday. She thinks the idea of homesteading is crazy and cannot fathom why I would want to leave a well-paying job even if I am miserable and have no life outside of my career…
    This book has been on my Amazon wish list but winning a copy would let me put that $10 toward my little dream!

  64. Knitting baby clothing and blankets is one idea. Quilting, jams, infused honeys. Just depends on where you live.
    Looks like a good book! Thank you!

  65. If we are ever blessed with a homestead of our own, we have lots of ideas for an income stream – an orchard, goats, chickens, etc. Just hoping that day will come sooner rather than later. 🙂

  66. My husband has been out of work for a number of years. We are trying to figure out how we can utilize our land to sustain us as well as make a living. Currently we raise heritage breed “Java” chickens and Jersey Wooly rabbits for pet, show, eggs, etc. We also garden. I really think this book would help us in our journey to become self sufficient.

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