We are excited to announce that we plan to take Craft Thyme and the Reaganskopp Homestead from a hobby to a money making side business over the next year. In theory, we are starting what I have dubbed: the Urban Homestead Side Hustle. I expect to be throwing a lot of stuff against the wall to see what sticks over the next year and might actually make money. Though it is my expectation that none of the trials will be ‘profitable’ over the first year. This is the perfect time to start a homestead side hustle, while we are employed full time and have income to use on capital expenditures.
If you want to skip the plan and scroll down I have compiled a HUUUUUGGGEEE list of ways a small homestead might make some side money. Otherwise read on to our plans.
Plans to Make Money on Our Urban Homestead
Right now we are bouncing ideas on how to make money on our urban homestead:
- Chicken Egg sales
- Quail (Meat & eggs)
- Herb starts and potted herbs
- Chicken coop dried herbs
- Honor system vegetable sales
- Online classes, guides, and utilities for purchase
- In person or online permaculture & gardening consultations
- Affiliate and advertising revenue on the website and YouTube (We will always be transparent about income made from this source. Right now we do NOT do sponsored posts, so, any reviews of products are just because we like them. Speaking of! Some of the below links may be affiliate links)
Why We Won’t Make Money
Why would start a venture that we don’t think will make money? For one major reason: Capital Expenditures. While I can probably start herbs and make a profit after seed, dirt, and pots are accounted for, it will take me forever to make back the investment we are considering for a small greenhouse. And that is okay by me. We work full time outside of the home so that we can afford some of the luxuries it might take other, more full time homesteaders awhile to afford. There isn’t one right way to start a business! This is just how we plan to do it. Slow and steady is fine too.
Why are You Posting About Money?
I grew up in the South and talking about money sure is tacky, but here is the deal. I see a lot of guides about how to make money for homesteaders, multilevel marketing, and other home business. It breaks my heart because most of it just does NOT give you the truth about what it takes to be successful. I used to teach business plan classes at the local community college. I have seen what it takes to both plan and grow small businesses. There are just so many expenses and other items (licenses, insurance, etc) that people do not plan on. These eat into your bottom dollar and often people find themselves losing way more money on their side hustle than they are making. Statistically if your business is making a profit by year 2 or 3 you are doing really good! A break even by year 4 or 5 is much more likely. You have to be READY to not make money, in order to make money.
We are hoping that our transparency in costs can help save our readers a lot of monetary grief in the future. Plus, it may keep us a little more accountable… Ask us how much we are in on an incubator and how none of our eggs have hatched *le sigh*.
Okay, okay, now that we have scared you here is what you came for:
50+ Ways to Make Money on Your Small Homestead aka Urban Homestead Side Hustle
I lied, one more note. These are geared to small homesteads, especially urban ones with access to lots of free yard sales and markets. I am sure some of these would work for larger farms and rural areas, but frankly, I wanted to find things that might work for me as well as my readers ;). That’s why we are focusing on the urban homestead side hustle. Enjoy!
- Chicken Egg Sales: In North Carolina you can sell 30 dozen eggs a week without a license. 30 DOZEN! Just have to follow some easy rules.
- Chick Sales: Buy in bulk or hatch your own. May want to go for your NPIP certification
- Feather Sales: Check your local and international laws. Some places do not allow sales of untreated feathers. You can dye and decorate as well.
- Quail Egg Sales
- Quail meat sales
- Duck egg sales
- Hatching Eggs: If a rooster is allowed or you want to try a rooster collar. Ebay has tons of examples of ‘wanted’ breeds. May want to go for you NPIP certification.
- Worms for compost sale: Have you seen how much 600 worms cost on Amazon?! Also, who is tasked with counting out 600 worms…
- Mealworms for sale: Apparently, you just need oatmeal and a strong stomach . Not sure why, but these creep me out way more than compost worms.
- Bees for pollinating farms: There is literally nothing you can’t find on amazon…
- Bees for honey sales: Extractors can be rented or shared with local beekeeping clubs
- Rabbits for fur or pelts: Angora Rabbits for example. Keep in mind the best price take finishing fur products so you may need to partner with fiber specialists or tanners
- Rabbits for meat: If you have a local meat market or slow food area interest in rabbit meat is growing
- Veggie Starts: Heirlooms (tomatoes especially) and odd colors do particularly well in my area.
- Herb Starts
- Small Nursery: Grafting takes practice but one tree can provide tons of grafts
- Flower or other plant starts: I have seen research that plants with even one flower sell better than other plants at markets. We have a local grower who rents a green house and only does perennial plant sales. His are fabulous!
- Topiary: Pretty round boxwoods in vintage pots are always desirable
- Mushrooms: Especially good for shady or north facing lots
- Mushroom logs: For others to grow their own mushrooms
- Fresh cut flowers: Dahlias grow back year after year (in some places you may have to lift the tubers) and make great cut flowers. They can be grown in a small space and staked.
- Hoop or hot house vegetables: Offering local greens and veggies when not in season can be a specialty if you live in a slow food market.
I am focusing on crafts that take a little bit of learning and equipment. If you have specialized knowledge such as fine woodworking or welding skills then focus on those first! These can be very lucrative ways to make money on a small urban homestead. Especially if you have a lot of craft fairs and craft oriented events in your area.
- Sew Clothing: Especially upcycled & refab clothing
- Alterations: My mom did this when I was a kid. Not her favorite activity, but it was side money.
- Sew items: Ask me how much my egg apron cost? (Spoiler: Much cheaper at Southern States) I also need pot holders, tool covers, tea pot warmers, hand towels, etc
- Leather belts & bags: Burned or embossed leather
- Basic Stained Glass: Our community college teaches basic courses and even focuses on easy on items that sell well
- Hand veggie prints: I saw some beautiful flour sack towels someone made by cutting shapes in potatoes and using them as prints
- Linoleum cut prints: Starter kits are very affordable and if you mount them to wood you can sell them as custom stamps
- Silk screening: This one takes a bit more investment. I have a degree in art with a concentration print making and sculpture (don’t ask, I don’t use it). Once you learn it you can churn out prints, clothes, etc.
- Crochet or Knitting: Bless you if you have the patience for this
- Cross stitch or embroidery: Double bless you for having patience with this. Look at alternative embroidery with funny sayings or different materials such as ribbon embroidery (the only one I have patience for)
- Handmade soaps, lotions, and other cosmetics: Even better if you have your own beeswax
Check your local laws, people! Technically, you aren’t supposed to do provide a lot of food products in the State of North Carolina without a commercial kitchen. Even something as simple as having a pet in the home can disqualify you. I know plenty of people who do not follow that law, but you open yourself up to liability if you don’t. That being said, there are commercial kitchen times for rent at local community colleges and start up incubators in Western North Carolina. Your state may have different laws, but be compliant. It may take more time but probably less heartache and money in the long run. Plus you want your urban homestead side hustle to be compliant and safe! Right?!
- Jams & Jellies
- Breads: Think outside the box; crackers, pretzels, buns
- Cakes & cookies: Sweets with alternatives; gluten free, stevia/honey sweeteners, vegan
- Kombucha or kefir
- Fermented or pickled veggies: Pickled ones marketed for cocktails are always fun.
- Other Canned Goods: Please, please make sure you know when to water bath and when to pressure can. Killing people or making them explosively puke is not an ideal way to start a business.
- Dried Herbs: Teas, coop & home herbs for cleaning and scent, cooking
- Dried Spices or spice mixes: Now you have a use for the 1,000 hot peppers you dried.
- Small fruits: Berries, grapes, and small orchard fruits from heirloom varieties sell well in markets where these products can’t ship well to groceries
- Sell fresh vegetables & herbs
- Sell compost: This one is tricky to get enough green matter but local markets and coffee shops may provide items for free
- Sell vintage or fixed up finds: Homesteaders are great at recycling, fixing, and finding deals.
- Repair items: If you have the knack I know a man who repairs lawn mowers. Just lawnmowers. In his shed in Canton, NC. He is busy all summer long.
- Teach classes: Planting, foraging, animal husbandry, crafts, canning. Community colleges are often looking for continuing ED teachers and local nurseries and homestead stores often will allow you to offer classes or hire teachers.
- Teach online courses: Free platforms and plugins are available
- Website: Advertising is hard to make money from unless you have a lot of views, but you can make some tidy pocket money with affiliate sales
- Online products: Downloadable canning labels, pdf guides, ebooks
- Homestead Tours/Workshops: On site classes in butchering, canning, and other homestead skills are popular. Our local organic growers school teaches everything from on-farm poultry classes to life skills such as starting a fire from scratch
- Build custom chicken coops or plans: This takes a bit more skill but we often have people ask for plans for our custom coops. We also saw an old chicken coop we built fetch $400 on the local market when sold by the people who purchased our old home.
- Consulting or Design Services: I recently completed my permaculture design certification, and this does require an investment in time and money, but if you have a built reputation you may not need to be certified. I am just starting to offer these types of services and wanted to go the extra mile.
- Air BNB: Or other stay location service. People are interested in agrotourism and will look for camping sites and rooms on farms. Especially if you live in a tourist destination city. Be careful, our city has strict laws about who can and cannot rent out space on their property.
What other things can we add to this list?! Help us add more ideas to our urban homestead side hustle. Please place them in the comments below and we will get them added so everyone can make money with their small homestead.