I love the simplicity of a homesteading life. Simplicity doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard work; it is. Simplicity is a frame of mind…that sense of peace, joy, and happiness that comes from doing what you love; what you are called to do. And I am called to teach my children to love the Lord and to live a life that is centered on Him, rather than the world.
Homesteading includes not only making a self sufficient living off the land through growing your own food and raising animals, but it includes teaching those skills to our children (homeschooling), and our children’s children, so they can continue living that life.
There are many ways to monetize a homestead. One of our favorites is to raise chickens. Farm fresh eggs are a really big, growing market. The eggs can be sold from home or at a farmers market. We can sell chicks to other farmers and homesteaders. We also use the chickens for meat. (You can do the same thing with ducks.)
We have raised rabbits. They can be sold as pets, or for 4H projects. They can be processed, or sold, for the meat. The pelts are sought after for coats, accessories, or even for crafts. Angora rabbit fur can be plucked and spun into very valuable yarn.
One of our favorite animals to raise is goats. We have raised Nigerian Dwarfs, Nubians, and Boers. The Nigerians are a small dairy goat, that gets about knee-high at their shoulders. They give about a quart to a half gallon of sweet milk a day. The Nubian is a larger animal, and gives a gallon, or more, milk a day. The Boer is a meat goat, rather than dairy. All three breeds can be butchered for the meat though. They can be sold for the meat, milk, for breeding, or as pets. But goats are a herd animal and you need at least two, to keep them out of trouble. Not only is the milk great for drinking, you can use it to make cheese, cheese curd, butter, yogurt, cheese cake, and soap.
Beekeeping is another great way to make money. You can build beehives to sell, or to rent to other homesteaders, or farmers, to help with pollination. You can process and sell the honey. You can make and sell beeswax candles, or just sell the beeswax.
And then there is the garden. We have had to make a few changes in our gardening. Rather than the regular garden in the ground, we have changed to raised-bed gardens due to the fact that I am confined to a mobile chair. My husband built wonderful raised beds that measure 3′ x 3′, and are at just the right height for me to sit in my chair and be able to work the soil and harvest the plants. Not only do we have a wonderful variety of food on the table, but we can sell young plants and the produce at farmers’ market.
In order to monetize your homestead, it is important to “Brand” yourself. You need nice packaging and labels for your products. Your homestead needs a name. You need to reach out to your community so they know who you are, and the quality of your products. Our homestead is called the Rocking Bar M Farm. Our logo is a bar and M over a rocker…