A suburban or urban homestead means space is at a premium. It’s imperative that you make the most of every square inch. Making the most of your homestead space can mean more than just provisions for your family and self-reliance, though. It can also be a means of generating additional income.
These four methods are great ways to maximize your yield in a small space.
1. Maximize your planting space-
There are numerous methods that will allow you to plant more than you need in the space you have. Selling the excess is a great way to generate income. First of all, examine window sills, porches, and other traditionally non-gardenable areas. These are prime areas for using methods such as container and tower gardening. You’d be surprised by the amount of produce you can grow in these forgotten spaces.
Composting is a vital part of your sustainable homestead practices. Why not make a profit from it? Excess compost and tea fetch a premium with organic gardeners and excess worms can be sold to others interested in vermiculture or local fisherman. If you really want to take it a step further, create and bag your own organic potting soil or ready to go worm farms!
3. Raising rabbits-
Rabbits take up very little space and, when raising for meat, can produce 8-12 pounds of meat a week, far more than your family will need for consumption. While raising rabbits does involve a good bit of upfront investment to build proper double stack stalls, feeding trays, etc., an organically raised/ grass fed rabbit can sell from $5-7/ pound live or up to $50/ pound cleaned and butchered. Rabbits produce great manure for fertilizing and everything from their pelts to their ears can be sold for a profit. You may even consider selling some of your better offspring as breed stock to other homesteaders.
4. Raising chickens–
Chickens, or any meat birds for that matter, are kind of a no-brainer. Chickens don’t need a ton of space- even when free-ranging. Four free range chickens need only about 16 square feet! Not only can they be raised and sold for meat, but they can also produce farm fresh eggs. A single hen can produce 300 eggs per year! At $3-5/ dozen, just a few hens can add up pretty quick! If you have fertilized eggs, these eggs can also be incubated and sold at a day old, fetching $2-$5 per chick.
Just because your space is limited, doesn’t mean your potential has to be, have you heard of vertical farming? These are just a few examples of ways you can garner extra income from your homey homestead! You may even consider drying herbs to make your own teas and tinctures or selling them in bulk. Perhaps you’d like to make your own bath and household products to sell. Baked goods, candles, jams, pickles, canned produce….the list goes on and on. With just a little additional effort and some ingenuity, you can turn your homestead into a source of income as well as a source of sustenance, no matter the size!