Mary is an organic coconut farmer. In her articles, she shares ideas on land management and how to increase the profit from a small farm.
How to Make Money From a Small Farm or Plot of Land
Many people think farmers have enviable lives. If you're a farmer, however, you may think otherwise. You work non-stop for very little money. Sometimes you feel like a prisoner to your buyers, and occasionally you wonder how much longer you can keep going. The weather seems to be against you, and you feel like you are working for nothing.
Though small farmers believe their lives are far from ideal, I can't think of any farmer who would switch to city life. So how do you get the best of both worlds? How can you maximize profit from your land, small farm, or homestead? You don't have to stop at growing crops. Through diversification of activities and thinking like an entrepreneur, you can achieve a much higher yield from your farm while keeping the lifestyle you love.
There are restrictions, both federal and state, that need to be considered before beginning some of these activities. That said, farmers are a determined breed. With a bit of planning, you can turn your farm into a money maker and begin enjoying life on your homestead once again.
Here are 27 ideas for you to consider for making the most of your small farm. Of course, some of these ideas will be more practical than others depending on your region, type of farm, etc.
"You are no longer just a farmer; you are an entrepreneur."
1. Grow Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms
Growing mushrooms can be very lucrative. However, I recommend that you opt for specialist types of mushrooms if you're looking into cultivation. There is more money to be made from growing ones for medicinal use or the restaurant market. Trying to compete with the supermarket on button mushrooms wouldn't be an option unless your pricing or quality is better. Depending on the type of mushroom you choose to grow, you could harvest some in just 15 weeks, with a yield of up to 4 lbs. per square foot.
If your knowledge of mushrooms is only eating them on a pizza, this book is an interesting and comprehensive look into the field of mushroom cultivation. This is my 'go-to book' for anything that has to do with growing mushrooms. It is packed with information that will help a novice, and it will also answer questions of more experienced growers.
- Before harvesting, contact local restaurants and take orders from them for a quick sale.
- Get a stall at a farmer's market to grow your reach and your sales.
- Educate yourself on the best practices for mushroom growing.
- Check local, state, and federal laws if you plan to sell it as a medicinal or health supplement.
2. Turn Your Field Into a Campsite
Especially if you live close to an urban area, people are always looking for their next great outdoor vacation or just to escape the city limits for a change scenery and to reconnect with nature. Others want to have a digital detox and disconnect from technology for awhile.
To turn your land (or part of it) into a campsite, you'll need to construct a simple shower and toilet unit for your campers. Check with your local authorities for advice on using the main sewage and drains or if necessary install a septic tank.
Some campsites are quite basic and don't provide electrical outlets while others have installed electricity for the campers to use. If your farm is near a tourist area, this is definitely one avenue to consider. The area or field you choose should also be level and dry, ensuring that campers can correctly and safely erect their tents. You can start small and put any profits into improving the facilities of your campsite. By reinvesting your earnings you will be creating a sustainable business without an initial expensive outlay.
- Depending on your area, you could also have designated spots for motor homes and caravans. For these, you'll need to supply electricity and water.
- Consider opening a small shop with essential food items and toiletries, if you aren't close to a town. Campers who don't want to travel back into town will be happy to buy from you even if your prices are slightly higher than in a supermarket.
- Many people, especially retired couples, live in RV's permanently. They will often spend a few weeks at a campsite if they like it.
- Offer free Wi-fi for your campers. Everyone expects to remain connected to the internet 24/7, even when they're camping. The access code can be changed weekly to keep those who aren't camping from using it.
- If you are going to allow campers to bring dogs, have an area fenced off as a dog latrine. No one wants to step in dog mess. This will keep dog owners and non dog owners happy.
- Start a website or blog advertising your campsite. Ask your customers who visit to post their pictures on social media channels. Word of mouth advertising is free and often the best kind.
3. Farm Snails for Profit
To farm snails, you'll need to provide them with shelter, plants, and food. This method you choose will vary depending on your situation. Some farmers use outdoor pens which are open, and others use netting to keep them in. I have also seen them grown commercially in polytunnels. Above, you can see a video of a woman who has now built it into a profitable venture in Africa. She says snails are the ideal livestock to have as they don't smell or make noise.
Before investing in structures to house them, start small and develop a market for them. Then, if you see the demand growing, you can expand by increasing the available housing.
4. Organize a Swap Meet
If you have a piece of fallow land, consider using it on the weekend for a large swap meet. People love to walk around a field to search for their next bargain.
Charge the vendors a small fee, maybe $7 per car and $15 per truck (depending on your area and demand). If you stick with it, this side hustle could develop into a profitable weekend venture that can be moved to a different field each season. Depending on where you live, you could even have the swap meet year-round.
Ensure you have an area for parking off-road for those looking to buy. Signs on the street and even an ad in the newspaper will bring people flocking to your field for potential bargains. Advertising won't be necessary once your swap meet (car boot sale in the UK) gets known as your client base expands.
- To start this business venture requires little investment but will need organizing skills to get vendors interested.
5. Start a Bed and Breakfast
If you have spare rooms or a barn that can be converted into rooms, consider opening a bed and breakfast. This is one of the most popular ways to earn more money from your farm. People who live in cities love to experience a slice of life on a working farm. They love to see the animals and possibly even help out with farming chores. It can be an exciting time for both adults and children.
The level of accommodation you offer can vary depending on the type of customer you wish to attract. Even offering simple sleeping rooms as a youth hostel could bring in extra cash. If your farm is near an area that requires many workers, even if it is only seasonally, you could rent the rooms to the company. By renting to a (reputable) company, you're more likely to get paid on time and paid regularly.
Companies such as AirBnB make it simple to rent out spare rooms for guests. Their website is straightforward and many people have come to trust it. This could be run in conjunction with your own website promoting your available accommodation. If your farm is near a cycle way, hiking trails, or a popular tourist attraction you could do quite nicely from renting rooms. Be sure to mention the nearby attractions and activities on your website or advertisement.
Check with your insurance company to see if a change of policy is necessary.
6. Rent Space for Meetings or Gatherings
Do you have a barn that could be easily converted into open space? Consider renting it for a range of gatherings, such as business meetings, weddings, or an exercise facility such as for step classes. Advertise in local newspapers or on supermarket bulletin boards in your area.
People and companies look for areas to hold meetings. This could earn you money during the day, evenings, and on the weekends. The availability of parking is always a bonus.
Depending on the level of improvement you want to do, you could supply chairs and tables, exercise equipment, or other supplies. You should offer to help supply refreshments or have them on hand since that can be a valuable source of income as well.
7. Rent Your Field to Metal Detecting Clubs or Allow Metal Detectors to Scan Your Land
Between plantings, you could allow metal detectors to scan your land. They may find a bounty that would be half yours if you own the land.
Alternatively, you could bury metallic objects in your field and hire it out to metal detecting clubs. People in these clubs are always looking for places to test and improve their skills. Contact your local metal detecting club to find out what they would require.
Remember that refreshments, even just drinks out of an ice chest or from the trunk of your car, can earn you extra money. Something as simple as a thermos flask of hot coffee on a cold morning will keep the group happy and eager to return.
8. Raise Tilapia or Other Kinds of Fish
Raising fish such as tilapia can be a very profitable business. For tilapia, you will need to be in an area where the water temperature stays about 20°C (68°F). If your temperature is lower than this, you may need to heat the water which, of course, is costly. The fish will survive in cooler temperatures but the growth rate will be slower.
Depending on the size of fry (young fish) you buy, your harvest could be ready in approximately six months depending on what size you wish to sell your fish at. This is one of the ways my husband and I make money from our farm here in Brazil.
9. Let People Fish on Your Lake
If you have lakes or can dig them, you can develop public fishing lakes. Normally there are two types: The first is a catch and release, and is solely for the enjoyment of fishing. The customer would pay as they enter and then stay there all day. This could also be combined with camping as mentioned earlier.
The other type is fish and pay. They catch the fish, which are then weighed and paid for. Either option is profitable. You will, of course, need to stock your lakes and ensure you have parking facilities and restroom facilities close by.
- In addition to these, if you had refreshments for sale you would be earning from those since not everyone brings their own food and drinks.
- You could also run a small bait and tackle shop on the premises to cater for your customers.
- Consider renting out rods and reels for those who come for the day.
- Have a dedicated picnic area with BBQ facilities.
10. Raise Worms
Consider raising worms to sell as bait to fishing shops. The worms can be raised in tubs, bins, or barrels and you could be harvesting your crop in just 90 days. But it isn't just the worms that have value, since the soil left behind is full of worm casings and provides some of the richest sources of nutrients for your garden.
This could bring in a secondary income stream as compost for gardens. Not only is it an easy, low-maintenance way of earning more from your farm. It is also completely eco-friendly and as such opens your farm to another type of customer.
11. Breed Dogs
This is a controversial subject, and I am sure many people think I shouldn't include this since in many countries there are animal shelters that are full of dogs waiting for a good home. That said, there are still people who want certain pedigree breeds of dogs. I am not suggesting anything like a "puppy mill."
Consider breeding small dogs, or an unusual breed since the return on investment will be better. Large dogs, of course, will cost more to feed.
- You should ensure that your kennels are purpose-built and that you have factored in the cost of veterinarian bills.
- This is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Breeding dogs is challenging, and there is significant start-up cost. That said, it can be rewarding and lucrative.
12. Raise Specialist Breeds of Animals (e.g., Ostriches)
If space allows, consider raising what I call niche market animals. Some of these could include the following, and there are often multiple products that you can sell from the same animal.
- Guinea fowl: You can sell guinea fowl meat, feathers, eggs, and young.
- Quail: You can sell quail young, meat, and eggs.
- Rabbit: You can sell rabbit meat, pets, and fur.
- Ostrich/Emu: You can sell ostrich meat, Emu oil, feathers, and eggs.
- Goat: You can sell goat meat, milk, butter, cheese, young, and hair.
- Llama: You can sell llama wool. Young llamas. They also provide security for flocks of sheep.
- Deer: You can sell deer meat, fur, and antlers.
13. Grow Dual Crops
Depending on what you are growing you may be able to plant two crops side-by-side, saving you space. Here on our farm, we have planted coconut trees that are spaced five meters apart, and between these we plant crops such as beans, zucchini (courgette), and cucumbers.
Because we have irrigation already in place to water the coconuts, which have deeper roots, we can use the space to greater, more profitable effect. The income generated from the earlier crop will pay for the cost of electricity to water the coconuts.
There are lots of combinations of crops that are good to grow together, helping you generate higher yields using the same amount of space and water.
14. Sell Farm Byproducts
There are many by-products on a working farm, and some of them have resell value. Here are a few ideas:
- Feathers: If you have any feathered friends on your farm, be they wild or domesticated, consider collecting and selling the feathers. People love to include them in crafts such as jewelry-making, hat-making, and other kinds of accessories.
- Manure: If you raise animals, you know that manure is great for gardens. You can bag and sell manure to the public or small garden centers.
- Wood: If you are felling trees this can either be sold for firewood or smaller pieces for kindling.
15. Win Farm Equipment
Although we are discussing making money on your farm, let's not forget the old saying that "A penny saved is a penny earned." With that in mind, consider entering the sweepstakes. Because of the explosion of people who are now homesteading or have small urban farms, many companies are offering prizes that are useful for farming, everything from books to chicken incubators to tractors.
I ran a website where I listed sweepstakes, contests and competitions which can be entered online. There are sweepstakes which are open to the various regions and also worldwide.
If you happen to win a prize that you can't use, you can sell it.
16. Give Talks and Demonstrations
Money doesn't always have to come from just farming activities. Some people earn money by giving talks about farming activities. Schools, community centers, and public venues always need speakers. Many of these groups pay. The larger the group, the more they'll pay. If you are a confident speaker, this is an avenue you should consider. Topics such as:
- Bee Keeping
- Growing vegetables or flowers
- Natural pest control
- Organizing a farmers market .
- Homemade ice cream
- Jam making
This is just a selection of topics you could speak about. These talks can be at your farm or you may need to travel to their venue. You don't have to be an expert, but you do need to be entertaining, informed and passionate about your topic.
Some of these topics can be demonstrated and others would require a series of slides and videos.
There are many groups who require speakers, it is necessary to contact business owners, your chamber of commerce and even your local library. Begin networking and if you don't feel confident, start with small groups and speak for free until you become accustom to the limelight. Once you begin to get feedback and you know your subject matter backwards, you are ready to charge money for your talks.
17. Rent Your Land for an Antenna, Turbines, or Solar Panels
Consider renting some of your land to public or private firms that set up antennas, turbines, or solar panels.
Is your land at a high point? This could potentially bring you the bonus income you were looking for. Consider contacting cellular phone or internet companies to determine if an antenna could be placed on your property. Though they pay handsomely, you may be concerned about the potential cancer-causing problems. Do some research and find out what areas would be considered safe.
Are you in a windy area? Are there turbines already nearby? You could also see about getting a wind turbine. A farm near us has sand dunes which aren't suitable for growing anything, but he now has a few Korean-owned wind turbines on them and is raking in a small fortune for doing nothing. We also know of farmers in the UK who have these in their fields. They continue to farm but make more money from the turbines.
Another possibility is putting solar panels on your land, which are connected to the national grid. This is very popular in Spain and is taking off in other sunny countries. You could not only receive free electricity yourself, but the electricity company could pay you! How is that for a good money-making idea!
18. Sell Seeds and Plants Over the Internet
If you grow any unique or different types of flowers, fruits, or vegetables, consider selling the seeds. Many people feel bound by what commercial 'home garden' seed companies provide, but there is so much more available. This has seen an increase in recent times with the worry about crops grown using genetically modified or GM seeds. Heirloom seeds, or those which are passed down or 'natural seeds' have seen a sharp increase in sales.
Whether it is an enormous pumpkin variety or a dainty flower, keen gardeners are always on the look-out for something new. Remember to get a photo of it when it's looking its best, as it will sell much easier. You could advertise your seeds on eBay or its equivalent in your country.
- Though seeds can be easily sold over the Internet, the one thing you can't do is send them abroad. There are strict laws in some countries about taking or mailing seeds or plants to a different country. If listing on the internet, make the customer aware that that is their responsibility to check regulations before placing an order.
- Include instructions for planting in the packaging: When to plant, where to plant, the type of soil the plant prefers, etc. You should have all the information that you would normally see on the back of a seed packet. Type it up, print it out, and send a copy along with the seeds. This will ensure the customer is happy, and a happy customer will buy from you again. Plus they are also your best advertisement. If you exceed their expectations, they will leave a glowing review for you which will boost your business.
19. Publish Articles Online
Besides farming, you could also write articles about your farming activities. It is easy to get published online in a variety of places for free. If you keep with it, you might be able to start earning money from articles about a wide variety of topics that you choose.
Writing online isn't a get rich quick scheme, though. Like anything, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. For me, it fits in nicely with my lifestyle here on the farm and provides an additional stream of passive income.
20. Rent Your Land for Special Events Like Weddings and Parties
Consider renting out your land as a wedding or special events venue. Having your wedding in a barn or on a farm is fairly popular nowadays, and people are always looking for beautiful locations for parties or other ceremonies.
Your level of involvement could be as much or as little as you wish. You could have the marquees including tables and chairs, or the party planner could do this. Again, you could provide the food or allow that to be outsourced.
- If you're considering renting out your space for weddings, you'll want to make sure you have bathrooms and dressing rooms that are clean and welcoming, especially for the bridal party.
- Depending on where you live, it might be fun to rent out your barn for a Thanksgiving or Christmas feast.
21. Rent Out Bee Hives
Bees are currently in demand, not only for their honey but also for their ability to pollinate. There has been a dramatic decline in the bee population due to colony collapse disorder (CCD). It's unclear why it's happening, and there are many theories about the source, but the bottom line is that the demand is great for these little miracles of nature.
If you have hives and can take them to fields for pollination, you can expect to earn $136 for each hive you provide. This is based on figures provided by the article, "Bee-conomics and the Leap in Pollination Fees" (UC Davis).
22. Open Your Farm to the Public
There are many successful farms that are open to the public, providing a safe environment for adults and children to see animals and crops up close. Each person is charged upon entry, and some families make a day out of it. Some farmers even make more money through agro-tourism than from farming itself.
Although most of the time visitors will come on the weekends and during school vacations, many schools love taking children on field trips to local farms.
- Serving refreshments and even light meals can bring in even more money for your farm.
- You can sell feed pellets for the animals so children can feed chickens, goats, and other animals.
- Consider starting a petting zoo.
- Construct a corn maze.
- You could also offer classes or workshops on farming or making different kinds of products like meats, cheeses, or other foods.
23. Offer Parking for Bus Companies
Do you live near an industrial area that transports its workers to a site? Are you in a place where parking is in short supply? If so, you could benefit from supplying a flat, dry area for buses or cars to park.
You might need to build a small kiosk to house a worker who will collect money if people pay as they go, day-to-day. If it's reserved parking, such as for buses, the money will go directly into your bank account and save you from employing a worker.
24. Offer Motorhome, Boat, and Trailer Storage
Since many urban and suburban areas restrict the number of vehicles that homeowners can have parked on their premises, consider offering trailer, motor home, or boat storage. If you have a level and dry field and invest the money to make it secure, this could be a good money maker for you.
- You could also have an area where they could clean their vehicles.
- You can charge them monthly or yearly.
- Check with your attorney and insurance company since it could be possible to have your clients sign a waiver releasing you from any liability for loss or damage.
25. Offer Space for a Private Airstrip or Heliport
Does your farm have space for an air strip or a heliport? Do you live in an area where there is a need for this?
I live 65km away from an international airport, but locally there is a man who has an airstrip at his home. He allows a limited amount of traffic to use it, for which he is paid handsomely.
Many large businesses fly their representatives up here and land at this small airstrip, putting them just minutes away from where they need to be.
- Also, consider the opportunity for a private airstrip aimed at skydivers. If you live in a large open area, you could incorporate this idea, so long as you have the correct permissions from the aviation board and your local government.
- You could also supply parking for their aircraft as well.
26. Grow Flowers to Sell
Growing flowers may not seem like an obvious choice if you have been growing crops such as wheat, potatoes, or sugar beets. But consider the different avenues from growing flowers:
- Growing flowers for florists (cut)
- Growing flowers for nurseries (potted and ready for resale)
- Selling flowers direct to the public
- Selling dried flowers for arts and crafts
- Selling dried flowers for potpourri/confetti
Growing flowers can dramatically increase the yield of your land.
27. Make Farming Videos
You may think that making videos about farming isn't going to get a lot of views but you'd be wrong. People love watching a different and unusual lifestyle. It doesn't matter if what you are doing doesn't go to plan, your audience will cheer you on.
Topics can include:
- Farming techniques
I am including a video a man made on his farm using a bucket. At the time of me posting this, it has had nearly 8 million views. Your videos don't have to be fancy or long, just interesting. When ads are placed near your video, you get paid for everyone who clicks on the ad.
I hope this information helps! Remember your chamber of commerce is a wealth of information. Ask them about grants which are given to farmers or new businesses. If you have any other ideas or resources, please pass them along in the comments.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: I only have an area of 4360 square feet. Could you suggest a suitable business?
Answer: The first thing that popped into my mind is a nursery to sell plants to the public. Locally, there is a couple who have a small area in front of their house, and they have expanded their range of plants, pots, and garden accessories over the years.
If someone comes in and wants to buy something they don't have, they have suppliers who will deliver to them.
Question: We recently bought 10 acres in Texas. It's our first time buying land. There is so much to learn it's overwhelming! We want to make some extra money and didn't have any idea where to start. I think we might be able to look at some of your ideas. Do you have any ideas that will work better in the United States?
Answer: Many of the ideas will work in the US. However, there will be more red tape to do. That doesn't mean you shouldn't start a new venture. I would suggest contacting several government agencies, city, state, and federal. There may well be grants available to you. Besides grants, those offices offer a wealth of free advice and services that you might have thought you needed to pay for.
Many will be able to help you with paperwork, and support you in your new business.
Question: If I were to raise chickens and goats would I be able to sell them and the byproducts for more if I let them roam free?
Answer: That's a great question. I would like to say yes, as most people say they would pay more for cruelty-free, humanely reared, and animals that are 'free range.' The problem is, what people say and what they do can be two different things. It is easier to step into a market than to create one, however, depending on where you live, there could be red tape to prove that your animals are free range.
Where I live, in rural Brazil, free range chickens and eggs, do get a premium price. Sometimes the stores don't have it in stock, but can contact a local farmer who can provide one. The benefit to you, besides getting a higher price, is the feeding costs will be less. Our chicken eggs have yolks that are almost orange because they are out all day foraging eating bugs and grasses. The taste difference between store bought eggs and true free range is incredible.
Besides the eggs, the meat is also tastier. One word of caution though, the meat is tough from all that exercise. You may find the bird's weight is lighter than expected because as they are roaming in search of food, they are burning off calories.
Another word of caution, that I learned the hard way. Don't let your customer see the live animal. I'll tell you why I say that. We had geese for sale and a restaurant owner came to us wanting to buy geese for their Christmas menu. When she saw them swimming in our lakes, she couldn't bring herself to commit to buying them because she normally only saw them after they had been killed and cleaned. A lesson learned.
Question: I have 6 acres of land with palm wine on it. What other things can I do with the land to make a profit?
Answer: The fact that your farm is already producing palm wine is great news. However, you can do more than just sell the wine. Depending on your area, you may be able to show people how you make it. This would be geared more toward tourists. If you're in a region that has tourists, make inquiries at hotels.
You have 6 acres and that is a good size. You can experiment with other crops to expand your income level.
Look at other farms in your area to assess how they are earning. It's always easier to step into an existing market than create a new one.
By doing that, you will know there is a demand for whatever you will be doing in addition to your palm wine.
Also, I would suggest looking further afield on the internet for 'untapped markets' in your area. It has to be simple, though. If you plan to export a product, there will be red tape. There may be government agencies that can help you but the benefit has to outweigh the time you'll spend.
Start by writing articles about your business, and other local businesses in your area. By doing this you are surrounding yourself with people who are in a position to help push your business (and I am not just referring to your wine) to a new level.
In farming, it is easy to think that the money is to be made from the land but that isn't' the case.
In this article there are other avenues to try, that can bring in extra money. You've heard the phrase, "think outside the box", well you also have to "think outside the farm".
Consider making videos about rural life and putting them on YouTube or other similar video sites.
These are just a few ideas but once you begin brainstorming ideas with friends and families you'll be amazed at what you can do. Start small and keep going.
Question: My question is, how does one get financing for a small firm? Out here in Uganda, the financial landscape is pretty tough. It is our main obstacle.
Answer: I understand, it is also difficult where I live in Brazil. If there is no financing, you have to get creative.
First, you'll have to start small and build it up from there. Go to a market that already exists. If there is a market for tomatoes let's say, grow and sell them. Be it in a market or on the side of the street. Start recording, either through photos, videos or writing about it. Post these images and stories on the internet, and start building an audience. The best way, in my opinion, is to show things how they are, be real, be honest and be proud of where you live. Highlight the positives.
Recently my daughter went to Ghana, and the photos of the tomatoes, onions and another veg by street vendors were amazing. I could almost smell those tomatoes. In Europe, the US and yes even here where I live, the tomatoes are picked too early, grown indoors, or are just lacking in flavor. If you can remind people of 'real food,' you will suddenly have an audience.
With that audience, you can have a blog, a YouTube channel, or write articles here on Hubpages.
Then look into crowdfunding. If you have made that connection with others, some may wish to give you money to start a project. I have written an article about crowdfunding sites for 'non-US residents. If you look in my profile, you'll find it in my list of articles.
So many people aren't aware of how life is in different countries. You could become the "go to person" for your area.
Remember even though you have a small farm, you can make your money as an entrepreneur showing people about farming in your area.
Question: Any books or online info that you would suggest for someone starting a farm? The goal is to be more self sufficient and provide income for our home. We have 67 acres but most of it is wooded except maybe 6 or so acres.
Answer: I would suggest YouTube and Pinterest. Whatever problem you're encountering, someone has found a solution to it. Here on our farm, we have researched everything from tractor repairs, natural composting tips, to renewable fish food.
Plus in the feeds you'll get other ideas you may find interesting. I also like Mother Earth News, they always have interesting articles.
Question: I need investors to develop my farm, in Palakkad, Kerala. Can you arrange this?
Answer: No, I can't. I would suggest you look into crowdfunding. I have another article that lists crowdfunding sites for non-US residents.
Question: If I were to start raising turkeys will it be beneficial?
Answer: There are several questions you need to ask yourself before starting any business. For example:
Is there a demand for it?
What will it cost me to get the product (in this case turkeys) ready for the market?
What will the profit be?
Is there any competition?
Is this a sustainable business?
What are the restrictions and licenses needed (if any)?
What skills will I need to produce this?
What are the potential problems (diseases, etc.)?
I don't mean to talk you out of raising turkeys but caring for livestock and making a return on your investment is not as easy as most people imagine. Do your research, and then you are in a better position to know if this is the right business for you.
Question: Do you use solar panels on your farm?
Answer: On our farm, we don't, because our electricity is inexpensive. We live in an area of Brazil that gets 300 days of sunshine a year, and yet, there are very few installations of solar panels here. In our region, many wind turbines generate a good portion of our electricity.
Question: My family inherited 98 acres of land that is considered agricultural but currently doing nothing with it because none of us know anything about farming. We don't want to sell it but not sure where to start. What can we do?
Answer: Consider leasing it to another farmer. That way you'll keep the farm but still earn from it. Check with an accountant to see the best way forward for dealing with this additional source of income.
Question: What about selling firewood, is this also a good idea?
Answer: Yes, that's a great idea. Also depending on where you live, growing and selling Christmas trees.
Question: How can one get started rearing buffalo to use for milk based products?
Answer: Read everything you can about rearing buffalo and the best practices of animal husbandry. Determine if there is a market for the products in your area, if not see if you can start an online based business and what would that take to develop.
Contact your local chamber of commerce to see about restrictions and assistance they can give you. Ask them about the opportunity about grants or free courses in your area. If there are farmers already doing this in your area, ask if you could learn from them.
Do your research and practice due diligence before buying any animals, equipment, or land.
Question: I have an apple orchard that’s about 20 acres, what else can I grow to supplement my income?
Answer: Consider chickens for eggs or meat, and also think about bee hives. These can be rented out when not needed on your farm.
Definitely stay away from goats, as they will climb your trees and strip the fruit.
Question: I have a privately funded rescue just don’t know where to start to make it self-sustaining. Can you suggest any ideas on how to market it?
Answer: I personally think your best bet is to open a Patreon crowdfunding page. That will allow you to market it. You could video and write about what you do there on your farm. Patreon, unlike other crowdfunding sites, is an ongoing payment system. You could also upload your videos to You Tube and share on social media sites. Instead of making money from your farm activities, you'd be making money from your videos and articles about what you do.
This isn't a get rich quick, method but with any type of farming activities, it's all about the long game plan.
© 2012 Mary Wickison
I Always Love to Hear Your Comments
Raphael Shekari on May 24, 2020:
Mary wickison you are wonderful. I love your spirit I rely enjoy your writetop. One million thanks
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on April 27, 2020:
I would suggest you go to YouTube and see what others are doing. It will give you ideas for farming topics to cover.
Besides, how to videos such as 'How to transplant tomato seedlings', you could also do 'lifestyle' videos. There are many viewers who love to watch videos about life on a farm.
It could also be about farming techniques, repairs to farm equipment, or traditional ways in farming.
I would suggest brainstorming ideas and see what topics others have been successful with. You can add your own touch to it.
Ogwang on April 26, 2020:
How should I make a video
Patrick Kamau from Nairobi, Kenya on January 28, 2020:
Very workable solutions for anyone ready to implement and make lots of money. Thanks for sharing.
Roger on November 12, 2019:
Should make money growing weed marijuana?
Dot on July 24, 2019:
How about Turbines??
What’s your experience on necessary land/ rentals/ license?? thank youuu
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on July 21, 2019:
I think you've answered your own question. Making money online sounds like your best option. You will get the best of both worlds, the peace and tranquility of a remote lifestyle, and the ability to work online. Your overheads will be lower, and you'll have fewer distractions.
Merv Hoover on July 20, 2019:
Is there anything profitable I can do with an acre of woods in a very remote location? Far from any major city and the closest neighbors are living in poverty. High speed fiber optic internet is available.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on June 30, 2019:
Explore some of the ideas in this article as starters.
Look in your area, what are people already selling. If the market isn't saturated, begin doing the same.
Is there a significant percentage of the population that wants a product that isn't being supplied? If so, what would they be will to pay for it? Do the math and see if it is viable.
Don't limit yourself to a local market. Can you provide something useful to tourists?
Can you sub-divide the land and sell it?
Are there interesting plants or wild animals, or insects that would entice visitors to it?
Can it be used as an open air venue for a festival, or live music venue? Think of Woodstock and Glastonbury Festival. Both of these started on farms.
I hope that has given you a few more ideas to consider.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on June 30, 2019:
You mention the potential cancer risk. Is this related to damaged solar panels in the storm?
There will be government bodies that will help you. Contact the USDA or a local university and request that your soil be tested.
If they give you the all clear, then continue with your farming.
With regards to building a farm house, that would be down to your local council and planning department. Express your concerns about the safe distance from the adjoining solar farm.
Sai Pavan on June 29, 2019:
I have 100acers in South India what all can I do with that ?
Barbara G. Barbour on June 29, 2019:
How can you make 13 acres next to but not owned by Corporate Solar Farm company profitable. Can’t grow things to eat or farm animals because of potential cancer risk What is safe distance from farm can you build a home ?? Land zoned for agriculture. Previously had liveable home with well and septic. Home suffered significant weather storm damage. Thanks for your reply.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on June 25, 2019:
Owning and running a small farm, is a good lifestyle choice for many. It sounds as though you threw yourself into it and tried many things. The key, is flexibility. We try something and then adapt to the market.
I've never made cottage cheese, but would like to give it a go.
I'm glad you enjoyed the article, thanks for your kind words.
Anita Hasch on June 21, 2019:
Love your article. So many interesting farming ventures possible on small farm.
I found having a few cows and selling Maas the most profitable. I have also sold flowers to a large supermarket on a small scale. Plants and fruit trees also sell well, although a lot of work.
I've had goats and made my own cottage cheese. Loved the goats.
Now I just write. Hope to write for magazines in the future.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on June 21, 2019:
You have mentioned a critical point. So many people wait for everything to be perfect and consequently never start.
Obviously you don't want to spend a lot of money upfront but many of these ideas, you can start slowly. The key is, just begin and make adjustments as necessary.
I'm glad you found this article interesting.
Joyce G on June 21, 2019:
Thanks for the brilliant ideas and have got me thinking .. on some actions to kick off right away.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 06, 2019:
It's good you're thinking about how you can maximize your earning potential from your farm.
Camping and/or RV activities would be a good option for you.
The fact that there is no incline would be a bonus. Plus for people with mobility issues a level area is preferred.
Roland King on May 05, 2019:
I recently purchased 17.5 acres of unrestricted /wooded land about 20 minutes from the "Great Smokey Mountain National Park" and a county away from dollywood, gatlinburg and pigeon forge TN which are all tourist attraction area's. It also sets a couple minutes from "Bush"s beans " where they also have plenty of tourism. I was wondering if I could use the property in any ways to make future income or anything that would turn profit and make a good investment. There is only a half acre that's cleared and a creek runs through it. I had some ideas for running a trail with park lights and benches through it but there's no incline.. You have any ideas?
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on March 18, 2019:
You're first step should be at your local council to see what, if any permissions and licenses would be necessary.
Secondly would be to speak to your insurance broker. It could be that you may need to change your policy if you have one. It may not be necessary if you have your clients sign a contact saying they will insure their car/RV /boat etc.
After that, begin to advertise through leaflets and social media that is local to your surrounding area. Get your information in front of the people who need your service.
Olesya McEwan on March 17, 2019:
Hello Mary! Thanks for the article. It was very informative and made me think that I have 1acre (may be a bit more) of land. I would love to start renting it for car/boat/RV or just extra things that people have, but don’t have room for it. I could also offer a much cheaper price than a traditional storage. But how do I start, what’s my first step should be? Thank you.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on March 14, 2019:
Developing your farm, even if it isn't through livestock or crops can be very rewarding. It's important to keep an open mind and ask questions about the necessary licenses and permissions.
Thanks for reading.
Kamugisha davis on March 14, 2019:
I like the deveelopment
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on March 04, 2019:
I'm glad to hear that. Keep brainstorming and writing your ideas down. It's amazing how one idea might not work but it can lead to another that will.
Thanks for your comment.
Marlene Bertrand from USA on March 03, 2019:
These are all the most wonderful ideas I have read in a long time. My husband and I live in a tourist area surrounded by several lakes. Fishing is the attraction here. We could raise worms for bait and be very successful with that. We also like several other ideas that you have shared and are kicking a few of them around right now. Thank you so much. You have helped us get excited about farming this land.
Bheemesh on December 21, 2018:
Thank you for your good infermestion and helpful
Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on December 05, 2018:
Thanks for the helpful and informative hub.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on November 26, 2018:
The best place to start is locally. Ask yourself if there is a market first and foremost. Then seek guidance from organizations local to you. The amount of free information available to help small business is staggering but most people don't ask.
Then, expand your knowledge and ideas by using the internet. My husband and I are in Brazil, and have raised tilapia, and now coconuts. The wealth of information available from growers around the world is immense. By using that information you will learn the best practices to run a successful business. Often you will avoid some of the problems by learning from other's mistakes.
Felix tamale on November 26, 2018:
I am Felix I come from Africa Uganda in particular but would like to go into pineapple, banana ,greens and aquaponics how can you guide me
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 28, 2018:
Thank you for your kind words, I'm glad you found the ideas helpful. Good luck with your new venture.
Salah on August 28, 2018:
Dear Mary Wickison
Thank you for your helpful guide, actually recently I received responsibility of a massive agricultural field to make it use and profitable, ur topic really gave me new ideas.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 23, 2018:
You are most welcome. It's all about staying open to the opportunities that are available to you.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on July 08, 2018:
I love that video, it just shows how the simple life can be so entertaining.
Tammy on July 08, 2018:
Thanks for the info. Love the short "the Bucket" video! thanks for including that.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on April 01, 2018:
Don't limit yourself to just one idea. Diversify your activities for your farm.
Here on our farm, we grow coconuts but that isn't all we do.
I also write articles and do graphics work.
My husband is a photographer and repairs small garden machinery.
We also have occasional paying guests.
We have raised tilapia and are looking into shrimp farming on a small scale.
You may find that the majority of your money may not initially come from farming activities especially if your crop takes some time to begin producing, such as our coconut trees.
Flexibility is crucial.
I'm pleased the article has encouraged you, thanks for reading.
Pradeep Kumar V R on April 01, 2018:
Hi Mary, I liked your article. Great Ideas. interesting. Hope I will be able do atleast one successful business out of it.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on March 15, 2018:
Great idea. Any item that is in demand but not readily available, can be a moneyspinner. Thanks for that.
Bill S on March 15, 2018:
You forgot about growing ginseng. Very profitable. Takes a while to grow but make big money later.
pj on March 04, 2018:
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on March 02, 2018:
I'm glad you like the article. We were thinking of moving to Portugal before we purchased our farm in Brazil.
Now we are ready for a change. Fancy a swap for a coconut farm in Brazil?
VICTOR on March 02, 2018:
VERY NICE WITH SO MANY FANTASTIC IDEAS. I HAVE A SMALL FARM IN DOURO VALLEY PORTUGAL. BEST REGARDS
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on February 23, 2018:
I'm glad you liked it. I hope you can use the information and begin seeing a difference in your farm.
Thanks for reading.
Hopewell on February 22, 2018:
nice article, it changes a lot about me right now.
Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on February 07, 2018:
Thank you for following me and I will definitely follow you back because I find your articles very interesting and helpful. I believe I will learn a lot from you. Looking forward to reading more of your blogs.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on February 07, 2018:
I think it's only other farmers who realize how difficult it can be. I have just followed you and look forward to reading your articles.
Another suggestion would be to start a farming crowdfunding page. I am now writing about life here on our farm over on Patreon.
Those are short blog-style posts and more personal. If you'd like to have a look, the link is in my profile.
Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on February 07, 2018:
Great farm ideas for business articles. I grew up in a farm and I know how hard a farmer's life is. My parents are both farmers and we lived thru farming too. You gave me ideas on what to write next. Thank you Mary.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on February 01, 2018:
Thank you. I hope the information was useful. I believe that small farmers around the world can share information that can aid others. It can be an isolated lifestyle but with the internet, we can all assist each other. Thanks for your support.
Leonie M from Belgium. on February 01, 2018:
This is very interesting article, worth to read and I love it so much. Thank you for sharing.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on January 08, 2018:
I am afraid I don't know of any websites for investing or for renting your land.
If you are wanting to sell, there are international sites which are geared towards farmland.
There are also swapping sites (permanent) which are international.
Thanks for your question, I wish I could have given you a better answer.
mshaheen on January 08, 2018:
I have a Huge land about 44 acres based In Egypt, It's an agriculture land and part of it can be buildings, I am not always free to invest in it but I was asking how to contact foreign investors from out of Egypt to invest in it, or rent it. if you know any websites that you or ideas that you can recommend I would really appreciate your time.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on November 14, 2017:
Although ownership of the land is better, it isn't always necessary. There are people who have land and are unable to manage it themselves. Sometimes they are eager for it to be used and maintained. Some don't want any rent but expect something as a gesture. Fresh eggs, vegetables etc.
I'm not sure how it works in Ghana but here in Brazil, if you put up a fence and stay there for about 5 years, the land is yours.
On YouTube there are people who have found a local farm and suggested 'a deal'. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. There is no harm in asking.
I hope it works out for you.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on October 12, 2017:
I've always wanted to visit Ireland and have looked at properties for sale there. It is such a beautiful country, I would definitely say, a bed and breakfast would be a good choice.
I'm glad you enjoyed the article, thanks for reading and commenting.
Nollaig O Maithnin on October 10, 2017:
Thanks for all the tips. I live in the West of Ireland so I have to carefully choose but your tips and encouragement are great.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on September 14, 2017:
I am pleased you enjoyed it. Not all ideas will work in all locations but once you begin thinking about alternative uses you'll see multiple possibilities. Consider having a brainstorming session with other like-minded people and many different ideas will begin to flow. This can be a good starting point. Then decided which ones are most attractive and easiest or inexpensive enough to implement.
Seek out free governmental help. This could be advice, seeds, or lost cost loans for equipment. Often grants are available but not publicized. Also, consider crowd funding. The world has gotten smaller because of the internet and many people are happy to donate to a worthy cause.
Good luck with your ventures and thanks for reading.
AMIYO ROY on September 13, 2017:
very good idea .i love this
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 24, 2017:
That sounds like a great idea. We have some growing now, and it is our first time. Garlic is expensive to buy so even if you grow for your own consumption, you're ahead.
Good luck with your garlic and I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for reading.
Ivy Mahonde on August 24, 2017:
Inspiring ideas. I will try growing garlic.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 05, 2017:
There are many things which are wonderful about living on a farm, but it can be tiring.
I think now, farmers have many more opportunities open to them because of the internet.
That video at the end, just makes me smile when I watch it, that is what farm life is all about, the simple pleasures.
Thanks for reading, have a wonderful weekend.
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on August 05, 2017:
I always dreamed of living in a farm, and your ideas are fantastic.
But now I realize, after reading your articles, the soreness of my limitations. However, the snails seem doable. And the video at the end was fantastic:)
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on April 22, 2017:
It sounds like a great plan. Do check with your local chamber of commerce about selling those pelts, you don't want any problems down the road. I am in a similar situation, we are considering rearing guinea pigs for meat but need to contact governmental agencies to find out the legalities behind doing so.
Don't forget about rearing animals for the pet trade as well.
Thanks for reading and good luck with your future ventures.
mary on April 22, 2017:
I want to sell worms and I am raising rabbits and chicken and some ducks...I don't know about the worms but the others are OK when I get it all finished. I am hoping to sell rabbit pelts if it's not against the law in Illinois
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on April 21, 2017:
You've touched on a very interesting point, to own a piece of land does not mean you have to make your money from agriculture. In fact, on small farms, there is more to be made from other avenues, such as you've listed.
I would suggest going to your chamber of commerce in your area and also to a governmental body which deals with agriculture. One will give you business advice and guidance and you may potentially get a grant to start a new business. If there isn't money, in the form of a grant, push them about getting free advice. So many people are unaware of the free help and resources available to them.
On the agricultural side, approach the official agency and do the same thing, ask them about what is on offer to someone with a small farm. Many will do soil analysis either free or at a reduced rate among other things. I went to our local environmental agency to speak with them about bees. The man was so helpful and knowledgeable about what equipment I would need and who sold it and what it would entail.
There is a man in the US who has spent 40 years finding grants and free services for people in the States. Perhaps when you navigate the ins and outs of what it takes to get the information, you can do what this man has done. He has built a career around it with several books to his credit.
Another thing we see here is a governmental body which encourages people to create crafts using local materials. These are then sold in an 'artisan' shop in the state's capital.
There will be people in your country who can offer specific help and advice for your area.
Regarding tourism, if there is a tourist attraction nearby, definitely look into this as it is a profitable route to go. Contact travel agents either locally or abroad and show them what you can offer. AirB&B is worth checking out too.
Sholly on April 21, 2017:
Great information Mary on this hub. I am not a farmer and have have no clue about farming. But I am interested in buying an acre of land in West Africa. interested in a mixture of enterprise, tourism, education, wedding and training. Any advice you could provide please. Thanks
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on April 06, 2017:
Thanks for your comment and question.
Farming is changing. If you are wanting to make money, I would say diversify. Whether your love is farming or ranching keep learning and moving forward. The internet has changed a person's ability to make money from a farm.
On our small farm, we have coconuts for both the meat and coconut water. We also raise tilapia, my husband is a photographer, I write articles online and teach English. The more streams of revenue you can generate the better. Life on a farm is better than being a 'townie', in my opinion, but you have to make it work for you.
You are at an age where time is on your side and you could make some positive decisions. Look into agricultural colleges near you, and see what courses they offer. Also, spend time on farms, work on them and learn 'on the job'. Farming is more of a lifestyle choice than a job.
Thanks again for your comment.
Brianna on April 06, 2017:
Thank you for writing this article, I'm 16 years old and I've always grown up or around a farm but recently I moved and haven't been around them and I miss it so I really want to own a farm when I get older, do you have any other tips that I could use to be successful?
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on March 01, 2017:
How exciting! We have a small pineapple patch here on our farm, the ones here are a pale variety but sweet. Often at the shops, customers will remove the tops and the staff will readily give them to anyone who asks for them. It is a great, and inexpensive way to build up a stock. I just pop them in the ground and they begin to grow.
I'm sure you know they take a long while to mature, about a year and a half. I wonder if customers who buy them realize how much time, water, and care each pineapple receives before it makes it into their fruit salad.
Living on a farm has given me an appreciation for farmers around the world who keep this planet fed.
Good luck with your venture.
Delia Almestica Griffin on March 01, 2017:
Thanks for the tips, your article is very helpful. I'm looking forward to pineapple farming in the future, hopefully it will work out great with my lifestyle. Thanks Mary!
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on March 01, 2017:
Thanks so much for reading, I'm pleased you found it useful.
ejaz on January 30, 2017:
very useful suggestions
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 22, 2016:
I'm pleased you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and your comment.
Delia Almestica from United States Virgin Islands on December 22, 2016:
I love this article. Thanks for the insight(:
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 06, 2016:
There are many small farmers in Australia who are earning. Like so many ideas some will work in your area, and others may not. The key is to stay alert to opportunities around you. What do the people want or need and what will they be willing to pay for. Sit down and assess your skills and your small farm. If you are in a popular area for tourists, then expand on that market.
fred on November 29, 2016:
Hi would this work in Austraila
Honey Bujjer on November 11, 2016:
This is just what ive been looking for . Thanks a million.
Marlene Bertrand from USA on October 21, 2016:
Wow! There are a lot of excellent ideas here. So many ways to go. I would have never thought of raising worms, but it makes a lot of sense because my property is outside a tourist area that is popular with fishers. I also like the idea of growing flowers. You have given me a lot to think about. Thanks so much.
Sichula from Zambia on October 20, 2016:
The Information shared is indeed an eye opener. I will try some of the good proposals put forward. Thanks.
Robert on October 06, 2016:
Brad on August 13, 2016:
Speacilize in what you do, spend a life time becoming a master at local heirloom vegtables, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, figs, etc or anything farm related. Learn to graft and plant from seed. Sell 1 gallon pots of fast growing annuals, our AG teach in HS made 20-60k every year during the spring plant sale off 1 acre of greenhouses... yep in one weekend.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 02, 2016:
You're right some ideas will work better than others in different regions. I also have a site called Small Farm Ideas where you can find even more information. I see you are from India, I live in Brazil so it is likely we have a similar growing environment. There is an American man who is working in India in conjunction with a university there. I think he is based in Kerala and has produced some fantastic videos. If you look up the Natural Farmer his videos are very useful for information about growing in nutrient poor soils without spending money.
In fact, my husband and I have found many useful videos from Indians on YouTube. Monetizing videos is another way to make money. It doesn't always have to be growing food to sell. Pop by my other website and take a look for more ideas.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 02, 2016:
Yes, using the land for advertising is a great idea.In the UK they didn't allow billboards on the side of the motorway, so farmers used trailers to position ads. it was an ingenious way to get around the problem and also a great addition to the farm's income. Many farms border major roads and it is something many could benefit from.
Ginseng and other items which are used for medicinal supplements are worth big money as you say. Part of the reason is their scarcity on the local market. Not only could one sell locally, but also online..
Thanks for your excellent suggestions.
bill on July 01, 2016:
If your farm is along a major highway you can setup a billboard for rent. Grow ginseng, this is very big money.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 15, 2016:
Yes you are correct. The consumer, like never before is concerned about how their food is grown and will seek out organic food. This is something we are doing on our coconut farm in Brazil.
Even if the end user doesn't know we have only used natural fertilizers, and organic compost we know it is better for our farm and the end product.
Thank you for your additional comment regarding the book. I have amended it back to Paul Stamets'.
bean on May 14, 2016:
Great article Mary!
Another thing to mention is - feed & grow Organically!
Even if you don't pay the big bucks to get certified, selling organic/natural/free-range/nutrient-diversified/nutrient-dense produce and products is smart because it is all the rage (... it is also better for us humans, the animals, insects, and the land! so no wonder!)
Furthermore, people expect to pay a bit more for organic produce.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on April 22, 2016:
You are absolutely right, avoid putting up your land as collateral, loaning money is a slippery slope. Being near a tourist area opens up the possibilities to many avenues other than farming.
Ask yourself, what activities would those tourists pay for and see if there is anyone doing it yet. Contact tourist agencies and those in the planning department to help with ideas. Many of them will do what they can to encourage and bring in more money. Good luck.
Angelo on April 22, 2016:
I'm from the Philippines,
Thank you for this nice blog, it nice and fun reading it. i recently purchased an agricultural land roughly 2heactares near one of the Philippines famous tourist spot which is the hundred islands in Alaminos . I'm enjoying it and I wanted to follow some of the advises that you posted but money is always the challenge. I do not want to take the risk of using it as a collateral to owe from the bank. Thank you as this is very educative.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 18, 2015:
As you know the key is to be flexible. That includes mentally, physically, and financially. It sounds like you have a good plan with the animals but any animals can be hard work.
It is so true about the eggs, the quality is so much better.
We are ever changing here on our farm and now are moving to palm trees and more online work to make ends meet.
Let me know if you get those Wensleydale sheep.
Good luck to you.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 17, 2015:
I completely understand how you feel about the dog breeding. That said, I know that this page is read by people all around the world and in many countries the feelings aren't the same.
Where I live in Brazil for example, there are many dogs on the streets. However there are still people who want 'cute apartment dogs' or specific breeds for watch dogs. Therefore this was my reasoning for including this as a viable way to earn. Even in the States there are many responsible dog breeders who earn well from this. Dogs are in the shelters for many reasons but not usually because breeders couldn't sell their dogs. Usually it is because irresponsible owners didn't spay or neuter their pets.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
Gillian on December 16, 2015:
very interesting. We have 60 acres in South Australia. Because we are in our 70's we need to find something not too physical to do later on. We have Dorper sheep for meat, and some cows which are F1 Wagu. It does take a while to get any returns. I sell a few eggs locally, because people love farm eggs. I would like Wensleydale sheep to sell the wool to spinners.
Laura on December 15, 2015:
All great ideas except breed dogs... Shelters are overflowing.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on September 08, 2015:
I think everyone starts small and develops it from there. As Nike say, "Just Do It" otherwise you might be saying the same thing in one year, 5 years, ....
If you really want to do it, jump in and make it work. The number of urban farmers have sky rocketed recently.
Thanks for your kind words and good luck to you.
Netta on September 01, 2015:
I love this post, I am a perpetual gardener who loves food gardening, my dream is to have my own urban farm, but I have been doubtful about how successful it would be. Now you have given so many other ideas and confirmed some I have been nursing all along. This makes me even more determined to start my own little thing. Tx
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on July 20, 2015:
Hi Gypsy Willow,
Thank you. There are so many people now it seems who are giving up 9-5 jobs and finding alternative lifestyles. The internet has made life more flexible in that respect. It is encouraging to see how many people say, "we can make it work". It's like the original pioneering spirit returning.
Thanks for your continued support.
Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on July 20, 2015:
I love this hub and re read it regularly. One day maybe I can buy a small farm and put the ideas into practice! The continuous stream of comments is inspiring! Well done.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on July 20, 2015:
Hi Avian voice,
Thank you. These are just some of the ways many people are able to make money and enjoy the life they want whilst still living on a small farm.
Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on July 19, 2015:
You have so many good ideas here, and they are not just get rich schemes. They do and will work. Excellent material.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on July 14, 2015:
Thank you for such a detailed comment Sarah. You are right about glamping. This is something we see going on in Portugal, where they use not only traditional bell style tents but also Mongolian Yurts. I think glamping is now appealing to a portion of the population who never would have considered anything other than a hotel or a decent b&b. Staying in a tent, whether it is an upmarket one or something basic is something I think everyone should try.
With regards to tourists on farms, it isn't only the kids who enjoy it, but parents as well. When lambing season was on in the UK, where I lived for 20+ years, parents would stand in awe as a new lamb was born. It is a very moving experience.
Thanks again for reading and commenting.
Sarah from UK on July 14, 2015:
You mentioned 'camping' but I would also recommend 'glamping' as an option. Investigating how 'agritourism' can fit with your particular small farm business model is also key, before you start.
Particularly, it is wise to investigate how starting a glamping business (a new and rapidly growing tourism trend), or other tourism income models can help you.
This uses the assets you already have (e.g. land/acreage) and requires minimal investment to gain a return. For example, in the UK the National Farmers Union (NFU) reported that farms that had diversified into some kind of tourism activity had managed to boost their income by £21,000 (c $34,500) per year. I have since interviewed farmers who have set up glamping businesses and they have agreed with the estimate given by the NFU.
This innovative farming practice of diversifying land to increase income streams, resulting in a more profitable acreage, has been introduced across the world. Farms are a partifularly successful at introducing tourism into their business models because of the agri-entertainment factors, i.e. tourists enjoying their vacations being part of the working farm environment - often a significant leap away from their regular daily lives and something their kids really enjoy.
Starting a glamping business, or other similar tourism idea, is certainly worth considering if you want to increase the profitability, diversity and strength of an existing farm business, particularly if it is a small one. There's a lot more information available if you want to investigate this 'glamping' option further and if it's right for your farm, via 'Inspired Camping' and there are online courses to guide you through the process on 'Inspired Courses'
I'm not sure if the links will work but here they are just in case: http://www.inspirecourses.com/glamping
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on November 10, 2014:
Hi Old Farm Boy,
What a wonderful addition to this post. Thank you for sharing this with us. I think once farming is in your blood, it is there for good.
oldfarmboy on November 10, 2014:
These posts remind me of a farm family near me. They started as a young man and wife with almost no money and now grain farm over 1900 acres. How did they do it? By being kind to an old man who had no family to take care of him. They fixed a mobile home near their house and made sure that he had what he needed. They did not have to spend much time on him (he pretty much took care of himself) . In return, the old guy helped pay the bills and helped out around the farm as he could. Soon, they regarded him as "Grandpa" and included him in their family and gatherings. Several years later he passed away and left everything he had to them. They had no idea of his net worth, $850,000.00. His advice came from someone who knew farming, by the time he died, the farm had quadrupled in size from the original 150 acres. Sometimes it is rewarding to be kind to others.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on September 27, 2014:
About 30 years ago I read an interesting article about snail farming in the Wall Street Journal. Although unusual, there is a growing market for them. Supply is always less than the demand for them.
I am pleased you found it through Pinterest, thanks for repinning.
Tammy Cornett from Ohio on September 26, 2014:
What an interesting hub! I was on Pinterest, searching around for ideas of what to do with the five acres we are buying, and I came across your hub on there.
Snails...what an unusual but appealing idea. I'd thought of nightcrawlers and mushrooms, but not snails. I'm definitely going to read up on those. :)
Thanks so much for such an informative article--I'm pinning it right away, so I don't lose track of it.