One acre of land may not seem a lot when you’re a homesteader trying to live off your land. However, you can do so much with one acre – more than enough to even make some side income.
Here are seven of the best ways to make money on one acre of land. Grow, sell, and rent your way to extra cash, easily, even on a small section of land.
Want to know the best part? Most of these you’ll already be doing as a homesteader, making these side gigs easy and accessible for any off-grid homesteaders.
- Grow Microgreens
Microgreens are the best option for homesteaders with minimal agricultural space. Some varieties of microgreens are ready for sale in as little as 1 week of growing! What else can you grow and sell that fast?
3 – 4 weeks growing time is also normal for some varieties, so don’t expect all your micros to have 1 week turn-over.
According to “Grocycle” (all about growing microgreens for profit) you can grow microgreens in a space as little as 60 square feet – and have a profitable business. 50 lbs of microgreens will earn you approximately $1500 – 2000 per month
Consider growing microgreens vertically (in racks with pots) to save even more space.
If you live in a tropical climate, this is an easy, low-maintenance side hustle you can start off with on even a small plot of land. If you live in a temperate climate, you can grow microgreens inside of a small greenhouse for year-round growing.
The most popular microgreens to grow are:
- Bok Choy
- Red cabbage
- Beet Root
- Swiss chard
How to profit: You can sell microgreens to local organic grocery stores. Try selling at farmer’s markets or making a client list with restaurants that target vegetarian or vegan food options, too.
The key to success is not in the growing of the greens but in the marketing of what you grow.
- Start a Seed Business
I’ve been running a seed business for a little over a year now and I have to say it is one of the most profitable endeavors I have embarked on yet.
Seeds from rare tropical plants or unique heirloom varieties are in high demand in the online seed world. Cuttings do great as well.
I set up a shop on Etsy and began selling my seeds there. Within a few short months I was making over 50 sales per week, giving me a full time income on part time work.
If you’re interested in learning more about starting a seed business of your own, I’m developing a course to help take the guesswork out of it for you all. Click this link to get on the list for when it next becomes available.
- Sell Trees
Take all that knowledge you gained from planting your own orchard and apply it to make your own small business – selling seedlings. We all know that growing a tree from seed takes years longer than grafting, air layering or cuttings, so you may as well get them started.
Take your healthy, existing fruit and nut trees and start new seedlings to sell and make a profit right away.
I’ve been doing this for a number of years as well, growing small 1 year old fruit trees that I grow from seed, airlayer or cutting for $15 each or 2 for $22. They sell like hotcakes, especially if you’re growing some of the less common fruits out there.
Whatever you don’t sell you can plant in your garden or exchange with friends. Everybody loves a fruit tree.
- Sell Manure/Worm Fertilizer/Compost
I love this side gig because it’s low maintenance and you can do it alongside any of the other approaches, especially selling seedlings.
Plus, where I live, almost everyone has a lack of soil problem, so if you could be someone who provides this valuable product, you could become quite wealthy.
Compost and manure piles do not take up a lot of space. If you have only 1 acre of land, this option only uses a few square feet and takes just a few months to get started.
If you sell it in bulk you could expect anywhere from $60 to $120 per yard. Bag it up, you can get even more!!
Organic compost or home-grown worm fertilizer is so much better for soil than the packaged stuff sold in shops. It’s a great business to not only make money with, but it also gives back by healing the soil.
- Sell Compost WORMS
Since you are already selling vermicompost, you can also sell the worms.
Compost worms can go for as much as $75/lb, especially in a place like Hawaii where there are very few compost worm vendors.
This is a great side business to get into with the kids. In fact, I had a friend buy some worms from a family in LA and they said they’re doing pretty well with their homebased business.
I think it’s something I want to get into with my own kiddos some day.
- Sell Home-Grown Mushrooms
Right along with making your own compost is growing your own mushrooms. You need a cool, dark and humid environment (pretty easy to create in a shed or even a dark box on your tropical homestead) – what you don’t need is a lot of space, which means you can easily grow and sell mushrooms on only an acre of land, much less even!
The easiest mushrooms to grow on an off-grid homestead are oyster mushrooms, which easily grow in domestic compost like straw and coffee grounds, and take just a few months (depending on the medium you grow them in) to be ready to eat and/or sell.
I recommend starting with a package of “oyster mushroom spawn” for your first batch (available in the continental US and Hawaii through Amazon for $12 – $20).
Oyster mushrooms sell for $10-15 a pound, and they are easy to grow without a lot of hassle.
- Sell Dried Herbs & Spices
If you have even a small herb garden on 1 acre of property, you have a way to make some extra money. Hang herbs upside-down for as little as 8 hrs and you could have an easy product to sell at a local farmer’s market: locally-grown herbs.
Or grow specialty spices that can’t grow in many climates, leaving you an edge in the market
Some easy herbs & spices to grow include:
- Mint **
- Basil **
- And more
** consider drying in a food dehydrator for best results.
- Rent your property
You can’t have a list of best ways to make money off of an acre without a section on rentals.
Airbnb and Hip Camp have done more than just change the way people explore the world, they also offer a source of income for local communities. Why not bank on that opportunity by offering your homestead as an experience for interested travelers? As long as you do it responsibly.
Airbnb’s have ruined small neighborhoods, but if you are only offering a room or small space on a property you live on, then it could be an option. Buying up homes just for Airbnb does nothing to help out local communities, don’t do it.
I for one prefer Hipcamp, it’s less invasive, you aren’t taking away any housing from locals and it provides an cheap alternative for travellers, especially in places like Hawaii where there is not much camping available to begin with.
It is completely free to set up an Airbnb account or a profile on HipCamp and start renting a bedroom in your home, or a plot to camp on near your orchard.
Be honest and upfront about what services you offer on your homestead – is it a composting toilet or an outhouse? Or is there indoor plumbing? Will guests use an outdoor rainwater shower or sleep in an open-air tree house? Don’t hide those things, just think of a motivating way to describe them so guests will be interested in the experience.
To rent successfully with HipCamp, it is a good idea to make a plan for greywater drainage, as lots of HipCamp guests will be coming in a van or RV and will need to drain their water. You can also consider being a point of potable water, if you have properly treated rainwater you could offer guests.
Those few extra bucks every month can really add up over time – and the best part is, you can start renting right away, no need to wait as anything grows or dries.
Even if you only have one acre (or less!) of property, there are plenty of ways you can use your homestead to earn money.