How can I make money off my land?
You might find yourself asking – how can I make money off my land? The simple answer is, it’s not as easy as you might think.
It’s hard to make any money from food. These days, food is relatively cheap and easily accessible at supermarkets. You cannot compete on price. Further, supermarket food is washed, wrapped and ready to prepare. Your produce, straight from the ground, requires time and effort to get it ready for cooking.
There is a market for high value organic produce, but there are many farm shops serving these markets. Egg and honey boxes are to be found at many a gate.
So what can you do aside from getting a job to finance your smallholding lifestyle?
Specialise in high value items
If you keep sheep, they will need to be sheared annually. Their fleeces are worth around £1. It may cost you more than that to shear them. The trick is to look for ways to turn that fleece into high value items. Weaving it into yarn is not enough (the market is flooded with cheap yarn), but making things with the yarn can make it profitable. There a range of items smallholders can make from woolly hats to soap, candles and so on.
If chickens are your thing, look for other birds, e.g. quails, for which eggs command a higher price.
If meat is your thing, look for rare breeds that command good prices. Having said that, the laws on producing meat for sale combined with the difficulty in selling it make this a risky approach.
Sell your skills
Rather than finding a job, ask yourself if you have skills you can make money from on a self employed, part-time basis. For example, do you have a trade (electrician, plumbing etc)? Can you tutor school subjects? Are you a mechanic, a decorator, a tiler? Do you want to be farm sitter? There are many ways to make money from your skills whether they are smallholder skills or otherwise.
Use your space
A common way to earn money these days is to create holiday dwellings and rent them out. This can be anything from a campsite to a cottage. This is a low work, high value approach. However, it can be expensive to set up and so needs careful thought.
You can also explore bed and breakfast. B&B in a rural, farm location with fresh home produce is an attractive proposition to many potential visitors.
This Smallholding Life
In our book “This Smallholding life”, Adrian draws from personal experience to take you through the highs and lows of life on a smallholding, and how small or quick decisions can have a major impact on your life. From the depths of losing a cherished animal to the highs of making your first sale, this book takes you on a fascinating journey. A real insight into smallholding life.
It describes many of the challenges you will face – physical, mental and financial. This book offers guidance on what is really involved and what you need to think about when moving into this life. It will inspire you to take the plunge, but with your eyes open.
In this book, Adrian will show you how a bit of planning can go a long way, how the key to this life is finding the right balance for you and how this smallholding life is a life worth living.