5 Ways to make an extra £1000 a month on a smallholding
The top question I get asked is - how to make money from or on a smallholding. I get asked so many times I devoted a whole blog on ways to make money from home and how I do it. The blog is filled with ideas and inspiration.
It helps to find your passion. But to me being a smallholder is about having many different passions. Some things you will be excellent at, others not so much.
But chances are good that those skills you are finding pleasure in, you will inadvertently perfect yourself at – and, in turn, these skills could be making you that extra money you want.
There’s a huge list of things that could potentially bring in an income, mostly just a few pounds here or there. But what about real income?
I’m talking income that actually pays the bills and helps you live the life you want without taking up a lot of time.
How can you meaningfully make some decent money while still living the life you love?
Selling homemade bakes and deserts
Crafting stunning home cooked baked goods and selling them at a premium to customers who value the fact that you’re using real butter, local raspberries, organic free range eggs and quality ingredients.
The trick to making money with baked goods is planning. You need to know your input costs, how long it takes to produce and the top retail price.
Farmers markets were the obvious choice for selling baked goods and desserts. However, in 2020 that all changed.
If you have an internet connection its easy to set yourself up with online bakery shop and actually saves you time and money not having to travel to and pay for stands!
Brownies and blondies are really profitable, even if sold at a low price. There are quick to make and use up eggs from your own hens. A full baking sheet of brownies takes minutes to prepare and can bring in as much as £40 in net profit. The key thing is your USP (Unique Selling Point) – the fact that you’re using quality ingredients, real butter, eggs from your own hens or a local organic farm. Make them interesting and unique by adding seasonal fruit like figs, raspberries etc.
Other highly profitable goods include handmade cheesecakes made in a lovely glass Weck jars, traditional bakes such as bakewell, flapjack, fruit cake, muffin boxes. Savouries such as mini quiche and sausage rolls.
Don’t forget about preserves! These are so easy to make, sell incredibly well and could easily be added to your homemade portfolio!
With proper planning and building a strong brand, you should be able to bring in around £500 a week in gross sales. Take out expenses and in a month you’ve netted around £1000.
If you can also get out to farmers markets or events you could be netting £500 in sales there too.
The downside…You will have to get your kitchen certified, make sure your hygiene certificates are up to date and know all about allergens. But none of these things are difficult and once you’re set up it only needs to be done once!
START A BLOG
If you’re a smallholder, you’re out there living a life many people only dream of. Within 6 months of starting this blog, I started making more than an extra £1000 a month.
A blog is the best place to showcase your passions, you just have to write compelling content that your readers find useful. It gives likeminded people a chance to meet you, see what you do and make a connection with you whilst also showcasing your talents, skills and products.
I was inspired to start blogging when I started my smallholding journey 18 years ago, it was a wonderful journey and I loved talking about my smallholding life.
I started The Woman That Farms blog in December 2019 but when lockdown hit and I lost all my service businesses money was already tight, to say I was scared about our future on the farm would be an understatement. I was terrified!
So I quickly turned my little smallholding blog into a money making machine and I haven’t looked back since.
If you’d like to take the leap into blogging take a look at my Blogging Blueprint, I outline in detail how to earn a substantial income even from a very small blog.
If you wanted to go even deeper and learn how to get a social media following and sell your products online I have a comprehensive Small Business Masterclass which takes you through everything you need to know to get your small enterprise going.
SELLING HATCHING EGGS
Many smallholders try to make an extra few pounds selling eggs from their hens. I sold duck eggs for £2.50 ½ dozen and ½ dozen hen eggs at £1.80 to friends, family and on my honesty stand at the end of the farm lane.
Until I started hatching my own and realised there was a whole other market for my surplus eggs!
The key thing to selling hatching eggs is having breeds that people want – I had Buff Orpingtons, pekins of all colours, quail, and ducks. If you have show quality birds you will get a higher price for your eggs.
I started with 20 hens and 2 cockerels. On average I’d get 5 eggs from each hen per week so in total that’s 100 eggs. I could easily get at least £5 for a hatching egg from my quality birds… this endeavour is what started my entrepreneurial journey!
FARMHOUSE PLANT NURSERY
While it may seem like magic to propagate your own plants, it’s actually remarkably easy. Propagating takes just a bit of potting soil and rooting hormone and makes use of plant material that you should prune off anyway. Other perennial plants grow easily from seed and then can be divided each year. A few strategically established perennial garden beds can keep your home looking beautiful and provide income from divisions.
Taking the time to attractively package up plant divisions, label them appropriately and tend them for a month or two so that they come back into prime form will mean the difference between a free clump of plants on the side of the road and potted perennials sold for £10+ each.
You can also add to this side business cut flowers and PYO (pick your own) or if you grow enough soft fruit but don’t want people trekking round your garden you can sell the fruit in 500g bags or punnets.
SELL HOMEMADE SOAPS AND SALVES
Let’s face it, soapmaking can be intimidating.
Many people would love to make their own homemade soap, but they’re not ready to take the leap. With a bit of courage, you can start making your own soaps and sell to those very people who are still soap dreaming.
The ingredients for homemade soap are relatively inexpensive. It only takes a very small amount of ingredients per batch, and you can buy enough to make hundreds of bars of soap for about £20. Add in some natural oils and a bit of home-harvested herbal fragrance and you’re good to go.
You can sell handmade soaps for £4- £6 per bar. Once you have a bit of practice, it’s easy enough to churn out enough handmade soap to bring in a tidy sum.
While everyone concentrates on growing fruit and veg locally grown herbs, on the other hand, are still hard to find.
Most herbs have the benefit of being vigorous growers, and the compounds in them that make them tasty or medicinal are actually the plant’s natural defences against pests. Every year they re-sow and take over more land, no matter how much I harvest. Herbs are good like that. For the most part they’re perennial, persistent and more importantly profitable.
There’s a high demand for fresh and dried herbs. I grow mine, sell fresh herbs, herb plants and dry them for my herbal tea business – which is another fantastic business to run from your smallholding! I also developed an online course on this to teach others how easy it is to start a herbal tea business from home.
There are literally hundreds of other ways to easily make £1000 per month from a smallholding but I hope these simple ideas get your creative juices flowing.