Ranchers in Nebraska may have thousands of acres and still struggle to make a living. Winters are harsh, the rain isn't always reliable, and equipment is expensive. Yet, despite the obstacles that may stand in our way, we still try. Why? It's the homesteading spirit. The desire to be self-sufficient in the midst of a very dependent culture. We want to know where our food comes from. We want our children to know the satisfaction of a hard day's work. We don't want to have to rely upon anyone else to fill our needs.
While I have dreams of making a living selling my fruits and vegetables and raising Dexters, I understand that the likely-hood of that happening is very slim. So my husband works in town to pay the mortgage and bills, leaving very little for the homesteading venture. Let me tell you, homesteading is not cheap! Tractor, garden supplies, animal feed. fencing, the list goes on and on. There is always something that needs fixed or replaced. Where does the money come from?
To help supplement our income I have taken on a couple part-time jobs. I substitute at the school and waitress at a local restaurant. Below are some ideas of how to bring in a little extra income without giving up too much time from the farm.
Substitute at the school - In many states you don't have to be a certified teacher or even have a bachelors degree to be able to sub. It pays well and allows you the opportunity to decline a day if you have things you need to get done at home.
Farmers Market - Most communities have some type of farmers market. If you are crafty, make soap, bake, or have extras from the garden this could be a terrific opportunity for you. Some states may allow the sale of eggs or even raw milk at a market. Be sure to check what is and isn't allowed.
Cleaning - Churches, businesses, private homes, there are so many opportunities here. Many places only need cleaned once a week. When I first had the kids, I had a cleaning lady come in weekly. I was surprised at how hard it was to find someone considering what the job paid. In my area the going rate is about $10 an hour.
Babysitting - It's not just for teenagers! As a parent of young children I know first hand how difficult it is to find reliable care for my kids. I'm not talking about providing daily licensed care, but someone to come to my home while my hubby and I go out for a date night. It's hard to find someone who is willing to drive 30 minutes out of town on a Friday or Saturday evening. Most teenagers are too busy with their friends during the weekend anyway.
Fill In - If you live in a small town, many business are family owned and employ only a few people. Don't be afraid to mention that if they ever need someone to fill-in if they are sick or short of staff, that you might be interested. A lot of small businesses can't afford to hire a permanent employee, but may take advantage of a temporary one.
The possibilities to make a little extra money are endless. You may have skills like leather tooling or horseshoeing that you can make good use of. While I wish that I could make money reading books, I know that isn't ever going to happen... unless someone knows of a book reviewer job.
Best of luck in your money making ventures!