As a profession, farming is incredibly rewarding. There’s flexibility, freedom and the fundamental joy of working with nature. But that isn’t to say that it’s without its challenges – and making enough income through your farm is one of them. That’s why it’s important to diversify your revenue streams as a farmer or smallholder, exploring the many different side hustles available to you.
In this article, we’ll share five side hustles you can use to boost your farming income.
1) Open a farm shop
There’s a growing demand for high-quality, locally and ethically produced food. Moreover, more and more people want to support local businesses.
This means that opening a farm shop could be a lucrative side hustle for your farmhouse. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to build relationships with your local community, educating people on where their food comes from and inspiring interest in the industry – all of which help support the industry.
You can start off small, raising chickens for eggs, selling fresh, organic vegetables, or offering dairy products like milk, cream, butter and cheese.
2) Set up a bed and breakfast
The farmhouse is the perfect environment for a cosy and intimate bed and breakfast. This is an easy way to make some extra money out of a guest house you already have or a barn you’re able to convert. It’s not a step to take lightly, of course – you would need to weigh up considerations like marketing and B&B insurance – but, if you have an inclination towards hospitality, it could be a fulfilling one.
3) Open a petting zoo
A petting zoo can be a great side business for your farm, especially if you’re passionate about animals and enjoy interacting with the public. Petting zoos are a fun and educational activity that draws in people of all ages.
Bear in mind that you’ll need adequate space and animal expertise in order to make this work. There are several types of petting zoos from which you could take inspiration, so you will have some flexibility to find a setup that works for you.
4) Pumpkin picking
If you need a way to make some extra money each autumn, consider setting up a large pumpkin patch. You’ll have the option of either selling the pumpkins as they are or offering the popular experience of pumpkin picking. With this latter option, you’ll also be able to offer added-value extras such as refreshments or activities that make the most of the Halloween spirit that’s afloat at this time of year.
5) Create stock photography
Open fields full of produce, handsome farm animals and rare machinery. These elements make your farm the perfect setting for taking stock photography. Take photos of your farm and upload them onto stock photography websites like iStock that pay you royalties every time someone downloads your photos. This could earn you a decent amount depending on how many photos you upload and how popular they are with users. Plus, once you’ve done the initial work of taking the photos, you can simply sit back and let the money roll in.
Which of these side hustles is most suitable for your farm?