Urban Homesteading: Making Money From Your Urban Homestead
written by: J.C. Wilkinson•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 6/7/2010
Would you like to make a living without ever leaving your comfy little urban homestead? Here we discuss just a few of the ways you can make money from your urban homesteading activities.
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Yes, You Can Make a Living From Home
Urban Homesteading to some is simply about saving the environment or saving money. Some urban homesteaders hold full-time jobs outside of their home, and incorporate limited urban homesteading activities, such as vegetable gardening or using water catchment.
Others actually make a living from urban homesteading. There are many ways to accomplish this, depending on where you live, and what the city laws and regulations allow. Here we'll explore just a few of the ways you can make a living without leaving your home.
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Selling Herbs and Vegetables
The Dervaes family makes their entire living from selling organic herbs and vegetables to local restaurants. If you don't live near a large urban area, but rather in a small town, you may only be able to make a partial living from this, but every restaurant would prefer fresh, organic herbs and veggies to store bought.
You will likely need some sort of license to sell what you grow, so check with your local licensing authority before you start selling, or fines may be steep. Also, check with the USDA to find out exactly what has to be done to be able to call your products "organic", as laws are very specific about labeling of products.
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Many municipalities, no matter how small, do not allow you to have livestock in the city limits. Check with your own municipality to see what the laws are. Some will allow animals such as rabbits or birds, but no goats or fowl. By breeding and selling the animals you can grow, you can add to your urban homesteading income. You may even look into selling domesticated pets, such as cats, dogs, fish or rodents (gerbils, mice, hamsters) if you have the space and facilities.
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Teaching Urban Homesteading Courses
Local community centers usually have rooms you can rent for a nominal fee to hold classes. You can advertise on local bulletin boards, or online, or even in the local newspaper. Charging a reasonable fee for a course, you can put a few dollars into your coffers, and make a few more people's lives better in the process.
Classes could include preserving food, creating compost, building rainbarrels, sewing, baking, and many others. The possibilities to what you can teach others to do for themselves are almost endless.
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If you enjoy crafting, there are craft fairs and consignment shops where you can sell your wares. There are also many sites online, such as Etsy, where you can sell handcrafted items. Jewelry making is inexpensive, and doesn't take up a large amount of space like some other crafts. Handmade jewelry is very popular, inexpensive to start, and brings in a good income for some.
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Selling the Products You Make or Use
If you've created a product that you use in your urban homestead, such as a solar panel, or a windmill, or solar oven, you can sell these items to other urban homesteaders, or those who are just wanting to lead a greener life. You can also use affiliate marketing online to sell items that you use, such as manual appliances or the bicycles that generate electricity (yes, there is such a thing!)
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Writing About Urban Homesteading
Obviously, this article is an example of how you can make money from home while working your urban homestead. Sharing your knowledge online or in print publications can bring in a decent income, and also gain you recognition as an expert in your field. In this economy, people are looking for ways to save money, and publishers are looking for information to give to them.
These are but a few ideas, and I'm sure if you take stock of yourself, your talents, and your situation, you can come up with a lot more. It's completely "doable" to earn a living without ever leaving the comfort of your home. Always check with your area licensing authorities to see what sort of licenses are required to run your business.
Want to be more self-sufficient? Urban homesteading is the act of taking any city space you have, be it an apartment balcony or a small city lot, and turning it green. Whether you grow a few vegetables or move completely off the grid, it's an adventure you won't regret!