So, what’s it going to take to make a profit on your farm and/or homestead? Let’s look at a few principles and words of wisdom from one of the pioneer women of homesteading, the late Carla Emery, in her book, Encyclopedia of Country Living.
1. Pay cash for seeds and/or starter livestock. Do not use credit cards!
2. Raise an unusual crop that has a solid potential market. In other words, you have no doubts as to where it can be sold.
3. Or, sell your product during a time when others do not. Out-of-season can mean extra dollars for you if you can grow it. Know your market. Are others doing this? If so, where and how much are they selling it for?
4. Once you’re product is ready to be sold, work just as hard with marketing as you did with making it. I can’t stress this enough. Marketing is key.
5. Sell retail whenever possible. You don’t want a middleman eating some of your profits!
.6. Purchase land and/or stock when prices are unusually low. Not everyone can do this, but if you have the money up front, then you can be more patient and wait for a good deal!
7. Buy cheap and sell at a premium. Look for those bargains that are a good investment for your business, yet make sure they are of good, sound quality.
8. Use your returns for your business as much as possible. That way, you will be able to keep investing without coming out of pocket. If a good deals comes along with money-making potential, you will have the cash to buy it.
9. Take good care of what you have, animals, crops, etc. Vet bills and/or deaths will not bring you a profit.
10. Keep track of what you have, profit and expenses. Without this, you will have no idea what is working and what isn’t.
This is very practical, simple advice, isn’t it? Yet, we can all probably pick out at least couple of these that we do not do. It is good to have this reminder and it can be applied to other income possibilities as well, not just crops and livestock.
If you do not have Carla Emery’s book, you can get it below! Anything and everything you want to know about homesteading, living off of the land and saving money is in this book. A great resource that I turn to time and time again!