Many homesteaders, smallholders and hobby farmers dream of making a living from the land they tend. For some, a higher level of self-sufficiency is the only goal. But others dream of turning their property into a successful business.
Seeking Solutions for Land
Through my consultancy and design work, I can provide help to my clients not only in finding solutions to make their land more productive in a sustainable way but also in seeing potential to diversify their income streams, and make a living from their land in other ways. A great plan will always come down to the fundamentals of holistic, earth-friendly design and of course, design specific to a precise location.
Reducing the Need to Make a Living
Land can, of course, provide for many of our needs – as long as we respect it, work with it, and reciprocate for the gifts it gives us. This can in many cases allow us to reduce consumption, and decouple ourselves from the daily necessity of ‘making a living’.
Making Money in a Sustainable Way
But the reality is that even when we are living in as sustainable a way as possible, many of us will still need to live within financial systems. Many of those who buy land will have mortgages. Those renting will have rents to pay. Even when you own land outright, we will often need less money, but some money may still be required.
There is a common conception that making money through farming or market gardening is hard work (if not impossible). Many struggle. And it is indeed the case that this can be a hard row to hoe.
Successfully Making a Living from Land is Possible
But I have been lucky enough to bear witness to many success stories – on a range of scales and in a range of locations around the globe. Making a living from farming or market gardening is possible, when the right strategies are employed.
I only have 1/3 acre garden. Productive as it is, I have not (at least not yet) made money from it. That is not my focus at the present time. But I do know of many who work with their land and the natural world around them to make money in a range of ingenious ways.
Diversifying Income Streams from Land
No matter how much land you have, diversifying is key. Diversifying planting, strategies and income streams means that you will not be putting all your eggs in one basket.
It is important to remember that even when food production is your primary focus, there may be other options when it comes to making a living from your land. Coppicing or other sustainable forestry strategies for fuel or crafting or construction materials, seeking out other non-timber forest products, or preparing for and welcoming paying guests or visitors onto your property could all be viable options.
If you are trying to make a living from your land, or intend to try to do so, I can help you to hone your ideas and come up with a holistic plan which works for your site, and helps you to meet your long-term goals. So please do get in touch.