What Are Some of the Best Ways Homesteaders Earn Off-farm Income in the Winter?

| 1/19/2008 12:00:00 AM

What are some of the best or most common ways that homesteaders earn off-farm income in the winter? I'd like a steady, off-farm job, but an employer who is willing to let me work only 5-6 months a year and have the rest off (to grow food, etc.)

Dan Taylor

Ellsworth, Maine

This is a question commonly asked by folks who are beginning their new farm life. Making a living while trying to provide a sustainable life for your family is not as easy as it seemed on Little House on the Prairie.

Let’s break this down into pieces. Unless you are trying to do it all — farm with horses, milk cows and make cheese, cut your own firewood, make lumber and sell your crops at a local farmer’s market — there will be large chunks of time during the growing season when you are not busy with farm work full time. So the question might be, what kind of jobs are available that will give you the flexibility to be a farmer as well as provide some cash to pay the necessary bills.

In rural areas, part time jobs are frequently easier to come by than fulltime professional work. So, polish up your resume/skill database and head off to town and visit some of the businesses that fit your skill base. Let them know that you are available fulltime in the winter and part time the rest of the year. One great possibility is the school district, which is mostly closed during the summer. They need janitors, mechanics and bus drivers. Or you might have the education to be a substitute teacher, which would allow you to say yes or no to work that fit your schedule. Being a snowplow driver might be a good winter job in Maine, where you live.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters