Becoming financially stable through homesteading isn’t very realistic; I’m not saying it isn’t possible either. The income you can earn will depend on the available acreage and the work ethic you’re willing to put forward.
Choosing crops for profit is possible but the reality is plants DO NOT grow by themselves. Well some may but if you want to grow for profit you need to have a plan.
Our first year farming was insane and if I was being honest it’s the hardest I’ve ever worked in my entire life; it was also the most energizing and inspiring experience.
How Much Land for Crops
- What do you want to grow?
- How much growing land do you plan to incorporate?
- Where do you plan to sell your product?
Once you can answer those three questions it’s time to dive into your crop ideas and see if they’re compatible with the climate and amount of available growing space. Crops are almost always grown in fields that are also referred to open planting spaces.
Crops can be very labor intensive when starting from scratch. Our first year began with a half acre and very little fancy equipment. My husband did most of the work but as a family we were able to break the soil and get the job done.
Our tiller was fantastic and perfect for ground breaking in addition to maintaining a large space. One can even enjoy an iced coke while tilling a field.
A tractor would be the ideal set up but we only have 4 acres and couldn’t justify the purchase for such a small space, especially since we were only preparing a half acre of land.
Another option would be to hire someone to field plow, this would have been ideal but our goal was to teach our kids a good work ethic and how to homestead land.
So we took the road less traveled and implemented hard work.
Tips for Choosing Crops
Our first crop was a field of watermelons, this was a perfect choice for our climate, Texas is known for fantastic watermelon!
Choose crops that are cohesive with your planting zone and always calculate the amount of land needed to meet your personal and financial goals.
Planning before diving in is always going to be the key to your success. This will save you time, money, hours of preparation and crop maintenance.
Trying out Different Crops
The following season I decided to grow flowers.
I stuck with field planting because we were now using about a quarter acre of growing space. This is still a large area and raised beds just didn’t seem applicable.
We ended up fencing our field which helped optimize our efforts. The sad part was early in the season we fell into a serious drought. This wasn’t something I prepared for; around July I decided to close the door on growing flowers and let the land rest.
Whenever you decide to grow crops for profit you’ll experience events that can shatter your dreams. This is not a time to throw in the towel, simply
re evaluate your plans and try again. Even if trying again means growing something different, “NEVER give up!”
Later my husband stepped back into the crop scene and decided to grow Luffa. This was a huge project! We discovered success but we decided to stop because it was also very labor intensive.
The bottom line, I was stuck doing the majority of the work after the vines were transplanted and I didn’t like it at all. It consumed my entire summer, most of the fall, my energy and simply left me feeling empty.
Crops and Marketing
Whatever you decide to grow you need someone to sell your product, because let’s face it without a customer the entire concept to grow crops for profit is bankrupt.
Most folks take their product straight to the Farmer’s market. This is a fun and easy option that will consume most Saturday mornings from spring to fall. You’ll also meet some really neat people and be energized by the results.
Selling to small grocery stores is another option but you’ll need large crops to maintain the volume they require. Smaller stores many times will save an area in their produce section specifically for local crops. This is always fun and rare in large cities.
Depending on the location of your farm you may also want to set up shop right where you live. Create a small farm stand, set your own hours and simply have fun with it.
We did this for our kids our first season and it was neat. The neighbors LOVED those watermelons!
Homesteading is a journey that offers many avenues of opportunity. Not everyone will have the goal or ambition to raise crops for profit.
But if you have the desire remember the element of planning will be the driving force behind your success. Always be eager to read and learn more about the future crops you hope to grow and don’t put all your eggs in one basket.