Once we have raised $200,000 by selling memberships – we will buy a piece of property in Kentucky to start our homestead. We will be adding a minimum of $50,000 of our own money into this project.

With these funds we can reasonably afford 20 acres of land with house and amenities such as electrical, water, sewer on it.

There are many ways to make money from this land, here are our current strategyies:

1. Agriculture activity
2. Rentals & Campsites
3. Classes
4. Misc. Revenue

Agricultural Activity:

Overview: The Main Money Makers & Estimated profit
1. Mushroom Business: $50,000 Minimum
2. Sheep: ~$25,500 to $35,000
3. Specialty Seed Farm: ~$15,000
4. Greenhouse/Plant Nursery: $10,000
Expected profit first year: $100,000
5. Other Potential Income

Mushroom Business

I currently run and operate a mushroom business and have explored every step of the process and know what products sell well and which ones do not, as well as have understanding in marketing the products and networking with wholesale distributors, affiliates and so on.

I have been producing sterilized grain spawn, colonized grain spawn, liquid culture, and grow kits for around 7 years commercially. I have had minor success in selling mushrooms locally but have yet to bother with farmers markets which is the best place to sell fresh mushrooms besides direct to restaurants. Currently operate a small mushroom farm dedicated solely to growing lions mane for supplements.

Setting up an operation on a homestead in Kentucky would easily net $50K profit per year, and it would be the most familiar and easiest thing for me to do as other aspects of making a profitable homestead, as I am already doing this.

Diary Sheep

Sheep are undoubtedly the best move: They require minimum infrastructure and quickly allow for one to make a profit. Per acre they are far more manageable and profitable than Cows or Goats.

Specifically hardy dairy sheep, something such as an Assaf Sheep, which are dual purpose sheep for Milk and Meat are great option.

One Assaf Ewe produces 334 liters of milk per 173 day lactation cycle, and has 1.57 lambs per ewe with a lambing interval of 272 days.

Lambs sells for $300

We plan to start with 10 ewes.

This can yield 3340 liters of milk, which can produce 1,324 lbs of Feta Cheese. Sheep milk has a high fat content, so the conversion of milk to cheese is around 18%.

100% Sheep Milk Feta Cheese sells for $1/oz. So we could hope for a revenue of $21,187 in sales from cheese alone. This is similar for other cheeses. We do not plan on exclusively selling Feta, but it is a popular cheese that is easy to produce and a good example. Other sheep cheeses sell for about the same price if not more.

With the addition of 15 lambs sell for $300 each, we can hope for $4500.

If processed into meat, it could be even more profitable, but regulations likely make this untenable the first year.

First year from just 10 dairy ewes could be $25,500

Dorper Sheep

Dairy animals are significantly more labor and more work, especially when processing the milk into cheese, than meat sheep. Dorper Sheep are less work people have revenues of $100K on 25 acres of land just by raising and selling them. $100K per 25 acres is very much on the high side, but it is not unrealistic for us to start with 10 – 25 sheep and see revenue of around $10,000+ considering full blood dorper sheep sell for $400 or more with papers, or $300 without.

Other Live Stock

Other livestock such as Ducks, Chickens, Goats, and Pigs can be very profitable as well, but each requires a bit more infrastructure and are less profitable than sheep. That said, they will be explored.

Especially goats, as they are very complimentary to sheep being browsers instead of grazers, the fact that a lot of traditional cheeses are often a mixture of goat and sheeps milk, and that they are multi purpose like sheep and can be used for milk, meat, and mohair/cashmere. Nigora goats are of particular interest.

Jumbo Coturnix Quail
Something like quail have great potential, and I have experience with them, they are dual purpose and produce eggs and meat. A Jumbo Coturnix Quail produces eggs within 6 to 8 weeks from hatching, produce an egg every day, become fully grown and ideal to slaughter in 12 weeks.

Frozen, ready to cook Quail sell for $10, and the eggs, despite their significantly smaller size, sell for the same price as chicken eggs, $3 per dozen.
These birds are not only popular for their eggs and meat, but they find specialty use in dog training, Quack fertility treatments, and for exotic pets; mostly sold frozen as feeds for snakes and reptiles. Their eggs find use to feed pets as well.

Specialty Seed Crops

For over a decade I have dabbled in growing unique plants, and have found them to be extremely profitable and there is nearly an endless supply of specialty crops

The profitable ones tend to fall into two categories; druggie plants or unique healthy vegetables.

Here are two great examples, one from each category.

Aztec Tobacco (Nicotiana rustica)

This plant is a unique tobacco that has the highest nicotine content of any tobacco, coming in at about 9% or 3X that of regular tobacco.

Each plant can produce 100,000 seeds or more, while growing in a single square foot (maybe a bit more)
These seeds sell well for $3 per 1000 seeds.
Realistically a single plant can generate an income of $300 just from the seeds alone.

The leaves are just as valuable due to their high nicotine content.

I think it would be difficult to sell much more than $3000 worth of it’s seeds in a single year, but this would be minimal effort and only require 10 to 15 square feet of garden space.

Montana Morado Corn:
This corn is a nearly black corn; extremely high in anthocyanins, carotenoids, and is great when milled or slow cooked.

I’ve grown this corn two years in a row, it is not as productive as some varieties but the seeds are extremely valuable; 100 seeds sell for no less than $5.
Yet, it is easy to grow a hundred stalks of this corn, which yield around 2 cobs per plant with each cob having around 160 or more kernals on it.

A small plot that is 10 rows of 10 can realistically produce 32,000 seeds or more, at a value of $1,600

Other Plants
Unique heirloom tomatoes are also a gold mine. You must be careful not to let them cross pollinate with other tomatoes, but you can easily sell 30 to 50 seeds for $3 to $5 per packet and produces hundreds of thousands of seeds from only a few tomato plants.

It is nearly endless. Realistically I would start with around 15 to 30 different plant types and only hope for it to generate an income of around $15,000 in the first year sales as you can’t collect seeds until mid way through the grow season.

Greenhouse/Plant Nursery

I have a 15 ft by 8ft Greenhouse, and every spring by just selling normal tomato plants, while mismanaging my greenhouse that was void of shelving – I could net about $4,000 profit within a month.

It is extremely easy and profitable to grow $10,000 worth of plant starts in a greenhouse if done very strategically. Later in the year one can use it to grow other specialty crop for farmers markets.

Other Plans:

Salamander Pond.

Kentucky has more ponds than any other state except for Alaska, and it has many salamander species.

Axolotls are an exotic pet that is very valuable, often selling for $100 and no less than $45.

Axolotls are extremely hard to raise indoors, in a tank. The larvae only eat living organisms and are so small you could easily fit 10 of them on a US penny. Raising the living food for the offspring to eat is challenging and often will result in the death of the Axolotl larvae; they either ingest brine shrimp shells and die of indigestion, they simply don’t get enough food, or the food dies and ruins their water quality.

Making a small pond outdoors and filling it with proper aquatic organisms for them to eat, and adding adult valuable color morphs of axolotls will make growing them easy. At which point they can be netted and sold into the pet trade; often in bulk to pet stores.

If done well, an adult axolotl can lay 1000 eggs every 2-3 months (must control lighting)

This is a very experimental idea, but I think it would make great money for the amount of effort put into it.

Rentals & Campsites

A 20 acre homestead in Kentucky has a lot of potential to produce a profit by offering places for travelers to stay. People can either use a campsite and a tent, bring their RV or Campers, or use a provide lodge; likely a yurts, and small cabins.

Case Study: Host profile – Airbnb

This host, just on Airbnb, has 1800+ reviews, with 171 reviews for 2023. They offer different lodging, from pitching your your own tents, to yurts and small cabins. Their price ranges $21 to $100 per night. Average stay is approximately 5 days.

The most popular options seem to be the yurts and other buildings that go for $100 per night, but to veer on the side of caution we will figure it averages $60 per night, the mid way point between $21 to $100

If we assume 100% of people leave reviews, which is unlikely the case and it is probably closer to 70%, and we assume $60 per night, with an intentionally low guess for the average nights stayed of 3 nights per review, we come up with ~$30,000

I would likely bet it is pulling in at least $60,000+ as:
1. they rent elsewhere than Airbnb, such as verbo, their own website, Vrbo, TripAdviser, and likely elsewhere.
2. The rent estimate is likely low with my calculations; it is clear there are far more reviews on the $100/night rental units than the $21 camp sites, and it is very reasonable to think that the average stay would exceed 3 nights.

Classes & Courses

Homesteading has many tasks, and many people curious about such tasks – which makes it great for teaching courses.
1. Dairy classes; where people learn to milk sheeps or goats, pasturize milk, make butter, cheese, yogurt or other products such as cream, sour cream, kefir. The classes would be hands on and teach about lacto fermentation, renate, and so on

2. Animal Processing: