Rural land isn't just a great place to call home, it can also provide endless opportunities for active , semi-passive,or passive income. From cow cuddles to summer concerts, these ideas can give you an income boost.
Looking for income streams beyond farmers markets and fruit stands? You may be overlooking some of the wilder ways rural dwellers make money from their land. We’ve gathered a handful of out-of-the-box ideas from the corners of the internet to spark your creativity and get you started.
Some are quick cash getters; others require a bit more hands-on work.
As with any money-making venture, be sure to go through the proper channels and acquire any necessary permits and insurance to protect yourself and your guests.
Use Your Livestock
1: Have baby goats? Love yoga? Combine the two to create a fun and restorative practice for your farm’s paying guests.
Baby goat yoga is said to have originated in 2016 on a farm in Oregon that was already holding goat happy hours (which is another idea altogether!). It’s now grown to full trend status.
But how do you parlay this unique practice into pocket change? It’s not so different than launching any business: consider your costs (startup and ongoing), do your research, market your service, and understand your profit margins. According to Truic, “Clients are willing to pay about $12 extra per class for the addition of goats to their yoga experience. You may be able to charge between $25 to $40, depending on the going rates in your area.”
2. If goat yoga is just so 2016, consider the latest up-close animal encounter: cow cuddling.
In 2019, CNBC reported on the therapeutic moo-vement making waves in the U.S. (though the practice has been common in the Netherlands for years).
Cow cuddles can have myriad benefits, including lowered stress and anxiety, even increased social skills.
Mountain Horse Farm in upstate New York charges about $75 for an hour of cow cuddles.
3. You needn’t stop with cows and goats.
Other farm animals—from horses to dogs to the odd emotional support alligator — offer benefits to humans. Kindred Spirits Sanctuary in Orlando even offers sanctuary sleepovers where guests can spend the night among rescued farm animals.
*Before launching an animal-centered business, do your research. Put in place all necessary safety protocols to safeguard the health and wellbeing of guests and animals alike.
Use your land
4. Whether you have a large swath of prime hunting ground or a plethora of medicinal herbs, there may be folks interested in renting your land.
There is a lot to consider when renting out a portion of your property, including protecting the integrity of your land. But the benefits may outweigh the upfront costs and any inconvenience.
Once you’ve set up your parameters, rented land can become a good source of passive income. You may even see the same tenants season after season.
For an even longer term lease, consider renting a portion of your property to survivalists looking for a bug out base.
5. Create a Forest Bathing Retreat
As a rural-dweller, you’re likely well aware of the numerous health benefits of spending time outdoors: from getting your daily dose of “vitamin G” to actually living longer. Why not share the wealth?
The Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing has been getting worldwide press in recent years as a way to connect with the earth and find calm in a hectic world.
Spas from Cambodia to Canada have even begun adding forest bathing to their menus of relaxation services.
To bring forest bathing to your own property, start by familiarizing yourself with shinrin-yoku and engaging in the practice to get a feel for what you’ll be offering your guests.
You may even consider becoming a certified Forest Therapy Guide.
As for what to charge, high-end baths at spas can be hundreds of dollars but often include amenities like yoga or a soak in a hot tub.
For single guided sessions, Maureen Miller a certified therapy guide and Sole Proprietor of Camden Tai Chi in St. Mary’s, Georgia, starts pricing at $20 for an individual guided session.
6. If you’re willing to welcome groups to your property, consider becoming a venue.
In this age of social distancing having a large outdoor space in which to host concerts, comedy shows, even weddings can be a huge draw. Be clear about capacity and rules and prepare to enforce any safety protocols.
* However you choose to welcome paying guests to your property, health and safety of guests and staff should be your top priority.
Use Your Skills
7. Fire up the pizza oven and throw out a few picnic tables to transform your land into a pizza farm.
Guests can place their orders and enjoy a stroll through the grounds, visits with livestock, even live music while enjoying a homemade pie. Jump on this delicious nationwide trend while it’s hot.
8. Transform your rural skills and hobbies into a business.
What do you love about the day to day maintenance of farming? Tending to livestock? Milking goats? Caring for horses?
What types of projects do you pick up when the chores are done? Do you make cheese, soap, candles, quilts, furniture?
Chances are you have skills others are itching to learn in a setting that provides a scenic and relaxing getaway.
Whether it’s a class on caring for backyard chickens or how to identify edible plants in the wild, if you love it launch it! The possibilities are nearly endless...either as onsite, in-person businesses or virtual ventures.
Pick your passion and get started!