Want to turn your backyard into a moneymaker? Savvy dwellers can utilize every patch within their property line as an opportunity for income.
Whether you own an acre in the burbs or a postage-stamp plot near the city, here are five genius ways to convert backyard space into an additional stream of income:
Grow and Sell Unique Produce
Sell the fruits, and veggies, of your labor. But think outside the standard garden box when planning your crop. Consider ingredients that may end up on your favorite local menu, including microgreens, watermelon radishes, or white asparagus, alongside specialty jams, chutneys, and salsas that you can also produce from your garden’s bounty. Many commercial chefs — most of whom pride themselves in handpicking their own produce from the farmer’s market or direct from the farm — salivate over local, sustainable, in-season items for their farm-to-fork menus.
Raise Chickens and Sell Eggs
There’s demand for farm-fresh eggs, too. At first crack, farm eggs are deeper in color; more orange, compared to the muted yellow of store-bought eggs. They are more meaty and creamy in taste and packed with more nutrition than store-bought eggs that are often six to eight months old before they land at the store. Raising chickens is a labor of love; emphasis on the labor. But after finding the right supplies for backyard animals and getting the hang of tending a flock, you won’t be going back to store-bought eggs any time soon.
Raise Bees and Sell Honey
Bee-lieve you have what it take to be a beekeeper? The beekeeping path to entry is relatively easy. Beyond a jar of sweet honey, you can prepare and sell specialty products like comb honey, infusions or confections sprinkled with cinnamon, vanilla, chili peppers or cacao. Honeycombs can be melted into a solid block of wax for chapsticks, candles, body butters, and soaps. If you have a natural curiosity of honey bees, possess space for an apiary, are committed to growing your hives over two or three years, and own about 30-45 minutes per week to care for the hive, get buzzing.
Sell Cut Blooms
Sunflowers, peonies, ageratum, dahlias, tulips. Sell in bulk to the local florists who tout their selection of fresh-from-the-farm blooms or offer pre-wrapped bouquets to farmer’s market visitors. Start-up costs are low. Other than purchasing seeds or bulbs, it’s likely you already own basic gardening tools. Your plot needs at least eight hours of daily sunlight. Once cut, keep those stems in clean water (change daily) and at a constant cool temperature (professional florists consider 33°F to 35°F to be best to maintain “cold-chain” protocol).
Rent Out a Parking Spot or Storage Space
Not into farming? Fear not. There are options for you, too. Rent out an empty parking pad for an RV, car, trailer or boat. Offer up a wasted garden shed or a vacant garage for storage space of business inventory, furniture, or just about anything. Sites like Neighbor.com offer a peer-to-peer exchange place for such a thing.
Rent Your ADU
A backyard accessory dwelling unit, ADU, can increase property value and house friends and family. It can also generate rental income and add to the housing stock, which benefits cities with a housing shortage. Of course, building one if you don’t have one already takes capital (some cities define an ADU as having a shared or separate entrance, and separate kitchen, sleeping area, closet space, and bathroom facilities) and checking your local codes for eligibility.