Homesteading is a popular way of life in Alaska. It involves living off the land and relying on nature for sustenance. Many people who homestead in Alaska do so because they want to live a self-sufficient lifestyle. Others do it because they enjoy the challenge of living in a remote location.

Homesteading is not easy, but it can be very rewarding. One of the biggest challenges homesteaders face is how to make money. And in Alaska, where the cost of living is high and there are few opportunities for traditional employment, this can be a particularly difficult task.

So, how do Alaskan homesteaders make money? Some of the most popular ways include selling goods and services, farming and ranching, forestry, fishing, and tourism.

In this article, we will review 11 of the most common methods used by Alaska homesteaders to make a living.

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How Do Alaska Homesteaders Make Money?

Homesteading in Alaska, like homesteading elsewhere, often means living off the land. This can include farming, ranching, forestry, fishing, and other activities that make use of Alaska’s natural resources.

Many homesteaders in Alaska also sell goods and services to earn money. This might include selling handmade crafts, working as a guide or outfitter, or providing other services to tourists.

Still others make money through mining, prospecting, or oil and gas development.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common ways Alaska homesteaders make money.

#1. Sell farm produce

Selling farm produce is a popular way for homesteaders to make money. Alaska is home to many small farms and homesteads, and many of these sell their goods at farmers’ markets or directly to customers.

Farmers in Alaska often grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs. They may also sell eggs, meat, honey, and other products. Some homesteaders also sell flowers, Christmas trees, or firewood.

#2. Sell dairy products

Closely related to selling farm produce is selling dairy products. Alaska is dotted with several small dairy farms, and many homesteaders who keep goats or cows sell their milk, cheese, and other products.

Just like farm produce, dairy products can also be sold at farmers’ markets, directly to customers, or even through online stores.

#3. Raise and sell poultry and eggs

Homesteaders often raise chickens, ducks, or other poultry for meat or eggs. These are sold to grocery stores that sell local produce, at farmers’ markets, direct to customers, or even to restaurants.

A growing trend in Alaska is for homesteaders to sell eggs through community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs. In a CSA, customers pay a set price each week or month, and in return, they receive a share of the farm’s eggs (or other produce).

This is a great way for homesteaders to get regular income and build relationships with their customers.

#4. Raise farm animals for meat

The raising of animals need not be limited to poultry. Alaska homesteaders also raise pigs, goats, sheep, and even reindeer for their meat. Many customers are interested in buying locally-raised, grass-fed, and hormone-free meat, making this a viable option for homesteaders.

Restaurants, too, are often interested in purchasing meat from small, local farms. This is a benefit for restaurants, as they can market their dishes as being made with local, sustainable ingredients.

Of course, homesteaders can also choose to raise animals for their own consumption. This can save a significant amount of money, as buying meat from the grocery store can be quite expensive.

#5. Sell firewood

Firewood is another popular product among Alaska homesteaders. Many people in the state rely on wood-burning stoves for heat, and so there is a constant demand for firewood.

Homesteaders who have access to a woodlot can cut and sell firewood by the cord or by the truckload. This is a great way to earn some extra income, especially in the winter months.

Firewood can also be sold to businesses, such as restaurants or hotels. These businesses often use wood-burning stoves for heat or for cooking, and so they are always in need of a steady supply of firewood.

And of course, the firewood is equally useful for the homesteaders themselves.

#6. See homemade jams and preserves

Many homesteaders in Alaska make their own jams, jellies, and preserves from the fruits and vegetables they grow. This is a great way to extend the shelf life of these products and to enjoy them long after the growing season has ended.

By making these in excess, homesteaders can sell them at farmers’ markets, through CSAs, or even to local grocery stores.

Homemade jams and preserves make for a great gift, and so they are often in high demand during the holiday season.

#7. Offer guide or outfitter services

Tourists to Alaska often want to experience the state’s natural beauty and wildlife. Homesteaders who live in remote areas can offer their services as guides or outfitters.

This can involve leading hiking or camping trips, taking people on fishing or hunting excursions, or even just giving them a tour of the homestead.

Many homesteaders who offer these services also provide accommodation, meals, and other amenities for their guests. This can be a great way to earn an income, while also meeting new and interesting people from all over the world.

#8. Grow or catch fish for sale

Fishing in Alaska is a popular pastime, and many people come to the state specifically to fish. This creates a demand for fresh fish, which homesteaders can meet by growing or catching their own.

Many homesteaders have ponds on their property, where they raise fish such as trout or salmon. These can then be sold to customers, or even to restaurants.

Homesteaders who live near rivers or lakes can also catch fish to sell. This is a great way to earn some extra income, while also getting to enjoy the outdoors.

#9. Keep bees and sell honey and wax

Keeping bees is a great way to pollinate the plants on a homestead, and it can also be a source of income.

The honey produced by bees can be sold, as can the wax. This is a great way to earn some extra money, while also providing a valuable product to the community. Many people like to buy locally-produced honey. They find a certain charm in buying honey from a homesteader, knowing that it was made right there on the property.

Beeswax can be used to make candles, cosmetics, and a variety of other products.

#10. Sell handicrafts and home items (soaps, hats, scarves, candles, etc)

Many homesteaders are gifted craftsmen, and so they make a variety of handicrafts and home items. These can be anything from candles and soaps to hats and scarves.

People who buy crafts from homesteaders often appreciate the fact that they are supporting a local business. They also like knowing that the product was made by someone with skill and care.

During the holidays, people are especially interested in buying these kinds of items, as they make for great gifts. But homesteaders can sell their products all year round, either through online markets or at local craft fairs.

#11. Rent out the homestead

The final and very interesting source of income that we will review today involves renting out the homestead.

Many homesteaders in Alaska live in remote areas, and so they offer their property as a rental to tourists. Tourists, especially those going to Alaska, are open to new experiences and are often interested in staying on a working homestead.

Homesteaders could offer a full package to tourists that include renting out a part of the homestead, offering meals, and being a guide for the area. This can be a great deal for people looking for adventure tourism.


Homesteading in Alaska, like homesteading elsewhere, is a great way to live a self-sufficient lifestyle. But homesteaders need money, like everyone else, to buy some of the things that they cannot grow or make themselves. So, how do homesteaders make money?

The most common ways for homesteaders to make money are through growing and selling vegetables, keeping bees and selling honey, or offering their services as guides or outfitters. But there are many other ways to make money as a homesteader, as we have seen in this article.