Small Scale Homesteading and Hosting A Bed & Breakfast For Extra Income: Guest Robin Holstein

In this episode Rachel interviews Robin Holstein of The Holstein House BNB.  Robin has a container garden, chickens, ducks, and enjoys baking, canning and hosting folks who come to stay at her home.  Maybe this episode will help some of you decide if you would like to host people in your home or on your land using one of the various options available. 

The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 204 – May 29, 2023

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Diversifying Income Through Homesteading: Insights from Robin Holstein’s Journey


In the latest episode of the Modern Homesteading Podcast, host Rachel Jamison delves into the topic of generating additional income through homesteading with her guest, Robin Holstein of the Homestead in West Virginia. This article summarizes their enlightening conversation, offering practical advice for those interested in blending homesteading with entrepreneurial ventures.

Robin Holstein: Background and Homesteading Journey

A Lifelong Connection to Homesteading

  • Early Life: Robin’s roots lie in Kanawha County, West Virginia, where she developed a deep appreciation for self-sufficiency and homesteading practices.
  • Professional Background: With a diverse professional experience, including working for the state of West Virginia and running a virtual assistant business, Robin has managed to integrate her career with homesteading.

Homestead House: A Bed and Breakfast Venture

Starting the Airbnb

  • Why Airbnb: Robin chose Airbnb for its low barrier to entry, using an extra room in her 100-year-old house to generate additional income.
  • Initial Challenges: Adjusting to hosting guests, dealing with cultural differences, and ensuring clear communication were initial hurdles Robin faced.

Integrating a Bed and Breakfast Model

  • Offering Homemade Breakfast: Robin believes in providing a wholesome experience, including homemade breakfasts featuring sourdough bread, bagels, and local West Virginia products.
  • Direct Bookings: To avoid fees associated with Airbnb, Robin transitioned to direct bookings, which allowed her more control and personal interaction with guests.

Expanding Homesteading Ventures

Exploring New Avenues

  • Potential for Tours: Robin considered creating an Airbnb experience focusing on the history of the Mine Wars in West Virginia, although logistical challenges have so far prevented its realization.
  • Etsy Store: Robin runs an Etsy store, “Holstein House”, offering homemade products and is always looking to expand her offerings.
  • Possible EV Charging Station: Recognizing the growing trend of electric vehicles, Robin contemplates installing an EV charging station to attract a new demographic of guests.

Overcoming Challenges and Future Plans

Addressing Guest-Related Challenges

  • Dealing with Guests: Robin shares anecdotes of unusual guest behaviors and emphasizes the importance of trusting one’s instincts in hosting.
  • Importance of Clear Communication: Ensuring guests are aware of house rules and expectations, like check-in times and shared facilities, is crucial for a smooth hosting experience.

Future Prospects and Advice

  • Considering Technology Integration: Robin is keen on integrating technology, such as accepting Bitcoin and syncing booking calendars across platforms.
  • Advice for Aspiring Hosts: For those considering a similar path, Robin advises thorough research, trusting intuition, and being prepared for the diversity of human behaviors.


Robin Holstein’s journey in homesteading and hosting a bed and breakfast offers valuable insights for anyone looking to diversify their income through homesteading. Her experience highlights the importance of flexibility, creativity, and a willingness to adapt to new challenges and opportunities in the homesteading world.


Holstein House Bed and Breakfast

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