Making Money Growing Stuff

Sharon February 17th, 2009

It is school break week, and the day that we’re having five additional children over for the day.  Unfortunately, it is also the day that Eric forgot that he would be gone all day at a training session.  Oops.

 So unless I duct tape them to the floor (much more likely that they’ll get me ;-) ), I’m afraid I’m off today.  Aaron is covering my behind over at the garden design class, so check his blog out for good stuff on growing food.

 And I’m relying on you all to cover me in this post – I’m looking for as many creative suggestions about hwo to make money growing food as possible.  Normally, I’d post a list, but I have to go face the chaos and remind everyone “No, the kitty does not like to fly.”  So I’ll be grateful for your help!

 Sharon

53 Responses to “Making Money Growing Stuff”

  1. Andrea says:

    I’m growing extra seedlings to sell at a local farmers market….with any luck, I may make a few extra dollars this summer.

    We’ll also have a sign out in the front yard for fresh herbs, U-pick, as every doggone basil seed I’ve dropped is growing. And eggs, too!

  2. Carolyn says:

    I’m just so glad to hear that you’re a *human* mother! I thought you were Super Woman! Now, I feel so much better about myself . . . and that’s priceless. ;-)

  3. Karin says:

    We are growing extra field pumpkins for feeding to pigs. so i could plant quite a few more and sell them for a few dollars each.

    I think that saving seed might be a way to generate some income as well.

  4. ChristyACB says:

    Heirloom plant starts, which came into and then right out of vogue a
    few years back in the box stores and nurseries, are hard to find as
    hen’s teeth now. I would think it is a great niche market for the home
    based gardener. Providing heirloom tomatoes, peppers and eggplants
    in the form of starts can have a fairly high profit per item margin if
    you’ve got a good seed source.

  5. curiousalexa says:

    I have been toying with the open source/free content models of the software/blogging world.

    Growing food, giving away excess, and accepting donated encouragement, financial or physical.

    This has the benefit of little actual obligation (flood destroyed a crop? well it wasn’t promised), as well as preventing a government interference-prone business model (why yes, I am reading Joel Salatin’s “everything I want to do it illegal” right now!)

    While there are people that may take advantage of such a system, I think it could breed a different cultural outlook that would be beneficial to everyone. Move from a perception of scarcity to one of abundance. Encourage others to share their surpluses (e.g. neighborhood fruit trees that might otherwise rot on the ground).

    I like to think that such a system would encourage people to actually *think* about what value is to them, rather than thoughtlessly paying whatever is on the price tag. Yet by not requiring any payment, the discomfort of bartering is also avoided, the conflict over perceptions of value.

    It would also create the opportunity to “pay” for food in ways that don’t require wage labor. Perhaps someone who is good at scavenging materials would donate those. A person who wants to learn to garden gives of their labor and time. Another gardener may want to share their extra seed harvested from earlier seasons before they get old and the germination rate lowers. And some people give to others beyond the garden itself, and the entire community benefits.

    Yet somehow, I fear this too would be illegal.

  6. Mark says:

    This year I’m trying out a number of things. Growing mushrooms indoors and outdoors, growing transplants to sell at the farmer’s market, cut flower’s and bouqets at the market, herbs and heirloom vegetables at the market, and contracted sales of herbs and produce to restaurants or local producers.

  7. Abbie says:

    It’s not food, but… my father-in-law has been making money selling firewood. My in-laws live in a wealthier area of their town, so he sets out nice little piles of firewood, with kindling, about enough for one fire in a fireplace, and charges $5. He’s almost made enough money to cover the trailer-truck load of logs we all bought for our stoves. It’s a nice way to get our money back and keep our houses warm!

    As for making money growing food, my family has found on our farm that the real money-makers are the non-food items, like hayrides, flowers, etc. We sell a lot more apples, pumpkins, maple syrup, pies, etc. because people are attracted to our place for the other fall fun we offer. (Fall is our busy time and the time of year we break even… I’d be happy to hear suggestions for ways to attract customers during other times of the year!)

  8. Nom_de_Guerre says:

    Never mind post-Peak Oil society, I wish you luck looking out for 5 kids by yourself! :)

    Recently I’ve seen some products at farmer’s markets that are doing well and aren’t labor intensive:

    -Mushrooms grown in logs and compost bags which you can buy in kits or innoculate on dead trees in your property (sold in assorted mixes or by quantity);
    - Like Andrea said (good luck!) transplants for indoor or balcony pots are also popular (amazingly lots of people buy things that are as easy to grow as lettuce or cherry tomatoes)- they can be germinated indoors in little space and sold in a few weeks;
    -Ready-made stuff like already assembled but uncut salad mixes in little bags- people love stuff that is organic but still convenient and a main meal if you add some homemade cheese or yogurt to it (market is on Saturday and people haven’t thought about lunch or dinner)
    -They also tend to buy sets of herbs because they feel intimidated of buying them isolated, like a tea set, a medicinal set, an hygiene set, etc.

    Other things that I think may have demand are good organic compost mixes for intensive gardening (mainly for pots) for which you can’t get official certification but can personally vouch for and organic feed for chickens, because the critters are increasingly popular and I have the idea that almost no one has a good idea of how to grow their own food for the winter or special diets and/or can’t get their hands on cheap organic feed (me included).

    …or you can always ask to be paid for babysitting! ;)

    Cheers!

  9. Gary Near Death Valley says:

    Yesterday while at the local nursery, we chatted about how so many people are putting in gardens as never before. After all is said and done, I told the nursery that I would start veg’s in my 30 x 60 ft greenhouse, if they supplied the containers for next January. So next year in Dec will begin tomatoes, etc in the greenhouse and the nursery will purchase them from me and resell them. One way to make money, not much per container, but with 100′s of them will add up.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been sprouting beans, broccoli, buckwheat, and sunflower seeds, and selling the sprouts and greens at a winter farmers market. My wife has been baking cinnamon rolls to sell there, too. These have been a good supplement to our usual offerings of chicken and eggs.

    A couple ways I’m *saving* money growing food:
    I don’t have much land for growing, so normally I’d lease someone else’s land. This year, though, I found a township willing to let me use about an acre of their community garden in exchange for acting as a consultant to the other gardeners there. Also, a non-profit local food activist group is locating other acreage for me to use in exchange for my donating a portion of my produce for them to sell cheaply in underserved neighborhoods. Before I ran across these opportunities, the only person I found who was willing to lease land wanted $1000/acre.

    We had hoped to be able to can stock and soup made from our chickens (the backs and feet don’t sell well), but so far we’ve had no luck getting into an affordable commercial kitchen. We’re presently looking into grinding up the backs and selling them as pet feed–preferably canned, so as not to take up valuable freezer space.

    Almost nobody bothers to pick mulberries growing around the neighborhood–many people don’t even know they’re edible–but I was getting $3.50 a half-pint for them at the farmers market last year.

  11. Sandywillo says:

    Per your recommendation, I ordered seeds (herbs, vegies and some flowers, organic if available) from Fedco a couple of weeks ago. When they arrive, my dining room will turn into seed starting central. I am planning on giving starts away to my friends, and of course, I’ll be planting my own garden. I’m sure there will be lots of extras, which I plan to sell via craigslist. I don’t know how much money I’ll make, but the plan is to at least cover the cost of the seed, making my garden “free” this year.

  12. Wendy says:

    Rabbits.

    I know a guy who started raising rabbits for meat, which he sold to high-end restaurants (he sent the rabbits to a certified butcher). He lived in (and owned) an apartment building in the city.

    One could also raise fiber rabbits. A good fiber breed, like German Angoras, can yield quite a lot of yarn, from what I understand.

    A few years ago, we bought a couple of New Zealand Reds from a breeder here, and this guy had an amazing set-up. He had, probably, half the space we have, but by building rabbit “condos” (one on top of the other), he made the best use of his space. In addition, he had a garden on his front lawn, where he grew, among other things, comfrey, for his rabbits :) .

  13. ctdaffodil says:

    I know 2 little kids at my kids’ school who have a wood business. They sell – Organic kindling. No kidding. They gather dry fallen twigs and bundle them up with baleing twine and sell it with an honor system box at the end of their driveway. Its so cute and they actually have made sales! Now my boys want to have a garden stand at the end of the driveway….I like the young entreprenurs….

  14. auntiegrav says:

    1. Organic chicken feed: corn, wheat, oats that’s grown without pesticides and sold to farmers selling organic eggs. Huge potential market; the drawback is you may have to store the grain till they are ready to feed it, and you may have to be able grind it. Stay away from the local co-op for those services.

    2. For the poster who mentioned trouble finding a commercial kitchen: have you asked churches? Many in this area have to keep their kitchen certified in order to serve the ham dinner, spaghetti dinner, fish fry, chicken carryout, soup supper, etc. etc. etc.

    3. Growing hay for horses is a big deal in Wisconsin. Again, you usually have to store it, then deliver it once a month or so. Horse-people usually don’t have the space for hay storage. They have shiny, expensive horse trailers, but no hay wagons.

    4. For the poster who mentioned $1000/acre to rent land: where the heck are you?!

  15. Fern says:

    I’m in the ‘starting seeds to sell seedlings’ camp right now. In my case, for sale at a garage sale. Even tho’ at LAST years garage sale it was the spider plants that sold best – well, I’ll have lots of those for sale, too.

    Fern

  16. Steph says:

    I’m looking into finding out what it takes to sell canned goods. I bought a few things from Nezinscott Farms and the prices are ..well…wow. $7.50 for a jar of pickles and $12 for a pint of jam. It was good but no better than my grandmother’s or, for that matter, mine. I’m going to be canning a whole lot anyway- might as well get paid for it.

    Steph

  17. Linda K says:

    I’m hoping to be able to buy eggs from someone local. Also recalling one of my most favorite country road signs – “Honk for Corn”. Beep Beep

  18. Laurie says:

    I always laugh when I see people selling/buying catnip, or catnip stuffed “whatevers”. Around here catnip grows wild everywhere – enough for every cat in the whole city to indulge every day if it was just harvested and dried. You could maybe even charge more by calling it “wild crafted”.

    I am also selling seedlings, but I got input from people ahead of time so I could start their personal favorites for them. I’m not making any promises, but will do my best to fill their “orders”.

    I am also offering pullets since the limit imposed by my city is 4 birds per backyard but the minimum order for shipping day old chicks is 25. I’ll raise the chicks in my basement, and train them later to be good city birds. I’ll teach them how to eat a variety of foods and bugs… how to enjoy humans…etc. I’ve seen a huge difference between hand raised chickens and commercially raised ones! That should be worth a little bit extra to the person starting their own backyard flock.

  19. Sharon says:

    Actually, five plus my four is nine.

    Sharon

  20. Shira says:

    The herb comments above agree with my experience. It is possible to grow tea herbs in a small space and make some chump change. Most people don’t make their own salves and teas. A few years back, I made $40 off herbal products by putting up a table at someone else’s garage sale.

    The years that I really worked at selling starts, I made enough to cover my cash gardening costs for the year, the cost of many donated seeds and starts to repair the world, and a couple of hundred dollars clear to subsidize my grocery bill.

    Herbal condiments have fancy prices in the store and most aren’t hard to make. Some of them have better margins than others. Growing tarragon, preserved in good vinegar in a nice bottle, or making Thai chili oil with cinnamon, star anise, Thai basil, garlic and chilies, for example. Pesto, on the other hand, is only worth giving as presents to the nearest and dearest because homemade pesto would have to sell for some outrageous price to make a profit.

    Turning gleaned fruit into value added products is another approach. Once distribution goes beyond word of mouth, the small producer runs afoul of the food nazis. The increased cost of complying with requirements for a certified kitchen, etc. is a huge barrier. The only recourse is some sort of co-op arrangement, such as renting space in a church, as mentioned above. Although you could always give away jam to sweeten up your customers in the formal economy.

    Shira in Bellingham, WA

  21. harriet says:

    The people you’re selling to need have some money to spend…and if you want them to keep having money, it helps if you spend with them in turn.
    I can just feel myself about to invent capitalism…

  22. Theresa says:

    A beehive or two might be worth doing – although I doubt it would be a huge money maker. Teas and herbs do seem to be the things people will spend a fair amount on, at the farmer’s markets I’ve been to at least.

  23. sealander says:

    If I had the land I’d grow a lot of different varieties of dry beans. Most of the beans available here are imported from China, so I think there would be a market for locally grown stock. I’d grow some heirloom tomatoes too. Even the organic producers at the Farmer’s Markets seem to stick to fairly standard red varieties, so there should be a niche market for other types. All this would be a full time job of course, so I’ll stick to the higher paying one while I still have it :)

  24. Jennifer says:

    Anonymous- YOu don’t need to grind up the feet and backs for pet food… many dog owners give their dogs feet and backs RAW. I bet you can sell them for $.50 to $1 a lb raw as dog food without having to do any more processing!

  25. Claire says:

    I could sell seedlings if I wanted to since I cannot compost a seedling … have to prick it out of the starting flat and put it in its own cell in a 6-pack. I always end up with more than I can use. At this point I prefer to give them away to friends and neighbors who garden, especially since they will return the 6-packs, plus scrounge more for me out of the dumpsters and alleys in the city. The problem with selling seedlings is the 6-packs would leave, and then I’d have to scrounge more. The people I give the seedlings to really like them as they are much healthier than anything they could buy, and they don’t have a seed starting set-up as extensive as mine.

  26. Greenpa says:

    One of the best things I ever heard at a “make money growing things” conference was this:

    “Nobody- nobody- EVER made a DIME “growing” things.

    They made money – SELLING things.”

    That’s a really good fact to keep firmly in mind- it’s where most growers fall down. They love growing- and hate selling. It can work well in a family if you can split the chores- often somebody who hates weeding may actually enjoy selling. Then- you’re set to go.

  27. Shane says:

    I figure growing food for sale is always going to be marginal while industrial agriculture keeps running. The competition is just too cut throat. Some customers are willing to pay more for good quality produce, but it will be a small and shrinking market during an economic down turn.

    Growing seedlings or saving and distributing seed is probably a much more profitable venture right now, though you can see from the comments that there is going to be a bit of competition for that as well. Managing your stock and keeping turnover high to stop the seedlings becoming root bound is tricky, so simply calculating x cents per seedling is very misleading.

    For me I just started selling small tubestock plants of hardy old fashioned flowers. I have an enormously varied flower garden to propagate from and by keeping sizes small and turnover high I can keep my prices low (and I always point out the benefits of not having to dig an enormous hole to plant them). A lot of people are asking for herbs as well, so I will add them to the list shortly. Im also producing small vegetable seed packets, from my own saving and from good quality good value bulk commercial packets. That way people can get enough for one years sowing at a fraction of the price, and save having mouldy old packs of half dead seed sitting around next year.

  28. Rosa says:

    Is there a way to get Ogg’s racist comment off here before Sharon comes back to check in?

  29. Fern says:

    Claire, I’m thinking of gathering soda bottles at the side of the road and putting seedlings to sell in those. Cut off the bottom of a two liter, it will hold 4. A side will hold 8 – and I’d be able to use both sides. Smaller plastic bottles will hold less, but it’s all good.

    Fern

  30. Shira says:

    Seed starting plastic flats… about that, check local nurseries, which often pot on starts as the summer progresses. This turns an unsold, root bound start into a larger, more expensive start. It also generates a large number of plastic starter containers. They are cheaper to trash than to collect, sort, clean and store.

    The book answer is to sanitize the reused starter containers with diluted hydrogen peroxide. I seldom bother and it works anyway. The biggest challenge with indoor seed starting is damping off, which can be controlled with chamomile tea.

    Shira in Bellingham, WA

  31. Evelyn says:

    You can make newspaper cups to sell your seedlings. I did that last year. I transplanted all extra seedlings in newspaper cups and gave them to my friends. They planted them with the newspaper and everybody was happy. Collect newpapers from all your friends.

  32. Dave, Alfred Maine says:

    I am betting on robust demand for large seedlings. I am planning on selling tomato(multiple), pepper(multiple), pumpkin, water melon, cantaloupe, honeydoo to name a few. The growing season is short here in Maine and starting off with a good size plant is a way to increase success. I have a greenhouse. With the economy being down-there should be strong demand for the home garden unlike anything that has been seen in a long time. I am betting the local greenhouses will sell out quick this year as they did last.

    On the Joel Salatin route- Selling ready to eat salads could generate some good cash from a small garden. Maybe one could have several mixes set up salad bar style with other condiments. Salads could be “free” to customers paying $x or more. Of coarse the salad bowl and utensils would not be for free. Kind of like not selling coffee but selling the cup. Maybe a loophole? As for me- I will be going for traditional produce sales.

    On selling- Its all about the experience. A scrap book or poster with pictures of your farm, your story, your philosophy on farming, and your technique will build trust. People like a story and they also like to taste things. Having some treats made from some of the products you are selling along with a recipe can help drum up sales. People who take a free food sample may feel obligated to buy. Zuchinni bread, chocholate zuchinni cake, pumpkin bread, pie, freezer jam, garden chowder, salad mixes, broccoli slaw salad are a few ideas. If your main job is catering or teaching cooking classes, then such a venue may be a good way to gain exposure and more business.

    One of my main objectives is to increase my food security, reduce the grocery bill, and to make enough money to cover my gardening costs. My wife is foodie and we spend about $9000 per year on groceries. Produce is big part of the bill. I will also try growing grains this year for our chickens. Reducing costs is just as good as making more money.

    Overall I am still putting my plan together. I look forward to reading more ideas.

    Dave,
    Alfred Maine

  33. Ralph says:

    An enterprising vendor at our local farmers market did very well grinding, blending and selling his own spice mixes, curry and chili powders. He also offered free recipe sheets.

    Another vendor increased her pickle sales dramatically by offering cash discounts on purchases when the customer brought back the quart or pint canning jar.

    Fresh salsa-made also sold well, especially when shoppers could sample it.

    Figuring out ways of adding value to the things you already produce can be a good way to increase profit margins.

  34. rachel says:

    I am working on worm castings and worm tea to sell at market.
    Also wheat grass and sprouts, especially great for winter markets as people crave green and fresh! The wheat grass seems to sell great to folks as a treat for their cats too.

    One idea I liked from last season was: a farmer had a fresh salsa you could sample at her table at the farmers market. She sold a bag that contained all the fresh ingredients in it along with the recipe. It was very popular.

    Also bags of organic white popcorn seeds, if you have the land to grow, seems to sell well for one farmer.

    One more thing: captured yeast, I have never done this but a friend does, maybe there is some money it that.

  35. olympia says:

    Interesting, how a few of you folks mentioned sprouts- they’re the first thing I thought of selling! It occurs to me that I’d feel guilty for selling them, as they’re so easy to do, but hey, they sell in the stores!

    Kimchi is another food item that comes to mind- maybe bulk kimchi, buy it by the weight? The stuff is $4 for a small jar at the co-op. You don’t need any special equipment (or power of any sort) to make the stuff, and you can make it with a variety of produce.

  36. [...] here to see the original: Casaubon’s Book » Blog Archive » bMaking Money/b Growing Stuff [...]

  37. Laurie in MN says:

    Rosa:
    Thank you for asking. I was wondering if the general community policy was to just ignore those types of comments. I’ve seen Ogg comment here a few times and it always ranges from mocking to downright hostile. I hope something can be done about this.

    Laurie in MN

  38. My situation is probably different than most of the readers here, because I do live in the country on 6 acres and a bit. We have sheep (10 ewes and 2 rams), a cow/calf pair and room for a garden. This is the first year that we tried selling lamb direct to customers and we *sold out*. We didn’t even try very hard – an ad on the local kijiji, our website, and listings on EatWild and LocalHarvest. We also sold out of the fleece from the sheep, from the same listings. Lots of people are looking for locally raised, grass-fed meat … and there are a lot of hand spinners out there looking for handshorn fleece, apparently! I was very surprised at how straightforward it all was – even WITH following all of the regulations (we’re approved by the local health board, our meat is processed at a provincially inspected facility, the works … we got all the paperwork, but none of it cost us anything).

    We are looking at expanding a little and adding maybe another cow and a few feeder calves, as we’ve got some pasture adjacent to us that we have permission to graze, and we’ll be expanding our garden, but probably just enough for our own use at this point.

    We sell eggs from our flock to coworkers and such as well, when they are producing enough (i.e. not right now when we’re down to one egg a day!).

    So, if you do have enough land to do a bit of small scale farming, don’t be afraid to try. It is working for us (not enough to pay the bills by any stretch of the imagination … but we’re getting to where the critters pay for their own feed, and hopefully with a bit more work it can become a profit center for us). At the very least, we know that we have a buffer for hard times – even if it’s not a successful businesss venture, we will eat, as will our friends and family, should things come to that … and if we can make some money at it right now, well, that’s a good thing too.

  39. ~debra~ says:

    i don’t know that i’d consider it anything i “grew” but there seems to be a small demand for rabbit and chicken manure. it might even be worth my while to add a few more rabbits if they can produce enough to earn their keep.

  40. Jade says:

    Why not run a series of summer camps for city kids?

    My newspaper just included a segment on summer camps, and they’re running over $500 a week. Sounds like you have extra room in your house- and it has a rustic feel- so why not get paid for teaching the next generation?

    Plus you can get them to squish the bugs.

  41. ctdaffodil says:

    Jade – I like the summer camp idea. We always went to camp like that as kids, right after breakfast, we’d grab our hats and water jars (mason quarts filled with ice and wrapped with a clean towel held on with a rubberband) and head into the garden until lunch. I’m in my early 40s but my grandparents were young marrieds with kids in the depression who actually had farm land – so my mom didn’t know any better and she figured it didn’t kill her….She would faint if she knew her brand of child ag-labor was worth $500/week! And to think we got paid by the wheelbarrow load to pick rocks and weeds from the garden – $1 a load not $1 kid…..

  42. Whoever had the farm and asked for more ideas beyond a harvest festival, my immediate thought was an Egg Hunt for easter.

    As for us, I’m on a suburban plot so not much hope of growing anything for profit. Sprouts sounds doable. Mostly though I have raspberry bushes and they grow like weeds so I could always sell the babies. Although my thought was to offer them to churches to grow for the local food bank.

    M

  43. Chris says:

    Beekeeping is a good idea for many reasons. And it can make money – but it won’t make money fast. If starting from scratch, you spend the first year making bees, not honey. But after a year of learning about bees & building them up, you should be able to go into the following Spring with a colony(ies) strong enough to spare you some honey. And don’t forget wax, propolis and pollination services.

    And if you’re just starting out, look into Top Bar Hives, Warre Hives or at least foundationless beekeeping. These methods raise healthier bees and have lower up-front costs.

  44. anita says:

    We sell jams and jellies at one of the local tailgate markets; I also sell bread and cookies (chocolate chip, gingersnaps, and peanut butter cookies sell best). Individual loaves of things like banana bread, apricot-pecan bread, etc. sell well; I also sell a lot of regular-sized white bread (which I label ‘farmhouse white’), whole wheat, and dill-onion freeform loaves. And honey, when we have it—we only have four hives, which we got as pollinators. Any honey is extra, but we sold 4-5 dozen half-pints last summer for $5 each. Apple and peach butter, at least when peaches are affordable. Eggs, too, when the chickens are laying; and rhubarb when we have extra. There are organic growers there, so we don’t try to compete; we grow to eat and store for the winter.

    We used to sell pickles, chow-chow, sauerkraut—but the regulations here (NC) have changed. My kitchen is certified for jams and jellies, but to be certified for pickles (defined as anything made with vinegar), I’d have to attend ‘pickle school’ in Pittsboro (4-5 days, $400-$500 PLUS hotel bill, and if you don’t pass, too bad) and be certified by the Dept. of Agriculture. Not worth it to us at this point.

    We can, however, sell herbal vinegars, and I’m thinking of trying some this year. And maybe some herb/spice mixes. And I sold catnip toys one year, and lavender sachets.

    Our market is in an area full of ‘summer people,’ lots of whom come up from Florida and seem to have plenty of money. At least they did last year—it will be interesting to see what happens this summer. My rule of thumb is to make things that we like to eat or can use as gifts; if it doesn’t sell, we eat it or give it later.

  45. The camp idea is a great one for a farm, although I’m not sure what all goes in to the insurance liability stuff. The camp my son used to go to is http://www.uplandhillsfarm.com/ . They have a ton of activities, and you might be able to get some ideas from their website.

  46. Anonymous says:

    With a medically fragile son being able to get out and sell anything just wouldn’t be a reality.

    And the farmer’s markets in my area either charge a heft fee, or have a waiting list for vendors a mile long.

    I used to sell homemade soap at this type of venues.

    In my area most people have some sort of veggie garden. And there are veggies stands on every corner for those who don’t.

    But I do grow herbs and make wonderful artisan breads. I was thinking of selling breads from my home to those in my neighborhood, but need to get around the commercial kitchen rule. The fee for the kitchen would quickly wipe out profits, not to mention the I get leave the medically fragile kid thing.

    I could sell herbs with the ‘you pick’ idea, along with providing a handout with recipes, etc.

    Then I could use my homegrown herbs in my breads. I was even thinking of just selling a dough that could be purchased to bake on the grill, pizza style.

    I’m not looking to make a lot. Even $30.00 a week would go far towards my family’s grocery budget.

    You don’t need a commercial kitchen to sell at a bake sale. But to sell a few loaves a bread a week you would need a commercial kitchen?

  47. Greenpa says:

    “But to sell a few loaves a bread a week you would need a commercial kitchen?”

    Different states have very different laws- and localities have very different levels of enforcement.

    Our local Amish sold bread for several years at roadside stands- but then got shut down by the state. They don’t sell it any more.

    It’s worth asking around in your area- somebody knows the local ropes.

  48. Mark N says:

    As many already know, a surprisingly large amount of plants/food can be raised on a suburban plot. Especially if you are willing to use the front and side yards. Fruit trees, especially some of the non-conventional ones, have excellent ornamental value if that is a concern. Great comments and ideas here. First post.

  49. Sharon says:

    Anonymous, if you can’t manage the local laws, I’d try under the table, with neighbors – I’ll bake your bread, you pick it up. Or you could sell the herbs – in bread ;-) . They pay you for the bunch of herbs and you make them a “gift” of the bread – they just happen to be pricey herbs. It isn’t without risk, but it probably can be done.

    Sharon

  50. Judith says:

    We’re looking into locallygrown.net as a way to build and diversify a local food infrastructure. It’s like an online farmers market, sort of, where the farmers can harvest to order, so there’s much less guesswork.
    It’s also about bringing in more things than produce; local producers of soaps, yarn, candles and whatnot can be listed as producers, too.

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