I decided to repost this due to the fact that gardening season is right around the corner. I can't wait to get to plantin'!
Welcome to Making Money Mondays! If you are new here, Making Money Mondays is dedicated to bringing out the entrepreneurial spirit in you. You can read Making Money Mondays on Your Piece of Heaven to get more information.
Market gardening.......do you picture acres upon acres of vegetables? Let's just say that with a little creativity and finding the right niche, you can make a decent income without that much space.
My daughter, who is pictured above, loves to make historical outfits and decided to dress up while planting!
First, you need to know what grows well in your soil. It is a good idea to have some knowledge of gardening before you venture out to a market garden. If you have never grown anything, I suggest you start out with a garden of your own to see if this might be something you would enjoy.
An excellent book on organic gardening is The New Organic Grower, by Eliot Coleman. I have learned so much about gardening, soil, crop rotation, cover crops and useful tools from this book.
If you have some experience and know what grows well, there are options for you to make some income next year! Let me give you two options today.
To anyone who is interested in market gardening but not sure where to sell, I suggest starting out at a farmer's market. There are a couple of reasons for this. One, you have a for sure way to sell, as long as it is a market in a bigger town. I do not suggest small rural markets. They might work for you, but usually people in rural areas are looking for a bargain price, and you won't get much traffic. I also do not suggest selling your produce at bargain prices. It is hard work! No Walmart prices here. Every dollar counts!
The second reason a farmer's market is a good idea is that the experience you will obtain from working at the market and dealing with people is an asset, and it will introduce you to other possibilities by listening to your customers and what they want. Also, networking will take place and just might open the door to new business opportunities.
Start out small. Don't make the mistake I made and grow too fast. It gets the best of you, especially if you have small children. It isn't worth it to spend hours upon hours in the garden, and come in so worn out that family time is put on the back burner.
Also, find out with the market manager (the person in charge of the farmer's market) what everyone else is selling and ask if there is a need for certain types of vegetables and/or fruits. You want to have some staples but you also want unusual varieties.
Most markets require you to pay a fee for the market season and you have to fill out an application.
The best book on Market Gardening is Market Gardening Success, by Lynn
Byczinski. Anything you ever wanted to know about starting this exciting
opportunity is in this book. Just click on the title or picture to purchase.
Ever thought of working with a chef? Does the thought of this make you a little nervous? You can grow certain high-dollar vegetables in smaller spaces and sell to high-end restaurants and make a decent income off of just that! This depends on how many restaurants you do business with (I suggest you start out with one or two) and what type of vegetables you grow.
To get you started, try setting up a time to meet the chef and bring in samples of what you have. Some chefs can be impatient, but they have a big responsibility! If you do not have samples, at least bring in your garden seed catalog and tell him/her what you plan on growing and ask what he would like for you to grow.
If the chef decides to do business with you, be consistent and bring in what you say you will bring in. If dealing with someone who might be picky and impatient does not intimidate you, than this might be a possibility for you.
Another market gardening book that has given me much information on this topic as well as selling to restaurants is Backyard Market Gardening, by Andrew W. Lee. Again, if you are interested, just click on the title or picture to purchase.
If you like to garden, why not try to make a little money while you are at it?
This is also good for our children. They learn more about the responsibilities of gardening, planning and how to deal with customers.
Is market gardening a possibility for you?
Go here if you would like to write a guest post on Making Money Mondays. I would love to hear from you and your money making ways!
My mineral makeup is online!