For those of us who have grown our own herbs, there is no comparison! Even home grown dried herbs have so much more flavor than anything I have ever come across.
We aren't the only ones who notice the taste difference. Good, talented chefs have been using locally grown herbs for some time. The taste just can't be beat!
Let me share with you some marketing ideas for selling culinary herbs. This is not a "how to grow herbs" post, but, rather, an entrepreneurial idea for you to ponder on.
The following list contains some of the most popular culinary herbs in no particular order.
Parsley - Used in many culinary dishes, as a bouquet filler and a decorative herb. This herb is also used as a breath sweetener.
Basil - Probably the most popular of all culinary herbs. There are many varieties, but start with the most common, such as sweet basil.
Dill - When we think of dill, we think of pickles. There is a different dill, called ferny dill, that is used for dips, salads and fish.
Oregano - A popular Italian herb which can be used in many culinary dishes and herb blends. What's pizza without oregano?
Mint - Large producers use the oil from the mint plant, but, for smaller growers, potted plants, jams and jellies can be a potential marketing avenue.
Rosemary - Another very popular culinary herb, rosemary can also be used as an insect repellent and an herbal mouthwash.
Sage - Used in stuffing mixes, soups, sausage and many other culinary dishes Sage is also used in herbal blends.
Thyme - The most common thyme is "Common Thyme." Makes sense, right? Because of it's strong aroma, it is excellent as a dried herb.
There are other popular herbs that I did not list, but I do believe that these are the most common culinary herbs.
Now, how about some marketing ideas?
The first one I already mentioned, is selling to chefs. Take in some samples of your herbs, fresh and dried, to higher-end restaurants. If you have a really awesome fresh or dried herb mix that you think they would like, bring that to. Know what to charge by comparing the market, and package your herbs by weight. Eventually, you might want to extend the harvest by purchasing a greenhouse. I would only do this if you have a couple of steady streams of income already from your herbs.
Speaking of a greenhouse, you can also sell bedded herbs in the spring and seasonal herbs for the holidays. Examples would be selling sage plants in November, or rosemary in December. You can sell these from your home, or at a farmer's market. Florists and smaller gardening centers could be another possibility.
An herbal mini garden to put on a windowsill or balcony is a great way to sell your potted plants. A pasta mini garden of basil, oregano and rosemary and/or a salad mini garden with parsley, chives and other salad herbs are convenient and fresh! You can make these gardens as simple as you want, or dress them up to give them that country style. These would also sell well at a farmer's market or possibly a local grocery store.
If this is something you are interested in, I highly recommend this book, Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs, by Sandie Shores. You will not only learn how to grow herbs, but how to package and sell them. This is a very thorough and well-written book!
I love using herbs for other reasons besides culinary. Medicinal herbs are very popular as well and are another money-making avenue! I'll save that one for later;)
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