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Beginners Guide to Growing Food for Sale

Beginners Guide to Growing Food for Sale

  • 10 Aug 2018

Growing vegetables to sell is a great way to make money. It can be done on a small scale or large scale. There are lots of crops and food production options to choose from and the one that is right for you will depend on how much time you have, how much space you have, and the resources available. 

Vegetables like spinach, lettuce, herbs, peppers, tomatoes, okra, chilies, and squash are all good choices for growing. There are upsides to each crop and downsides too. It is all a matter of preference and resources. Think through your goals and what crops will thrive in your situation before deciding what to grow. 

Spinach and many lettuce varieties grow quickly. The days to maturity is usually around 45-55 days. They both prefer cooler temperatures, which means they can be planted first thing before the summer temperatures get too hot. In early fall, another planting can be done. The ability to grow two crops in one season makes it ideal for making money. Also, it grows quickly which means the time from planting to selling is shorter than many crops and you will see a quicker profit. The downside to growing greens is that they are hard to store and will deteriorate quickly. Once they are harvested, they need to be sold or processed almost immediately. 

Herbs are easy and fun to grow. Most herbs don't need a lot of care once they've been planted. The majority of herbs, like basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, and thyme are quick growers and a gardener can see a quick return on investment. They also don't require lots of room to grow which makes them a great choice for a small garden or an indoor potted garden.  

Tomatoes, peppers, and okra have much longer growing seasons than greens and herbs. The plants need regular care and maintenance to ensure they thrive. 80-100 days is the average time needed for them to reach maturity. They also require a lot more space to grow. If you want to sell these vegetables, make sure you have enough space in your garden and time to devote to their care. The benefit to growing these longer season crops is a big one. They sell for a higher price. Additionally, they store better than greens so you don't have to worry about selling them quite so quickly. 

Squash varieties, from summer squash to winter squash, are generally easy to grow and high producers. One summer squash plant can produce dozens of ripe fruit. Having several squash plants will provide you with lots to sell. Summer squash takes about 60 days to reach maturity while winter squash takes 60 – 100 days. Squash plants take a lot of space, though, so only grow these if you have the area available.

Fruit trees and bushes are a great investment. Almost all trees and bushes will need time to mature, which can take 3-5 years. The upside is that once they are planted, they generally need little maintenance. Plan ahead by planting them now and in several years, you will have an easy money-maker on hand. 

Raising chickens for eggs is also an excellent way to earn extra money. The chickens need a safe, roomy, space to roam and find protection when needed. Happy chickens lay the best eggs. Once that is taken care of, however, all they need is to be fed and their eggs collected. 

Growing a combination of crops is ideal. Planting early-season crops in conjunction with longer season crops means you can have vegetables to sell all season long. The variety will also mean that if one crop fails, your entire operation doesn't fail.  The best choice for you depends on your situation. There are many options available and there is an opportunity to make money even with the smallest of operations.  



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