Want to make a few dollars on the side for extra expenses or fun money? Want to provide a valuable service to your community and put food on the tables of those in need? Looking to partake in an endeavor that will not only get you outside but also socializing in your community? Then the answer you are looking for is – you want to start your own vegetable garden business!
Vegetable gardening is not only a great way to get outside, engage your body in some physical activity, calm your mind and soak up some natural sunlight but it is also a way to make some money on the side. In fact, if you grow enough fresh produce, you might be able to make vegetable gardening your full-time career; depending on the need and want of your community and the surrounding areas.
How to Get Started on a Vegetable Garden Business
The amount of people that want fresh produce grown at home is growing and they are willing to pay top dollar for high-quality vegetables that have been grown without the use of harmful pesticides, herbicides and steroids. People are more aware and conscious of what they are putting into their body in terms of their daily diet – which means that they want more fresh veggies and fruits into their diet but only from a trusted source.
This is why today we are going to take a look at how to get started on a vegetable garden business; what our will need, what you should sell and how you should go about finding out what the people of your community truly want.
Have a Business Plan
As with any business, a business plan should be put into place before kick starting any project from the ground up. You want to make sure of your customer base and make plans or decisions on the numerous questions you will come across. The following are some tips and guidelines to ensure that your produce will sell:
- Talk to local farmers about what type of produce grows best in your climate.
- Have a short survey planned to see what type of produce people would be willing to pay for, where they would like toshop for it, and how much are they willing to pay.
- Consider how to store the produce until the selling day and consider branching out into purees, jams and jellies. Dried fruit is also a big seller as it can be used in salads, cooked dishes, and baked goods.
- If you are planning to make this a career, talk to your local tax adviser to determine what you need to register your business as an independent owner and all the fine-tuning that comes with that decision.
Decide how much you are willing to spend to start up your vegetable garden business and trust yourself to make the right decisions.
Pick the Perfect Spot
Before starting to turn the soil on your vegetable garden beds, you want to ensure that you will be planting in the perfect spot. The perfect spot for garden beds would have the following features:
- Five hours or more of sunlight a day to help the growing process and to speed up nutrient absorption from the plants
- Shade and wind breaks from trees or solid standing structures to protect the delicate leaves and stems of the plants
- Easy access to a water supply, either a garden hose or watering cans or an irrigation system
- Enough space to easily walk around each garden bed and weed or perform other maintenance (and harvesting) tasks
- Room enough to store a compost pile (either free-standing or in a compost bin) and a mulch pile for added nutrients, protection, etc.
Another way to grow your vegetable garden business once it has gotten off the ground is by branching out to different types of vegetables that might not be found at your typical farmers market. Look at the different cultures that are in your community and try to cater to each one. Install a grow tent in your shed or garage that will cultivate seedlings from scratch and nurture them to full growth. You can use LED grow lights to mimic the heat of the sun, use a specialty fertilizer and watch as your customers are wowed by the variety of your wares.
You don’t even need to buy a grow tent if you don’t want to spend the money at first. You can simply build one using wooden beams for the structure and make the construction faster by using a nail gun powered by an air compressor to securely nail the beams in place (check out backyardboss.net for the best ones!). Finish up with a heavy-duty, insulated plastic for the covering. Install air fans throughout the structure and have a steady stream of fresh, cool air to offer the plants the same temperatures they would have when grown in an outdoor climate.
With a bit of guidance and some elbow grease, along with help from your family, you can turn your gardening hobby into a money-making business. Offer a selection of local and exotic vegetables with fair pricing and you will see customers returning when they get a glimpse of your wares. Treat customers with respect and care, offer advice and frequent your local farmer markets, along with the occasional flea market, to truly grow your business. Turn to social media for advertising and connect with a wider audience.