Turn garden into money-machine
If gardening and growing things is something you enjoy, then put your backyard to work for you this spring! Even if you live in the city, you can grow a vegetable (or even flower) garden that can actually earn you a little cash. When harvest time comes, there is almost always more produce than an average family can use. Okay, you might ask, so how can you turn that extra produce into a little extra cash in your pocket?
First off, before harvest time rolls around there are several things that you should do. Really, it is better if you start planning to have excess produce and/or flowers to sell when you start planting; however, if you have already planted – or are beginning to, you can start with what you have (or have already planted.) Once you have begun planting, it is time to look for a market for your excess veggies.
Market your products locally
It might sound like this is jumping the gun a bit, but if you already have one or more possible markets you won’t have to waste time trying to find one after you begin harvesting. This is very important because once you harvest produce and flowers, they have a very short shelf life. If you have a local Farmer’s Market in your area, they make a wonderful market for fresh, home-grown produce. Another very good option for selling fresh vegetables and cut flowers are small produce stands or mom an pop type grocery stores. You might also ask your friends and neighbors if they would be interested in buying some fresh grown veggies. There is also the possibility of setting up a small produce stand of your own. When looking for a market for your produce you would be wise to also ask them what type of vegetables there is a demand for.
Once you have found out where you can market your produce, and what sort of market and demand there is in your area, you are ready to begin preparing the soil and planting. This does not have to be an expensive or painful hobby! All you need to begin preparing the soil for planting is some sort of tiller (or other way to disk/till the soil) and some multipurpose fertilizer. Since you know that your family will use some of the future harvest, and you know how much demand there is for excess produce, that will give you an idea of how much you want to plant.
Armed with knowledge of the available market and market demands!
You can easily figure out how much land you will need to plant. It is a good idea to leave as much room between your rows as possible to aid you later in weeding between them. Once you till the area you intend to plant, simply spread the fertilizer as evenly as possible over the area and run the tiller back across the soil to blend it in. Now you are ready to plant; using the information about available markets and demand you can easily decide what you need to plant the most of.
The decision between plants and seeds is mostly a matter of time, expense, and personal preference. It would be wiser – though slightly more expensive per plant – to purchase seedlings rather than seeds. This will give you a dependable number of plants; these plants will also already be established and ready for transplanting. You will have to purchase some seeds because many vegetable plants cannot be found as seedlings in all areas. Once you have planted your seeds and transplanted your plants, all you will need to do is keep the garden watered and weeded – and wait for the harvest.
Once your garden is ready to begin harvest, remember to keep enough for your family
Besides using the produce fresh, you can also either freeze or can most vegetables; that way you will still have homegrown, fresh produce all winter long. You can also can tomatoes, salsa, pickles, and even make jams and jellies to sell; bouquets of cut flowers also sell well. Making these thing, freezing, and growing your own veggies can also help save you money at the grocery store and turn your bespoke kitchen into family gathering place that everyone will love. So, you see, money may not grow on trees – but it really can grow in your backyard!