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What crops are high $ yields?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
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Robin,

That is an excellent question! Our analysis is similar to yours with a few adjustments. I make no claim as to it being any more or less valid to yours...We are at the starting the investment phase and 5 - 10 year items are not in any means at yield...heck...most are on paper not in ground on our 25% group. Any example I could illustrate are theoretical only; and, as such, why I indeed posed the question! Hearing feedback from real world experiences can greatly help all of us make wise investments towards sound stewardship. For what it is worth I will note some of the adjustments we have considered in our current analysis of determining the grouping an item falls into. Please note we actually simplified this by not also requiring it to be a cash flow analysis, as we too, found that to be virtually impossible to create with any reasonable degree of accuracy.

We have lists of everything that we want to grow that have already passed through needed filters (this includes all the stacking values). Each grid on our plan notes several optional plants from that list that can go there. (The 75% and 25% are all grown intermingled in the various growing areas.) On the 25%'s we determine that by: Yield price per a square foot accounting for the projected return over 15 years from planted or sown. That amount must be significantly over the typical yield price per a foot per 15 years of the average price of 3 average, common crops. We use todays market value in season, do not adjust for inflation. We calculate the price at the value of roadside only (road is not going anywhere, lol). (Please remember, we are not using this same model for projected cash flow.) We could not find a model for accurately identifying potential crop loss, accepted as an inherent business risk in any farming endeavor. As to excesses that can not be canned or dried; we already eliminated the fickle / trendy items from the list in the first place; 25%'s must have staying power and the ability to easily sell out each season. We deduct any spending cost from the yield value; we do not place a money value on our time for any of the many aspects of making it happen. We do however, grade each plant on a scale of labor intensity required. Hence, if everything in the 25% fell into the high labor, we would only pursue those with the highest yields and substitute the remainder of the 25% with previously classified 75%'s. Our model assumes our labor, not employees or paid interns. We also grade each plant on potential for serious crop loss; those that factor very high are viewed with great caution and placed on the wait until later list.

(There is a bit more to it than this; but, this is the essence of what we are doing.)
 
Posts: 202
Location: Zone 5b - 6a, Missouri Ozarks
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I wish I could do analysis and make plans like some of you guys. I"m doing good to get plants in the ground and just see how it comes out.
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@Jamie...

Well, your plants are in the ground at least! While so many of mine are on a piece of paper, lol Like you, I am here to glean information. If the idea of forming a plan is something you want to do, it can be done without being any kind of an expert at analysis. You can copy other peoples plans and just adjust as needed to your own land situation. A major benefit to have some type of plan is you know how to put the pieces of your puzzle together; and, you hopefully, avoid costly mistakes in investments of money and time.
 
Jamie Jackson
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I've just always hated the planning phase so much, or the putting it to paper anyway. I just tend to keep it all in my head, yeah I know that's not the best way to go. When something works really well, like as a bug trap or low maint and productive, that goes in typed notes... but only because I usually end up writing about it later either on my blog or here or facebook. I did have to buckle down and plan when I did the designs for both our house and my mother in law's house, but for the 30 acres we have, it's just sort of a fluid "let's see what works" deal. We do plan on routing the gray water to some water features and have plans like that on our mind. When stuff doesn't sell at the farmer's market, I stop taking it. If it does sell, I just make more. I know one day I'll probably regret not getting detailed notes down, but for now the pictures in my head just have to work
 
steward
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I am one of those planners. To me, that is what helps keep me sane in the months prior to planting out.
My mind is going a mile a minute figuring out what will go where.

But then reality hits home. Some of my X-plants are ready to be put out, and the good weather has broken, but...
something always seems to come up. This spot is too hot right now to be placing x-plants without a sun shade, this variety needs to go in now, and this spot is the best spot at this moment.

The sweet peppers get planted where the cherry tomatoes were supposed to go, and the cherry tomatoes go where the cukes were planned. I don't think I have ever come up with a plan that actually got followed at planting time, due to one reason, or another. But the actual planning kept my mind occupied in the months leading up to the growing season. It makes me feel as if I am producing something, rather than just idling the engine in neutral, waiting for the light to turn green.
 
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John Lennon - "Life is what happens to you whilst you are busy making other plans".
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@ Jamie

Different personality types think, feel, and work in very different manners; all are equally valid. You have 30 acres and designed two homes; you obviously, do plan; and very much so! Your method is just simply different. You wisely use market feedback to gauge your future investments and remain fluid enough to be what the market needs...You are doing great!

@John

Ah yes! As I said elsewhere, our plot plan of late 2011 is unrecognizable in our plot plan of today! Information and circumstances OFTEN requires one to tinker with ones plan. "Blessed are the flexible...for they shall not be broken!" Many of those changes have also occurred due exactly the same type of quandaries you so aptly illustrated. We currently are planting and harvesting in our zones 1-3, knowing much is temporary. We makes sure these are items that can move without much difficulty and accept our end plan will come together in due time as we can afford to make greater investments. And, some of those shifts will cause us to stumble on unexpected synergies we had not contemplated prior; as some will be less than ideal. Hopefully, we can avoid many of the less than ideal by learning from others.

@Robin

A point for all to keep in mind, we must do and not merely plan. Plans without action is nothing more than wishful thinking! Hence, we do all that we can afford to do, even though it is much less than what we want to. (BTW, My reference to on paper was only about the topic point...our 25%'s. In this area we are treading cautiously, and, placing lower on our do list. I rather learn by hard knocks on my 75%'s, which will hurt our balance sheet far less.)
 
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I love this discussion.

A few ideas although I have to say I'm not a farmer and don't sell at a farmer's market so I'm not sure how valid these are as far as far as bringing high profits.

Comfrey because it will help your fruit trees and other plants being that it is a nutrient accumulator. Would think you could sell it potted or sell a few leaves to be mashed up into a poutrice since it helps heal broken bones, fractures and bruises. It also reproduces very easily. If you were to till it, you would get dozens more from what i hear.

Moringa trees - small ones sell for $30 here at our San Diego farmer's market. I believe they grow pretty quickly.

Striped Armenian cucumber - I love this heirloom variety. They are beautiful long cucumbers that look like they were garnished. I just pulled 21 off of 3 plants. I saw someone selling them at a Temecula Farmers market last month. I never see heirloom vegetables being sold other than tomatoes. Personally I'd be more likely to pay more for an heirloom variety of any normal looking vegetable. Not sure if I am the norm.

Another place that does very well here is one that blends up kale, chard, dandelion greens, and parsley with a bit of apple juice and banana. The 1 gallon juice sells for $32. People are into this here and they always have a line but this could be more of a california thing. People drink it to lose weight and just improve energy and health.



 
gardener
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Thanks for the additional ideas - I agree with you on the heirlooms! Comfrey plants very well may work here, not a poutice though - I swear I think most folks around here use horse liniment for bones & bruises.
This should scare you - welcome to the deep south where kale, chard and other greens or "salad" as they call it, is cooked to death with fat back. YUCK!!!
I've gotten pretty edgy by selling organic sprouts, but thank God for college students who are happily back in session in the next town over. Oh, you gotta love the south, but I have to hand it to them - In our small town of less than 2000 people, I personally know over 15 that are passed 100 years old, still live alone etc so maybe there's something to bacon grease.
 
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FANTASTIC ideas & advice here...!!!

Aside from region & popularity... Can anyone share what high producing types of hydroponically grown fruits & vegetables would be best for the North West corner of the USA... Primarily the Washington/Oregon border on the Columbia Gorge...?

Also would honey bee's be active there?
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@ Dustin

Thank you for joining in! I am glad this thread is helpful still; and, that you brought in an excellent dimension to the topic that has yet to be explored! I do hope we get some excellent feedback from those who have found what ones are top producers! This is an area that I am completely ignorant in. On the bee issue, I do not see why you could not bring in and set up a hive...There is another forum on bees where the bee keepers hang, you may want to again pose your question there, as they will give you the most complete feedback.
 
gardener
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Dustin Wilkinson wrote:FANTASTIC ideas & advice here...!!!

Aside from region & popularity... Can anyone share what high producing types of hydroponically grown fruits & vegetables would be best for the North West corner of the USA... Primarily the Washington/Oregon border on the Columbia Gorge...?

Also would honey bee's be active there?




Have you looked at aquaponics ? By mixing fish and vegetable production, the huge environmental toll related to hydroponics and fish farming are eliminated. Many hydroponic varieties thrive in these more natural systems. If you go to the main menu and scroll down, you'll see that forum.
 
Dustin Wilkinson
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Thank you... not currently very educated on aquaponics...
 
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Have a plan for the unsold goods. For me unsold blackberries became blackberry jelly, and uneaten baked goods was set on the table for the kids to munch on.

Mind, I was always small potatoes so take my advice with a grain of salt!!!

I am toying with the idea of trying out ornamental corn. If it does not sell the chickens can eat it.
 
John Polk
steward
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I am toying with the idea of trying out ornamental corn.



That and decorative gourds. It is amazing how many of those sell (at much higher prices/# than the edible ones).
Ready around the right time of year when people are decorating for the holidays.



 
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
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Good morning everyone,

Absolutly a good trend...

Here I'm doing a herboralism courses right now since I head to cultivate and transform herbs and flowers... We have a lot of wild herbs growing on the lands that I taught were ¨bad weeds¨but that now I see with another eyes. I learned a couple of things for transformations. I will try smoked garlic next year. I planted 130 garlic buds of 2 hardneck varieties this october. Can't wait next year. Don't forget the garlic flowers in persto...and garlic flower salt...very delicate taste.

As for the decorative gours. I sowed some this year but if you don't plan to sell them or to dry them to do music instruments or ustencil, really no point of growing them. It will take a lot of space and give you a lot of fruits that other to be decorative for Halloween, will have no purpose...But if you sell to the market...gooo...a good yield.

Here something that is selling well in the herboralism world is wild flowers or plants seeds. I have a lot of achillea, mallow, dandelion, tussilago, ginseng quintefolia (in the wood), épervière..etc...As for the herbs that I grow, some are perennial but not wild...I still have to find some wild that I have for sure, just don't know to identifie them...

Jamie, will really like to learn about your sticker and the way you are packaging your thing cause often that's expensive. You are talking about the natural preservatives in your creme like to hear about that also.

And to everybody, I think I missed something. You are talking about your 75%-25% crop What is this please?

Thank you

Isabelle
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@ Isabelle...

I am the author of this topic / thread. The percentage breakdown has to do with my question and our plans for our property...this is not some quoted formula that everyone needs to follow. (although it may be very practical for many other poly croppers out there.)

In essence, we want to dedicate 1/4 of our crop space to items with a significant financial yield; we are selecting our best options for this plan. To balance the risk, time, or labor inherent in each of these, we are only allotting 1/4 of our growing areas for such items. Answers given in this thread have provided us with items that fall into both our categories; and, those that were actually a 75% item, were still excellent suggestions for building biodiversity in our gardens and keeps. The following details how we decide what is part of the 25% and what is part of the 75%.

"On the 25%'s we determine that by:
Yield price per a square foot accounting for the projected return over 15 years from planted or sown. That amount must be significantly over the typical yield price per a foot per 15 years of the average price of 3 average, common crops. We use todays market value in season, do not adjust for inflation. We calculate the price at the value of roadside only (road is not going anywhere, lol). (Please remember, we are not using this same model for projected cash flow.) We could not find a model for accurately identifying potential crop loss, accepted as an inherent business risk in any farming endeavor. As to excesses that can not be canned or dried; we already eliminated the fickle / trendy items from the list in the first place; 25%'s must have staying power and the ability to easily sell out each season. We deduct any spending cost from the yield value; we do not place a money value on our time for any of the many aspects of making it happen. We do however, grade each plant on a scale of labor intensity required. Hence, if everything in the 25% fell into the high labor, we would only pursue those with the highest yields and substitute the remainder of the 25% with previously classified 75%'s. Our model assumes our labor, not employees or paid interns. We also grade each plant on potential for serious crop loss; those that factor very high are viewed with great caution and placed on the wait until later list. "

I hope this answers your question! I also, enjoy farming herbs, as you do. There are many options for the sale and use of them; and, they can provide a lot of stacked functions in your crops. Also, when planned out correctly, they often create beautiful gardens. Please feel free to add any gems you find in your studies!
 
Isabelle Gendron
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Ho sorry...I just re read the first message you posted. I forgot it after reading 4 pages...

Thanks.
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@Isabelle...

You have no need or cause to apologize! I totally realize that threads get convoluted over four pages; and, the original perimeters of the post lost along the way. I was delighted the thread was informative to you! I was not being critical...I was just answering your question and letting you know who I was and why I was answering. I also wanted you and all other readers to know that they had not missed some critical formula that they should be following...this is just a theoretical model we have contrived to follow. It's validity as a functional ratio has not been evaluated nor proven. Thank you for your input.
 
Terri Matthews
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Can you sell bundles of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme?

I cannot imagine them all going into one dish, but it is kind of cute! And, of course you could sell each herb separately as well.
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@Terri...

Of course! And, selling many different types of herbs are a definite part of our 75% items. However, herbs in general, are very profitable. Many that do not sell fresh that day can be dried for sales over an extended period of time. Also, when you thin them, pot ups are easy sells; either individually or as a mini garden. It always amazes me how much of the general population has no clue on growing anything. The herb pot ups are a great opportunity to help those in your local community realize that gardening is a great addition, not a chore in their lives!
 
gardener
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Anybody selling vermi-compost or enriched soil? Even for potted plants, selling something that helps hobby gardeners might be an opportunity.
We sold aloe plants this year for 5 euros for a 10cm plant that we broke off of a mother plant. Work/Materials required for that was marginal and we'll have another crop next year without many problems.

If you go the way of plants/cuttings, either exotic or something that goes in a pot for most people would work. Where I am people have limited access to land, so house plants or balcony plants might be appreciated.

One path to get around health violations is to work through 3rd parties and slap your label on the finished product. It cuts into earnings, but it's a good way to dump potential waste products into high-value products (green tomatoes for example). Another potential is to ally yourself with a professional kitchen and share your product for resale with them.
William
 
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Bob Anders wrote:For us it's clover, dandelions, ginseng, onions, garlic, and shallots.



agreed. certain highly used or hard to find medicinals good price. However, it is all about marketing. If there is no market for it, there is no money.

Culinary herbs such parsley, cilantro, basil, sage, rosemary, lavender I have seen fetching high prices for relatively little product. and they are all pretty easy to grow.

Horseraddish and Rhubard are wo choices which are easy to passively grow over a wide area (if you have the soil fertility) and produce high yields after a few years, and can be harvested in rotatoins which give you reliable crops. Ginseng is a high value product, but takes a long while to get established. However, if you can manage to get it going all over the place in your understory, you can harvest in rotation and get annual yields. But, the reason it is so high value is because it is notoriously hard to cultivate.

Fresh Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms have a high price per unit and can be grown in mass with just a little knowhow, the right timing, and a suitable climate/microclimate.
 
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Terri Matthews wrote:Can you sell bundles of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme?

I cannot imagine them all going into one dish, but it is kind of cute! And, of course you could sell each herb separately as well.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouquet_garni
 
pollinator
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" parsley sage rosmary And thyme "
Are you going to scarborough fair?

David
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@Paul & @Andrew...

Thank you for your input! I do agree that herbs are an often overlooked gem that requires knowledge of your markets. We are heavily planting a lot of different herbs; with consideration to the markets they will sell in as well as in what form. A simple example I used as a value added herb prior:

1 Bushel of Flower topped Peppermint...

30 sm. bags dried mint flower tea @ $3 - 4 ea. = $90 -120
5 sm. units dried and candied mint flowers @ $3 - 4 ea. = $15 - 20
40 sm. started pots @ $1.5 - 3 ea. = $60 - 120
20 sm. sachets of dried powdered stem and whole leaf @ $2 - 3 ea. = $40 - 60
6 sm. bottles (beer sz) syrup @ $6 - 8 ea. = $36 - 48
6 lg. bottles (wine sz) syrup @ $10 - 12 ea. = $60 - 72
1 lg. coffee can of dried crushed leaf from syrup making used in crafting (ie goat soap) actual value to be determined, believed to be @ $5

Total Value (profit varies by individual expenses) : $306 - 445

There are other optional uses to exchange out of the above list, for ie. Jam and Wine in place of syrup. This example was built on only our roadside market stand; we do sell online, in small stores, and direct to chefs and herbalist practitioners, etc. which have varying price structures.



As to the rhubarb, we definitely plan to add it once our set up is more stable and our soil in better shape; it always does well as a market item and can be canned as sauce, jam, chutney, or filling quite easily. The shitake's are a high priced item and a great addition to a forest farm! We are planning on them in our more natural and native forest areas. We will not be able to gain as much from them as others may...our local market is fairly saturated; we are looking into the extended markets for dried. Any ideas?

Please keep the ideas coming! With spring planting starting, it is a great time for everyone to consider their markets on items they will be planting. We look forward to more input from everyone.

 
Isabelle Gendron
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Thank you Cortland. very interesting infos about herbal transformations and price. I'm doing my herboralist course and I will see what path I will follow...the growing one, the transformation on or the naturopathe one...

Isabelle
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@Isabelle...

You are welcome! Feel free to share from what you have learned. Are there must have herbs that are costly? Or, highly sought after herbs that are in low supply? Looking forward to your updates.
 
Isabelle Gendron
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@Cortland,

Can't tell you yet exactly wich one is the most costly except maybe Ginko? I have some naturaly growing in my forest. It is almost desapered from the wodd because of several factors. They said that you can grow them but seems that the medecinal ingredient aren't as efficient as wild ones. But it took a long time and hard work to protect them or to reseed in the forest.,

For the other herbs I would say that a lot can be grown naturally with almost no work so the profit is better. Transformations always give a better profit. it always depend also of the knowledge of the customers. Here dandelions are seems as a weed that as to be destroyed of our so beautifull landscape. But it is one of the more complete herbs you can have. Everything is usefull: leafs, flowers and roots... But I guess you would have to transform..

I think people are willing to give a try to herbal tea....for the tinctures or liquid concentrate it is much more work and unless you are a therapist, I wouldn't try selling this in a market...keep it simple, have people know you, recognize you,et most of all, want to make business with you. Nice but simple packaging,,,,speciality is also a kee.

Culinary herbs are also a nice way since there is also multiple possibilities to you use them...culinary, medicinal, cosmetic....often easy to grow...Unfortunatly here they are not a lot of perenial herbs....like rosemary is a great herbs...I discovered the tea this winter it taste awsome. But here it is an annuel herbs unless you are able to bring it inside during winter and take it out in spring...

I will let you know if I lear something interesting for commercial use...

Isabelle
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@Isabelle...

Great input!

I agree with you that ginko has a value, it grows well here and we are adding them to the forest. I do think both ginseng and saffron are your highest end herbs. We have naturally growing ginseng here; but, saffron is not a very good option for us.

For those who are still looking at raw forest land to buy, be sure you can ID the type of herbs and trees now growing in those forests. Many people buy and clear a natural forest not knowing they just threw away thousands of dollars. If I was buying forest land, I would definitely comb its woods first; looking for ginseng, shitake, etc. I would then strongly consider buying any parcel with an abundance of high valued items growing naturally.
 
Isabelle Gendron
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Cortland...forgot the Ginko I meant Ginseng....I just had read an article about Ginko and it stayed on my mind...sorry about that...Ginseng...ginseng

You are right about doing an investigations or an inventory of the forest...

I had no idea what Ginseng looked like, but it was only the second year that I learned it. The first summer I saw that strange but beautifull flower always growing under a fallen tree...This summer, I will try to search for more and inventorate and marked where the plant is.

isabelle
 
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What about Woad or Indigo, these were tremendously valuable plants for thousands of years before synthetic dyes were around. Some artists and artisans still use natural plant dyes and they probably pay big bucks since no one is growing this stuff.
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@Sheldon...

You may have a point. However, it would be crops that were grown with presale agreements...with such a limited market, one would need to know that there was a buyer; and, how much that buyer would require each year.
 
William James
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Sheldon Nicholson wrote:What about Woad or Indigo, these were tremendously valuable plants for thousands of years before synthetic dyes were around. Some artists and artisans still use natural plant dyes and they probably pay big bucks since no one is growing this stuff.



I think if you could grow and process certain ancient and modern craft items, it could be profitable. Certainly a niche market. I'd want to build that one up slowly alongside something more profitable.

Another item in the same vein is artist charcoal. You have to have a barrel burner to do pyrolysis, which having one is the only difficult part. The rest is just collecting sticks/prunings.
William

edit:"In Montana, it has been the target of an extensive, and largely successful, eradication attempt." -- sounds like you could get nearly industrial for free in Montana on Woad.
re-edit: Rubia tinctorum, the common madder is another historic dye.
 
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The Cash Crop:


This is also worth watching: Richard Wiswall discusses the business of organic farming (30 mins)
 
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Our County Conservation office was running a very successful farmer's market for a few years, and it was quite popular. Most sold out within the first hour, no matter what you brought for produce. A few were selling jelly and salsa. This year the state office sent someone up and shut ours and the next county over's down, because. Our state has some very draconian cottage industry laws, and anything other than raw fresh produce MUST BE from a 'state certified commercial kitchen'. Rather than deal with trying to track the home cooked stuff, they just shut the farmer's market. There are some more within an hour OVER THE STATE LINE which causes more issues. So beware of where you are at when you sell stuff and what you're trying to sell.

I purchased an ebook: "Homemade for Sale-How to set up and Market a Food Business From Your Home Kitchen" by Lisa Kivirst & John D. Ivanko. Best money I ever spent.

In an hour I was able to read what I needed to, and looked up everything, for my state. On how to be compliant. So when I went to the conservation office last week and was told that the Farmer's Market was cancelled by the state officials, I understood why. If we are to make money we also have to be careful about what we sell, how and where we sell it, and stay legal at the same time. Knowing the farmer's market is no more, definitely altered my garden plan for this year (fresh tomatoes and peppers and bringing salsa made of anything that didn't sell the next week....)

Thank you for information on how to dry and smoke onions and garlic for definite value added selling.
 
William James
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@Deb
Thanks for that post. I'm in much of the same situation.

Here things are turning around because a local restaurant has been set up and one of the aspects they are bringing in is to do processing for other farmers in the area as a side project. We're waiting to use their kitchen to process our products.

In your situation, it's pretty unwise for everyone to compete with each other on the processing side, doing it out of their own homes and having problems with local hygiene laws. In my opinon it is much better to gather people together in a mutual initiative to process food products in peace.

If people are doing it for yourself and friends, great. If it's a commercial endeavor, you have to watch your back and make not getting nabbed a priority. Even if it cuts into the profit a little bit.
William
 
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Did anyone mention asparagus?




Jeremy
www.elwellsupplies.com
A Farmers' Market Supply Store
 
William James
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Jeremy Elwell wrote:Did anyone mention asparagus?



Farmers get 3 euros a kg here. Some are making 1000 euros a day when the harvest is good. They grow the white asparagus which is more expensive.
a little work setting up, you need plastic covers and it's a pain to harvest. Probably justifies the high price.

Green asparagus is a lot easier, but doesn't pay as well. Asparagus is also a relatively short-lived crop (30-40 day harvests) so you need to diversify.
William
 
David Livingston
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Asparagrass goes for 9euro a kilo here organic
David
 
If you two don't stop this rough-housing somebody is going to end up crying. Sit down and read this tiny ad:
What makes you excited about rocket ovens?
https://permies.com/t/90100/excited-rocket-ovens
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