Hi folks, I live off-grid in eastern Utah zone 5. I have about 3/4 acre and plenty of water and good soil. I am looking for an easy to grow low labor intensive crop that will bring in enough money to pay for property taxes and a little extra. Any suggestions ?
I am looking at asparagus, sweet corn, and raspberries but would love to hear what other people are growing and selling ?
Here is a vid of my off-grid cabin and land under construction:
Look at herbs, too. They can give you a lot of money per acre, and can be easier to market.
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I just moved away from SLC and would agree on the raspberries, never tried asparagus there though. My raspberries thrived with no care, and the farmers market people who were selling them were doing pretty well around there from what I gathered. The hops are an excellent idea as well. There are quite a few brew supply shops in the salt lake area that are booming. From talking to other vendors at the markets and watching people I would disagree on trying to sell herbs there though. You might not have the space but melons seemed to sell well.
I would try asking a local restuarant or grocery store what they would be willing to buy local. Then I'd take a list of the plants they would be willing to purchase and test how well they grow for you. Come back to the stroe interested in the crop with whatever came out good, and see if they are still interested and interested in buying more next year. You can also check out: http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/nass/CropValuSu//2010s/2012/CropValuSu-02-16-2012.txt to see the average sales per crop. It may help you narrow down what will work best for you....as for artichokes, I didn't think they grew in snow...the artichoke capital is in California, where- yeah, it frosts- but no think white layer ever ends up on the ground.
Tobacco is a fun crop because nicotine is a pesticide, harvest the leaves and sell them by the pound.
You can also, spray the leaves with brandy, dry them out, roll them into cigars and toke on the porch. If you let the plant mature You can also sell seed pods for about $3 each [50+ seed pods per plant] 1 seed pod can start enough plants to fill your whole crop.