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Advice for starting an NYC private gardener business?  RSS feed

 
Eric Giordano
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I live in New York City and want to start a gardening business for people with small to mid-sized outdoor spaces in the city.

Any tips on how I should set it up or market this? 

What I would offer would be a range of services, from the total package of designing from scratch, maintaining, setting up compost, water catchment, etc. or just simply care-taking an already established garden space.

I would love especially to find people who are aware of permaculture and want their garden to produce food, herbs, or other benefits and care about how their garden uses the ecology of their place.

Any ideas would be lovely!
 
David Livingston
steward
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Well how about being a Green gardener only using electric tools battery driven with  an electric bike - your could try and cut a deal with your local Sthil store in return for advertising there products on your buisness cards and bike .
Also check out this guys posts he does something similar in Canada https://permies.com/u/87169/Dale-Hodgins

eg https://permies.com/t/40208/Cordless-chainsaw-bought-powerful-Works

David 
 
chip sanft
pollinator
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Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
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Eric Giordano wrote:
I would love especially to find people who are aware of permaculture and want their garden to produce food, herbs, or other benefits and care about how their garden uses the ecology of their place.


I think this is a super idea. Three thoughts:

1) If it were me, I'd wouldn't limit myself to people who already know about permaculture. I'd do advertising that educated people about permaculture and its specific benefits.

The reason is, permaculture is still far enough out of the mainstream that people who know about it, at least those I've encountered, seem to me likely already to be (or to have been) gardeners at some level and so maybe not the best market. But if you can connect with people who already know about the advantages of organics etc., and can tell them about the organic+ potential of permaculture, I think you'd be able to build a bigger market there (and, incidentally, appeal to any person aware of permaculture who would like gardening assistance).

2) There seems to be lots of attention going into delivered boxes of food ready to prepare as a meal. This is because people are busy, or feel busy anyway (I'm a bit cynical because "busy" people often seem to be Netflix subscribers, too...).

There's an insight there: You could think about selling permaculture plants that aren't just standalone plants, that aren't just for use, but that you put there in specific groups so that people can make something to eat out of them without much thought: "Take some of that delicious basil you cut from your perma-container balcony garden, add some tomatoes from your other container, then..."

This could be all the growing there, or you could sell them additional produce items -- conveniently grown by yourself, or by a cooperating grower. Meat is probably too complicated but raw veggies are less so. If you have access to a commercial kitchen you could even sell partially prepared veggies -- peeled and chopped. Or it might just be offering a bag of organic garlic and some pine nuts: "Take 1/4 c. of your basil, add this garlic and these pine nuts and blend in olive oil for your own artisanal pesto..."

This approach would take planning and experience, but it'd be a way to do the "value adding" that can so increase your cash flow compared to straight veggies.

3) Back in the days when I worked for a corporation (lo these many years ago), there was a small company who cared for the live plants around the building. They were extremely detail oriented, in terms of things like the plants looking perfect all the time AND looking like the plants every other company had around, too.

If I were going for the ornamental market, I'd put a lot of energy into finding the right plants, which should be different: you don't want to compete directly with a bunch of established companies. But if you can do something that is different and that looks different (and is organic etc etc) at a good price, you'll appeal to a different set of potential customers.
 
Casie Becker
gardener
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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Even knowing what I was looking for it took me a while to find this again 
  It's a Ted Talk from a young man who started a business in Los Angeles growing vegetable gardens for people at their home. Is this in line with what you're thinking?

I know in my community there a few different businesses that specialize in the initial planting of made to order gardens for people who don't know where to begin. They usually have a general menu of types of gardens (landscapes, edible, native, pollinator, ect)that they work with the client to customize. Sometimes the customer takes care of it from there, sometimes the business does the initial planting, sometimes they continue to maintain the garden in the future. Just like the gardens themselves, every property owner is unique in what they are looking for.
 
Bill Erickson
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Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
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Eric, Stacy Murphy has been doing permaculture type things in New York City for a while now. She has a Youtube channel and participates as an urban gardener. Maybe some lessons to glean from her experiences.

Her channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK8WWphD0zYS4c5jsLOOOmg

Here's a video of her in Brooklyn: 
 
A feeble attempt to tell you about our stuff that makes us money
Permaculture Playing Cards
https://permies.com/wiki/57503/digital-market/digital-market/Permaculture-Playing-Cards
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