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What crops are high $ yields?  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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here some more ideas, and also this is stuff i am looking to grow too or am already growing.

~edible flowers, sell to restaurants, at farmers market and to gourmet cooks

i grow a lot but i just eat them myself =)

nasturtiums (greens edible too), viola, violets, rose, daylillies, squash, pea (edible kinds), arugula, mustard, borage, most edible veggies/food plants have delicious flowers, lavender, hibiscus, mallows/malva of all kinds including hollyhocks, sage, and actually lots more.

i know someone who sells a lot of bags of these when fresh to restaurants

~citrus, there is some citrus you can grow.

i've been making a list of cold hardy citrus. i already have some lemons that are doing very well.

~nuts

takes a long time but then easy to grow with little work or tending, just harvest huge amounts every year. without much tending otherwise, we used to just put down huge tarps and wait for the bounty to slowly fall to harvest. and once a tree is big its a huge harvest with little effort and its sellable.


also i would add a pick your own flowers place, or floral arrangements. there is a lot of money in this if you are good at it and have a lot beautiful flowers. i have thought about this, but its a lot of work and i would rather be growing edibles.
 
gardener
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leila - brilliant! I totally forgot my very favorite stuff and after reading your list, couldn't help myself but to go pluck several squash blossoms to stuff with cheese for dinner - YUMMY!!!
A florist friend of mine buys a BIG % of his flowers from a local lady that raises about an acre of flowers for wholesale.
have you sugared any? I've been kicking around sugaring blooms and selling those, but haven't gotten around to that.
 
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
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@Leila

Yes flowers are a part of our overall business plan. What citrus have you added to your list? And, how cold hardy? Our plans for citrus (even hardier ones) was to be behind glass...I would be very interested in any that could be put out in the forest in zones 7-8 and be able to flourish! We are keeping our quality nut trees that are already in our forests; however, for our sun catch-u our time frame is too short to include most in the mix. We will be selling cut flowers from our various other areas of the property; as well as, there may be a large section in the center of the sun catch-u. We have flowers growing currently based on pollination, soil benefits and edible. Do you know which flowers would be most profitable?
 
author
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just wanted to add that, based on inspiration from this thread, I smoked some garlic and brought it to market yesterday. It was a big hit! People commented on the amazing aroma of my whole booth, and were really excited to buy the beautiful smoke blackened heads. A chef friend of mine called today to enthuse about how much he enjoyed the head he bought. Success!!!

thanks for sharing folks, amazing what comes when we share our great ideas.
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@Adam

That is great news! I am delighted to hear of your success! I too, am inspired to do so...need my smoke house first, though, lol I have been very pleased with everyone's contributions to helping all of us consider what crops are high profit; Planning smarter not bigger!
 
leila hamaya
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Cortland Satsuma wrote:@Leila

Yes flowers are a part of our overall business plan. What citrus have you added to your list? And, how cold hardy? Our plans for citrus (even hardier ones) was to be behind glass...I would be very interested in any that could be put out in the forest in zones 7-8 and be able to flourish! We are keeping our quality nut trees that are already in our forests; however, for our sun catch-u our time frame is too short to include most in the mix. We will be selling cut flowers from our various other areas of the property; as well as, there may be a large section in the center of the sun catch-u. We have flowers growing currently based on pollination, soil benefits and edible. Do you know which flowers would be most profitable?



well thats a good question, which flowers would be most profitable. i have only thought about doing something along these lines, but instead i only grow flowers when they are edible =)

edible bouquets would be fun =)

but i have visioned it, thought about doing it....and kinda seriously once a long time ago. being able to sell flowers to florists and even have like a small mobile stand/cart that one could take into a town and sell flowers from a small set up. or doing a pick your own bouquet garden.

ummmm i have the list somewhere, let me see what i have been looking up.

at my last place we had a lemon tree that was dong great, although it was in an atrium (unheated greenhouse ish area but rooted in the ground).
so i started a lot of seeds of that one, and they are starting to actually get big. i am hoping because it was grown in a colder environment its seed will be also acclimated to a colder environment.

lemons in general are better at dealing with the cold (as long as its not too extreme) than any other citrus.

and my list says

changsha

http://timsbackyard.blogspot.com/2012/09/changsha-mandarins-their-fruit-and.html

http://www.woodlanders.net/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantDetail&plant_id=36

yuzu

satsuma
particularly OWARI SATSUMA

Ichang papeda (Citrus ichangensis)
ichang lemon or hybrid
http://www.woodlanders.net/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantDetail&plant_id=2087

flying dragon

Keraji mandarin
http://www.woodlanders.net/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantDetail&plant_id=1981

fukomoto

juanita tangerine
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/citrus/msg112059277614.html

Chinotto Sour Orange

kumquats

some others
http://www.woodlanders.net/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantDetail&plant_id=1143

Carizzo Citrange
http://www.woodlanders.net/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantDetail&plant_id=2060

http://www.woodlanders.net/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantDetail&plant_id=2087

http://www.woodlanders.net/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantDetail&plant_id=2093
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
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but yeah being soooo close to good temperture for citrus is well...it is what it is....
in zone 8 we are right on the edge of its bottom climate....

that lemon tree was doing awesome though, and my little seedlings have made it through two winters, but they have been inside in pots....so we will see how well i can get them to acclimate to being outside some year...going to let them get bigger before putting them somewhere...

...i think its worth trying to stretch the climate to grow it.
if you are able to grow citrus at all there, people will be impressed and will buy it =)
 
leila hamaya
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Marianne Cooper wrote:leila - brilliant! I totally forgot my very favorite stuff and after reading your list, couldn't help myself but to go pluck several squash blossoms to stuff with cheese for dinner - YUMMY!!!
A florist friend of mine buys a BIG % of his flowers from a local lady that raises about an acre of flowers for wholesale.
have you sugared any? I've been kicking around sugaring blooms and selling those, but haven't gotten around to that.



yum, squash flowers are one of the yummiest for sure.
no i havent ever made anything with them, i just eat them on top of salad or on top of soup.

but i ve had some that someone breaded and stuffed, like they do in the south.

ok gotta post some food porn =)

http://www.foodista.com/blog/2009/09/02/ricotta-and-herb-stuffed-squash-blossoms#

http://browdersfreshpickins.blogspot.com/2013/05/fantastic-stuffed-squash-blossoms.html
 
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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The highest yields we get here are from mature tree crops. I can't think of anything for your 25 % , but I would like to know if there is something.
 
Posts: 45
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There is one restaurant that I sell to that wants squash flowers with about an inch of squash growth on them. Let me tell you it is so fun to pic and pack them, but a nice payday.

We have tried selling them at the farmers market, but very few would sell. There is one lady that calls to gets about 60 of them for every holiday.
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@Bob

Wonderful information! I had wonder about that last year when we had squash by the bushels! (No buyers at the farmers market here, either). I will need to see if I can find a local buyer for them; grown vertically, they could be very profitable per a square foot.
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@Leila

Thank you for such a great list! I will do some research to see if any can drop to zone 7b. I do agree, if they could be grown locally, there would be multiple options for selling the fruit; as well as other items made from them.
 
Marianne Cicala
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Sorghum - totally forgot about that one and it grows like crazy in VA. An old man around here makes molasses from his field o sorghum and has a waiting list a mile long. He threatened to stop last year as he's now in his 90s and says he thinks he may be getting a bit old to make the molasses.
 
leila hamaya
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Cortland Satsuma wrote:@Leila

Thank you for such a great list! I will do some research to see if any can drop to zone 7b. I do agree, if they could be grown locally, there would be multiple options for selling the fruit; as well as other items made from them.



youre welcome ...i have been making a big list because i am also looking to get a lot of citrus growing.

yeah the citrus trees make me happy. theres something about them, (besides eating the fresh lemons!) that seems so cheerful, and i love their flowers and smell.

anywho i plan on collecting as many possibilities of cold hardy citrus soon. if later on you want to do some kind of trade i will be trying to get as many as i can...perhaps if you remember look me up in some months, we could trade.

also i want to add that citrus grows true from seed, and getting them right from the fruit is definitely the way to go. actually you cant dry out citrus seed at all, you soak them after pulling them immediately from the fruit.
if you buy any citrus save the seeds and try! even if they arent normally a cold hardy variety ....you might be able to force some to adapt to your climate and be hardy. you should definitely try with any good lemons you eat, lemons are much more hardy than other citrus.

at least thats my plan, i have attempted to start the seeds of any and all fruit i get thats good.

even though its tricky, being right on the border of growing tropical stuff and temperate/cool weather stuff has its advantages.
i like to stretch the climate a lot and try to grow all kinds of stuff, and maybe only a few make it but those are the ones that are the strongest.
its experimental and i just try it and see, even though people say it couldnt be done, and sometimes they are right!

i'm starting and growing things like passionfruit, guava, jambu rose apples, papaya...i really want to try growing sugar apples or cherimoya...even though i think that may not fly.... and of course citrus .....its hot enough here for things like that...but cold at certain points. and i fuss over those plants some to help them grow. most of my plants are low maintainance plants that require very little tending, so i have some inclination to grow a few special things that need some tlc.

and sometimes the zones dont really help much, like theres different kinds of zone 8 or zone 7, where something will make it or not because of other factors, microclimates....

i definitely think you can get many varieties of citrus growing there, although you have a good idea about doing them under glass, or in a special set up.
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@ Marianne

I enjoy molasses; I just do not think we have an area large enough for a profitable field crop of it. I will keep it in mind for the area under the power lines.
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@leila

Good advise! I do try seeds that are not suppose to grow if they are in fruit I have purchased, too! There is a type of guava that is hardy for this zone, not sure on the marketability of the fruit, though. I plan to get a couple anyway; I picked wild guavas as a child and loved them! Same with rose apples! My grandparents grew Hawaiian papaya; would love to have some...glass is a must for them. So far no luck growing them, So. Amer. Papaya nor Indonesian papaya. Our glass conservatory currently exists on paper only. It will be a while before we can grow the tropicals and Mediterraneans. Meanwhile, if anything does make it and fruit, we can certainly swap seeds!
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
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yes, pineapple guava.

theres also chilean guava, but its a related kind of plant cousin.

the problem can be that if its not hot enough, or the conditions arent just right, the guava will grow, flower, and then not fruit. pineapple guava is a colder weather guava.

i am growing a couple of them , but they are just baby plants. lemon yellow guavas, yellow strawberry guava, and common guava. i want to get some pineapple guava, i think it would be more likely to do well.

and totally, i am psyched on the rose apple, if i can manage to make them grow!
all of my fruit trees are really young, or just seedlings. but yeah ook me up later...we can swing some kind of trade, and i get some extra seed/or rooted cuttings/cuttings ...we could do some kind of trade.

=)
 
Marianne Cicala
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Just finished roasting garlic on a bed of rosemary - YUM!!! I'll let you know how they do tomorrow; they smell incredible. I also planted some winter gem pumpkins this spring to get seeds and had a ton, so I roasted those and packaged them in 1 oz boxes - I'll keep you posted on those too. I'm beginning to feel like a bake shop...
 
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Marianne Cooper wrote:

For our area, very rural, mostly salves and creams sell.


Jamie - also being in very rural east coast, I understand the challenges of breaking ground with "new" products. I sell quite a bit of "RUBS" packaged in Shenandoah Valley for grilling, bread dipping, fish etc. Maybe packaging them together would work for you, since it sounds like you have an incredible array. around here, people are all about grilling and spicing it up is a very welcome item. The only fresh herb we are able to market are basil and rosemary (we package a bundle of them as - you got it grilling skewers)
thanks for you info!!

If the people in your area like grilling you could consider selling wood smoking chips. They fetch a nice price for something that is in essence just finely shredded wood that you can't use for anything else and the shelf life is near infinite.
 
Marianne Cicala
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Thanks Johan - wonderful idea. We bundled up fruit wood that we had from pruning our orchard & took to the market y'day. A woman bought 1 bundle as her husband was going to do massive grilling. 20 minutes later she returned and bought them all.

We roasted garlic cloves sandwiched in rosemary, put them in boxes with a couple fresh rosemary springs - had about 25 heads and more than 1/2 sold which is a good initial try.

I became enamoured with ramps - checked out the site suggested and they only had seeds. I eventually ended up on Ebay and bought bulbs - they arrived quickly, are beautiful with heavy roots -
thought I share the source

http://www.ebay.com/itm/250821650432?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
 
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I am really enjoying all the ideas on this thread.

Regarding the smoked garlic and onion. Is that a regional specialty? I have never heard of it or seen it mentioned before. How is it usually used?

@ Marianne Cooper - Thanks for the suggestion to look on eBay for ramps. I just ordered some.

 
Marianne Cicala
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I did a test run with the rosemary roasted garlic - since it's soft, I took a clove and rubbed it (it's almost like spreading butter) on a tenderloin before cooking - YUMMY!!! I also spread some on a split baguette, topped with sliced tomatoes & grated fontina cheese, broiled then sprinkled basil - really good. We diced a clove and used as an additive on a baked potato last night -
 
Johan Thorbecke
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Nice to see that the wood did well.
Smoked garlic is also available here in the Netherlands, it has a more deep flavour and is less sharp, a bit comparable to oven roasted cloves.
 
Posts: 206
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Think about grapes. You can raise grapes for the table, for wine and for medical purposes. Sell them yourself or do a you pick operation.

I blogged about this...

Why Homesteaders Should be Growing Grapes

 
pollinator
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I know a crop that does very well for a friend of mine .
Its called "people "
She has a "gite" and lets it weekly through out the year to "city people" to escape from the city .
Plus she sells them bread she cooks, eggs, jam , honey and veg at premium prices .
Rather than go to the market why not have the market come to you ?

David
 
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hahaha, hadn't thought of that. We do weed walks here and they are usually groups. At $10 a head I can make a nice amount for the day. I say it's an hour, but it usually lasts a lot longer because the people want to stay. Gotta have stuff sort of at least half way setup to give people something to look at. Most people like the hugle beds the best and finding out what the weeds are, what they are for and what to do with them.
 
Bob Anders
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Fabrizia Annunziata wrote:Regarding the smoked garlic and onion. Is that a regional specialty? I have never heard of it or seen it mentioned before. How is it usually used?



We started smoking / drying onions because we grew to many of them and wanted to preserve them. We put out samples in tinny cups at the farmers market and we sold out in a few hours.
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@ Everyone...

Sorry for the delayed reply...work is sooo annoying! Gets in the way of my posting, lol

@Leila:

Excellent! We will keep in touch and find ways swap.

@Marianne:

Sounds wonderful! And, as Bob noted, a great money maker!

@Fabrizia:

So glad I asked a timely question that everyone has been answering so well! A huge help to all of us! Do chime in on anything you find, too!

@Johan:

We already planned using our fruit wood for smoking and extra to sell to the grilling crowd as part of our 75% plant species; we do not see our apples, pears, peach, and cherries as a 25% plant species; but we do plan to make as much off of every aspect of those 75% species as possible. Including leaf tea from those that are useable.

@Jeremy:
Grapes are definitely a part of our 75% plant species, even using the leaves and vines it does not factor up to our 25% high profit section. However, I do heartily agree that growing grapes is a must in your 25% grouping.
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@David: Crops...

Humans may be a crop in the matrix; but, in the true sense of crops, humans are off limits in Virginia, lol. However, we have already factored in the human element as a huge component of our income generation. We are developing a high end B & B with gardens and keep that will be open (and charged) to the public as well as pick your own areas.
 
Marianne Cicala
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B&B - I wish you were doing that closer to us - there's not a single place to stay within 40 minutes except for a nasty old motel that's filled with nothing but trouble! You're braver than I - don't really want people that I don't know on our place. part of that is how far removed we are I guess.
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@Marianne

I wish we were closer too! As to the B & B, Prior to moving to Va, I set up a successful Corporate Short Term Lodging B & B at my Orange County, CA property and managed other associates property's bookings. I loved it! I had wonderful people from all over the world stay in our network of homes. Made some great and lasting connection through that side hobby. I did however, have exterior locks on all rooms for everyone's comfort and safety; and, all tracking information on guests was on file off site and available to off site business partners at all times; a fact clearly understood by all guest. A few people did not like that idea and did not book; which was fine with us. We also have other personal background aspects that lends to the successfully running of a B & B; and, is a very important factor in our ability to successfully add this aspect into our over all endeavors portfolio.
 
Matu Collins
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Is medicinal or recreational marijuana legal in your state? That is a crop with a lot of $ value. Here in Rhode Island you can get a license to grow it for medicine but recreational isn't legal (yet)
 
Marianne Cicala
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Not legal Matu - ultra conservative state.
 
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Marianne Cooper wrote:Sorghum - totally forgot about that one and it grows like crazy in VA. An old man around here makes molasses from his field o sorghum and has a waiting list a mile long. He threatened to stop last year as he's now in his 90s and says he thinks he may be getting a bit old to make the molasses.



I would love to learn this dying art! Where is this fella at in VA ?
 
Marianne Cicala
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He's in Victoria VA. I'm not sure if he planted any this year; don't know how it may have done with all of the water. I'll check and let you know. I agree with you, it's a dying art. We still have a jar from last year and it's a treat! My Alabama husband goes crazy for hot biscuits, butter & molasses......
 
Cortland Satsuma
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Hi Everyone!

When I get a chance, I will post a topic summary of all the items that were given in answer as a easy access resource for all interested in the same question. Else wise, I have a spin of question / thread that so many of you touched on and I hope you will stop by a share your wealth of knowledge! Thanks to each and everyone of you who took the time to do so!

New Thread is:
What are your value added solid $ makers? aka Diamonds in the rough
 
David Miller
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Is anyone selling figs? I have a yearly burst and am considering selling my excess instead of jamming it. What prices are you getting if you are selling? Thanks
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@David,

I only have one fig tree bought spring this year. It ended up dropping all of its crop; so I am of no help on pricing directly. I have not seen around here for sale except in whole foods (and dried at TJ's). I do not remember the prices...just more than I wanted to spend that day. If no one gives you any feedback, you could check whole foods to get a price gauge; and, I think selling some fresh vs. jam or canned is an awesome idea! BTW Marianne Cooper (also VA) may have a good handle on the prices.
 
Marianne Cicala
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Hey David - $2.50 per pound.
thanks
M.
 
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Cortland,
Any chanceyou could post your methodology for determining the $$ return and therefore whether a particular crop makes it into the 25%? Maybe one example crop and/or product?
I have tried before to do this and ended up in despair because when I included all the factors that occurred to me I simply had too many variables to make the exercise valid. The factors that I came up with:

Price - varies by channel? (eg CSA, direct, farmstand, etc)
Harvested Yield per unit area
How much is unsold?
Growing season (for annuals - can the same area be utilized before or after for other crops?)
Side benefits (eg bamboo can yield stakes as well as edible shoots, or mulberry leaves can be a forage crop in addition to the fruit.)
Establishment costs (planting, purchase of seed, rootstock etc)
Maintenance costs - weeding, fertilizing, etc
Harvest costs
Post Harvest costs - eg grain threshing, sorting/grading of apples, etc
Processing Costs - eg smoking, making jam, labeling, packaging, etc

If you sell through multiple channels then immediately there is an issue of the different pricing, and assigning costs to products also gets pretty hairy too. Just curious how you solved this problem.

Thanks
 
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