There is a huge demand for various crops that you can grow at home to earn an extra income. There are six specific profitable cash crops that are ideal for backyard growers and they include the following:
Salad greens –
The top earning salad greens you can grow for profit include lettuce, arugula and Asian greens. Start up costs would include seeds which will run between $30 and $150 per pound and a pound of these seeds will cover an area between 1,500 and 10,000 square feet. So, if you were to grow salad greens on a quarter acre piece of land for between 20 and 40 weeks of a year, depending on your local growing season, you could earn $1,500 per week.
Equipment costs and irrigation will be expenses to expect when growing salad greens but they won’t be much different than if you were already tending to a garden. The land needed for successful salad green growing is also much like that for a good garden – with between six and eight hours of steady sunshine and access to a regular water source.
If you have gardening experience, growing salad greens is an easy transition. Crop yields are fast with Asian greens ready to harvest in three weeks with lettuce taking an extra week so in a normal summer you should be able to produce many crops.
One of the easiest and most profitable cash crops out there is gourmet garlic. Not only can you grow it in small spaces such as in raised beds, it is a perfect choice for organic growers because garlic is self protected. As the plant contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, pests and disease are not a huge problem with garlic. In fact, they are almost non-existent.
As garlic is such an easy crop to produce, the profit returned is pretty good. On average gourmet garlic sells for $16 per pound. If that’s not enough, this crop is versatile in that there are many value-added products that you can produce that increase profit considerably.
If you are a bit on the creative side you can increase your profits between 300 and 800-percent by producing garlic food products including pickled garlic or garlic vinegars and chutneys. Garlic braids are attractive and sell for up to 100-percent more than just the bulbs. Garlic insecticide is effective and can earn up to 500-percent markup. Garlic scapes and deer repellant spray are also value added choices.
These are tiny greens that are not quite a mature plant and are older than a spout but are completely edible. The perfect time to harvest these ‘micro’ greens is after they have developed their first leaves and before they mature into larger plants. They are typically used in salads and contain a more intense flavor than a mature plant and this is what makes them so appealing to grow and sell for culinary uses.
These tiny mini-plants are easy to grow as they take little time to reach harvest and return well in the profit department. Even if you spent a few hundred dollars on seeds and supplies, microgreens are costly at market time which is good for you. On average, you can earn between $20 and $50 per pound and use a small growing space to turn such a solid income.
This can be a part-time or full-time business opportunity. Growing lilies, daisies, snapdragons, dahlias and cosmos is easy and profitable. Start up costs are very low in this instance as the most you will spend is on seeds and if you already have a flower patch or a garden where you can grow flowers, you will spend only time tending to your cash crop.
You won’t get rich with this particular crop, but growing flowers for sale will still earn roughly two dollars per square foot which is a nice return. Depending on the type of flower you grow, the demand for it in your market and the quality of your harvested product you can earn as much as $8 per square foot from more exotic flowers such as everlastings.
Here is another herb that can earn you an extra income in more than one way. Either as a plant or in value added products, lavender is a simple and profitable cash crop.
There are hundreds of varieties from a total of 30 different species of lavender and many are specifically grown for fragrance, bouquets or essential oil extraction. Some varieties are also commonly used in food preparation.
The trick to growing success with lavender is having the right conditions. If your climate is similar to that of where this Mediterranean plant originates, then you should do well. The harvested plants are easy to sell and value added products range from aromatherapy and skin care products to sachets and herbal pillows.
Prices fluctuate but on average bunches sell for $6 per so if you grew lavender in a space measuring 20-feet square which produced 300 bunches annually, that growing space will earn you $1,800 per year. If you grew 3,000 bunches in a quarter-acre plot of land you could earn $18-thousand.
Heirloom Tomatoes –
There is no getting away from it, tomatoes are popular. Even in the smallest of grocery stores the most popular item in the produce department is tomatoes. The best ones to grow for taste and flavor are heirloom tomatoes and they get their name from the history they contain.
Heirlooms are the old-fashioned varieties that were grown by past generations for use in cooking and food preparation. What makes heirloom tomatoes a popular choice for cash crop growers is that they have very unique characteristics.
To begin with, these varieties are nothing like the perfect looking, bright red tomatoes you find shopping. Heirlooms have unusual shapes and colors but that takes nothing away from what they taste like on the inside.
With a harvest of 20-pounds of heirloom tomatoes, you can sell them for about $80 which is a yield of $13 per square foot in a 6 square foot space. If you have about 3,000 square feet to plant 500 plants you could earn $40,000 with a single crop.
So, as you can see, there are many different profitable cash crops that will produce a tidy little extra income for anyone willing to do a bit of work on something with low expenses. If you are looking at early retirement or seeking income opportunities once you retire, cash crops could be your answer! To learn more about profitable specialty crops suited for backyard gardeners, visit www.profitableplantsdigest.com