Market gardening is a great business, but you need to start with the right information. If you are a beginning market grower, or thinking about becoming one, follow this advice to maximize your market gardening results.
Successful Market Gardening Tip 1: Grow natural. Demand for organic produce is increasing by as much as 20% annually. And fresh local organic produce commands a premium price with your customers. So don't compete with everybody else at the bottom of the market; go after the top. Grow better vegetables, get a better paycheck!
Successful Market Gardening Tip 2: Grow for your end customer. Avoid middlemen and wholesalers and go right to your end customer. You will make and keep more money by dealing directly with consumers. And as a bonus, you will get to know them, find out their likes and dislikes, and perhaps find out other things you might provide them. This is a great way to add a sideline business to your market garden.
Successful Market Gardening Tip 3: Grow a large variety of crops. If you grow enough different crops, you are less threatened if one particular crop fails to produce. For example if you grow 30 varieties of vegetables and 3 don't thrive, you are still operating at 90% capacity. Growing a large variety of crops also 'stretches out' your season, as different vegetables mature at different times. While the mix will change as the season progresses, aim to have a dozen or so different vegetables ready for sale all the time.
Successful Market Gardening Tip 4: Don't grow unless you know you can sell it. For example, while you may love Eggplant Parmesan, make sure enough of your target market will buy eggplant before you plant an acre of it. Observe whats selling at your local farmers market, and grow (mostly) the same things. It's OK to experiment ponce in a while with an unusual crop, but be prepared to eat the results!
Successful Market Gardening Tip 5: Remember, market gardening is just as much about the marketing as the gardening. This is the most important tip of the 5. If you don't believe great marketing is just as important as growing great vegetables, consider this: you might grow the healthiest, tastiest, most beautiful vegetables imaginable, but . . . if nobody knows you got 'em, nobody can buy 'em!
Marketing is how you let people know about the great vegetables you have for them. And if you are growing really great vegetables, you should be proud to tell them! To be really successful as a market gardener, the marketing has to come first. In other words, you need to know how, where and to whom you will sell it before you grow it.
Follow these 5 tips to to 'grow' a successful market gardening business of your own.
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