What herbs make the best cash-crop for a small garden?

rvdreamsMarch 16, 2009

I am planning on planting a small indoor garden I plan to make a bit of extra money selling to restaurants but I am having a hard time in determing in what I should plant that will yeild the best cash crop for a small indoor garden. Any suggestions?

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maifleur01

Do some more study on yields of indoor gardens. Only cash crop I can think of that you could grow indoors and make any extra money is illegal. But then you would get housing and a couple of meals each day:)).

Talk to resturants in your area about what herbs they would take and how much they will pay for them. Then see how that particular herb grows in your type of indoor garden.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 9:41PM
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CA Kate

I doubt you can grow a commercial crop indoors -- unless it is in a greenhouse. I would think that the cost of electricity for light and heat alone would make it unprofitable.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 9:59PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

How small? 3'x4'? or 2000 sq. ft.? or an acre outdoors? Indoor gardens are not going to yeild very much of anything unless you have lots of sunlight, many pots and the spave to grow them. Some herbs are about the smallest plants to grow indoors. Anything else will not produce much beyond a few of anything. Seed starting indoors is OK, but most plants need root space and lots of sunlight and warmth to grow well.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 10:30PM
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rockguy(7a)

Restaurants need a continuous supply all during the season. Having a big bunch of dill, even if you sell it cheap, will mean they have to drop their regular supplier to buy from you and then go back to him if you don't have any the next week.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 8:46AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm curious as to the size of this space, as well. One restaurant might very well use your entire supply in one day.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 4:23PM
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gringojay

Never have found herbs profitable by themselves.
Cooks don't use that much in volume & the delivery cost can negate value of what sold.
Veggies sold to a restaurant customer were the bulk of any sale; so, herbs were just icing on income - also, kept good produce clients from straying.
For cash cropping herbs you'll need to know the ethnic taste in your area. If don't know this - then grow what you like to eat, sell the surplus & preserve what can.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 5:44PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I suppose if I could grow all leaf lettuce types in my garden outdoors it would give a few local supermarkets maybe 2-3 months of gourmet salad greens on and off, but we are talking about 200+ plants or more, plus, from a 2000 sq. ft garden or larger. Hardly enough space in some pots.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 10:12PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Indoor, as in greenhouse, would give you maybe enough space and light for herbs. But I suspect many culinary herbs (which love full sun) will not fare well in a small indoor, not greenhouse type of garden.

Check with potential clients to see if there is a market for your products before investing too much $$$.

Farmer markets and road-side stands may be another potential outlet but again, check into it before investing any money.

FataMorgana

ps....there are books on growing herbs for cash. Check out what the booksellers or local libraries may have for books on the subject.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 4:57PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I always found a ready market for herb plants but not the cut herbs by themselves. Most of the Farmers Markets have plenty of offers so if you want to sell seriously, you must have a sufficient supply of high quality, well grown, healthy 3-4inch pots at the correct time. You also need to have a variety of different herbs. As someone said, they are not going to drop a good supplier for an unknown so your best bet is to make sure your plants are better than anyone else can supply.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:29AM
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