Author: Nash Jhon
If you love gardening, you may want to consider getting into organic market gardening on a commercial basis. This can be a way to earn a little money from your hobby, or it can become a full scale business. How far you want to go depends entirely on you. Leave your options as open as you can: your goals are very likely to change and widen as your small gardening business develops.
In the beginning you will be influenced by how much land you have, or how much start up capital you can invest to buy or rent land. However, this does not have to restrict you in the longer term. You could go into business with others, perhaps finding a partner who has land but does not have your organic gardening knowledge and skills.
Most market gardeners produce food crops but you may want to include some flowering plants for either outdoor or indoor cultivation. You can also sell organic seeds from your plants. Always be open to more ways like these of increasing your output and your business without extra investment of time or money.
There are a few factors that you will need to consider when you are moving from producing food for your family and friends to selling it commercially.
Is It Organic Under Your Local Laws?
The legal requirements for organic certification and labelling are complex and vary in different jurisdictions. Take advice from your local farmers' association or better business bureau on the laws as they apply to you.
You may find that you cannot use the term 'organic' without a history of soil analysis going back several years, or because of pesticide use on nearby land. In this situation, do not give up. You can find another way to describe your products until you can get certified. Something like 'Grown without pesticides' can be a good description for semi-organic food.
What To Sell
You should already know what grows well on your land, but will it be popular with buyers? People consider many factors when buying food. Color, size, taste and a healthy appearance are all very important but so other things.
Does the average person know how to cook that unusual vegetable that your family loves so much? If not, you can prepare an information sheet to instruct them. Do most people like it? What does it taste good with? Does it fit with the customer's lifestyle and food preferences? Does it need refrigeration or special storage?
Where To Sell
There are an infinite number of ways to have your produce meet potential customers. Write down all you can think of in a notebook and keep adding to it as you think of more possibilities.
Even ideas that you don't want to do or cannot do right now should go on the list. You may want to consider them later. Here are a few to get you started.
Getting into the commercial side of gardening can be a very rewarding way to turn a hobby into a business. Of course it also brings some extra responsibilities. Consider these carefully and discuss your plans with all the significant people in your life as you think about moving into organic market gardening.