If you’re anything like me, when planting a garden, you may go way overboard when planting a certain food. One year, I planted an entire garden full of cucumbers. We had so many cucumbers that we simply could not eat them all. Did you know that if you let cucumbers continue to grow on the vine, they grow as big around as an arm? They also turn bright yellow. That year we had to let many of the cukes rot on the vine, simply because we couldn’t prepare enough of them.
If you have a vegetable, fruit, egg, honey, or any other homegrown item overflow, you probably would much rather turn that overflow into income rather than simply throw it away. You might also use a little more forethought than I did, and actually plan your homegrown produce for future sale.
It is not the easiest thing to start selling homegrown products, but it is not that difficult either! Use these tips to help you get started.
Beginning a Homegrown Business
Treat your goods sale as a business, and you will have a better chance of long term success. Before the growing season, think about what you hope to accomplish, and how much money you want to make. A simple business plan of where you want to sell and how much of it can help maximize income. The University of Nebraska has some great info on how to start a local food business.
Make sure you learn the rules of each place where you want to sell. For example, most states have a law stating that you cannot sell raw milk products anywhere but on the farm where they are produced. Certain markets may also have individual market rules which you will need to follow.
Research the markets around your area and try to create a niche for yourself. If everyone else is selling corn at the market, you probably don’t want to sell corn there. Peas might sell better.
Start small at first, perhaps only attending a market when you have a lot of something to sell. However, it is also important to make a commitment to selling. A lot of direct-sales are made by building up relationships over time.
Continue reading on page 2 for Tips for Selling Locally