ruggr10
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Location: Brunswick, Maine

I sell my extra seedlings to teachers where I teach and it almost covers my costs. I do it just because I always have extras.



As for farmers markets with federal regulations and such, watch out for the feds. I keep seeing articles about how the feds raid people that sell raw milk and other homemade foods... I'm talking small time farmers having ATF, S.W.A.T. teams showing up, guns drawn. Simply insane! Goes against what this country was founded on.

nickolas
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:04 am
Location: Victoria, Australia

ruggr10 wrote:

As for farmers markets with federal regulations and such, watch out for the feds. I keep seeing articles about how the feds raid people that sell raw milk and other homemade foods... I'm talking small time farmers having ATF, S.W.A.T. teams showing up, guns drawn. Simply insane! Goes against what this country was founded on.
WOW! i didn't think about S.W.A.T. teams showing up.

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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Does anyone else here make money out of there Garden?

I joined my local Gardeners Market to sell my honey. (I am a beekeeper )
I figured I may as well toss some veggies on the table too.
Yes, fresh garden veggies sell. Yes, if you have enough you can make some money.
Can't do it with a small garden though. You need at least half an acre to come out
with much cash.
I advertise "Fresh PIcked Produce grown without the use of cides"
My veggie sales bring in enough to pay for all the seed, fuel, fertilizer and supplies
plus the fuel to haul it to market........ and a little to boot.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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Re: Does anyone else here make money out of there Garden?

No big rules here about selling fresh picked garden veggies, but to sell the bottled honey, now that was a different story. Had to have food handlers permits and get the kitchen inspected and obtain a cottage permit and the label had to be approved too.

Regs will vary from place to place. You must check your local rules.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Does anyone else here make money out of there Garden?

I don't think a lot of people make a lot of money from it. It depends on what you are selling and the age you sell it at.

I know that even the garden produce I grow for myself and my family and friends just barely nudges out the costs, but I do not grow intensively and I actually have to be careful about quantities or most of it will bolt and be too old to eat. The greatest reward is knowing what went in it to produce it, and knowing it is pesticide free and the huge difference in taste when it is fresh. I really don't like shriveled and soft cucumbers from the store anymore and herbs are so much better fresh than dried. The value of my garden produce has grown since the price of food has skyrocketed mainly because of the price of gas, transportation, and ethanol, not to mention that China is willing to pay top dollar for meat and that means more grains are needed to feed those animals and the grains are more expensive because the animal producers must compete with ethanol for the grain. Now, there is the real rip off. There must be something else ethanol can be made from besides the food grains.

I do grow herbs for the botanical garden plant sales. I grow approximately 20 trays a month and I sell 50%-80% of them. I figured on the material costs are 40% of the sales price(pots, media, fertilizer, plants, seeds, labels, information sheets, promotion). What is not accounted for is water, opportunity cost (although I have assigned opportunity costs to some items to determine price), and labor. I figure in labor, and the time I am putting in weeding, mixing, planting, transplanting, transporting, selling time, etc., that I am probably making way under the minimum wage.

There is also the fact that the garden only has a sale one day a month, so some of the plants will need to be culled to make room for more since I have limited bench space, some of the seeds won't sprout, plants will be unsaleable because of breakage, poor growth habit, pests and disease, and because of timing. One day a month sales are hard to time to get plants at their prime, not too young and not too old. Plants that will not last another month have to be culled to salvage the media and pots for reuse. That is why I limit the vegetables I sell tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and chard. These do not keep so I only have about 10 of each. The one I have the best chance of selling are the Japanese cucumbers, the others are hit and miss. If you sell more often you will have more opportunities to move your inventory.

I try to change things up and try new plants and rotate plants that have been selling for a while but demand has dropped. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes things sell very well for a while, then all of a sudden demand changes and people want something else. To predict what people will want in a given month, you probably need a psychic or a Ouja board. You have to know your market and stay ahead of the trend which means you probably have to have a variety of different things and that takes up space. You will have to decide which is more valuable to have. The opportunity cost, is the loss choosing one thing over another.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

imafan26
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Re: Does anyone else here make money out of there Garden?

I forgot to mention there are business licenses, income tax, state sales tax. Board of Health certification if you are selling anything you make, not to mention the requirements for labeling and food safety class (its free but you have to set aside two days to take it).

Then there are the fees for the market. The farmers market are not for people who only have a few things to sell a few times a year. You have to apply for a space if there is one and have to meet all the requirements and follow the rules. A couple of vendors got kicked out of a local farmer's market because the school got tired of them leaving all of their trash behind. The city operated open markets are for farmers to sell extra or off grade produce. They get kicked out if they start selling before the official start and they are a roving market. They only sell in one location for an hour then have to move on and set up in a different location for another hour. If you only are going to sell once in a while, there is the swap meet but the regular vendors purchase their location by the month and the daily sellers, mostly selling personal household garage sale things are relegated to the aisles that are farthest away.

To sell, I would have to invest in pots, media, fertilizer,labels, more seeds and plants. My water bill would probably be worse and it is really bad now. I would need to have an account with a local ag supplier which is not that hard to do, but I would need storage space in order to buy 500 pots of each size, bales of peat moss, perlite, 50 lb bags of fertilizer, and whatever else I would need. Initially that would be a large outlay, espeicially since it may take 2-3 years to use even one box of pots. Bulk seeds are cheaper as long as they keep a long time, but my refrigerator already has more than one shelf of seeds in it. I will need another refrigerator just for that. Then there is the time and space that is needed to grow all of the plants out. You also will have losses, pests, disease, growth failures and poor market demand of a perishable product.

So, if you are going to commit to selling, there is a big initial investment you need to make and you may still not be paying yourself anything for your time. You have to build and maintain your market, tweak your product mix, and that also takes time.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Does anyone else here make money out of there Garden?

I joined a Farmer's Market to sell my honey. I am a beekeeper too. I figured I may as well put a few veggies on the table too. Yes, we did need to get a Cottage Permit to bottle the honey and the wife and I both got food handler's permits.

Make any money? Well we do take enough in to pay all expenses. (which are considerable when you figure seed, fertilizer, fuel and parts for the tractor and truck, permit fees, market fees, bottles, beekeeping clothing, plus packages of bees and hive parts.....)

Edit: What is it about this board software? I did not see my former replies to this thread until I make another reply.. :?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

HoneyBerry
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Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Re: Does anyone else here make money out of there Garden?

I don't make any money from gardening.
But I am thinking about donating some lilac starts from my big old heirloom lilac tree to a habitat rebuild program for disabled and home-bound senior citizens who have a hard time maintaining their homes. Each year, the charity collects materials and organizes volunteers to do home upgrades. Seeds and plants are on their wish list. I don't have very many plants to donate but every little bit helps. I like the idea of my lilac babies being spread about. Someday that old tree will die but the babies will carry on. This is just at the idea stage for now.

I used to give away lilac starts to friends and coworkers. Some of these people would take the plants just because they were free, and then neglect them until the plant died in the little pot, and then ask me for another free plant. I put alot of care into digging up the lilac starts and establishing them in pots. I would tell people to plant them right away, to not leave them in the pot. Years would pass and the plant was still in the pot. I kept saying " you need to plant it in the ground, don't leave it in the pot like that ". The plant would eventually die. "Oh well, it was just a free plant." I got so sick of this disrespect. I don't give away plants anymore.
ISFP "The Artist"

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Does anyone else here make money out of there Garden?

I just did a rough estimate of cost of production
Cost of pots (3.5 inch pots 450 in a case $51.94 + $20 shipping) = $0.20 per pot
Cost of media ( 4 cu ft perlite $18, 3.8 cu ft Peat moss $24 $ dolomite lime $8 for 4 lbs, Osmocote fertilizer 14-14-14 $83 )
Cost of media per pot = $0.20
Estimated fixed costs, licenses, fees, rent, utilities, opportunity cost, water $0.20 per month
Costs of seeds and plants $0 (free cuttings or saved seeds) - $1 per seed. average cost of plants per pot = $0.20
Gross profit after plant costs
Sales price - unit costs = gross profit
$1.00- 0.80 = $0.20
0.20 x 25 plants in a tray = $5.00 gross profit per tray
cost for 1 gallon pot = $0.80 (started plant) + $0.59 (1 gallon pot) $0.30 cost for additional media and fertilizer. = $1.69
Now to subtract other costs
Market fees, transportation costs. My car can only hold 4 trays and about 8 one gallon pots that sell for $3-$5 each
Max profit $30.48 - $46.48
Market fees $20 a day
net profit $10.48-26.48
Spending about 4 hours selling the plants = $2.62 - $ 6.62 per hour. That is less than the minimum wage.
Now, If I had more storage space and could buy larger quantities I maybe could get a better price. If I sold from my house instead of at market, I could have a larger inventory and less transport costs and limitations on what I could bring.
If I don't sell everything, of course ai could end up not even breaking even and it takes a while to build up clientelle. I would probably have to diversify more and sell a mix of products and more high value items with larger profit margins to make more with the resources I have.

Add to this are other costs because some of the plants may be unsellable because they get bugs, get broken in transit, no demand and they get too big to keep or use so they have to be composted (out the cost of seed/plant) pots and media might be reusable, and the opportunity cost because they have been taking up space for a couple of months.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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