Most gardeners consider gardening a hobby: it's a way to enhance their home and their lives by producing their own vegetables, fruits, flowers and landscaping plants. Few of them realize that their gardening skills and the fruits (or vegetables) of their labor can bloom into a source of income.
Fresh, local and organic produce and unique landscaping plants are in great demand all over the United States. A glance at the produce section of your local grocery store will show you several things:
A walk down through the nursery of your local big box store will lead you to draw similar conclusions.
Americans spend many billions of dollars a year on plants and produce, yet many of them are dissatisfied with the quality of the goods that are available to them. That gives you, the entrepreneurial gardener, a chance to jump into the mix and capture a little piece of the pie for yourself.
My home garden (about 1/3 of an acre this year) has been a consistent source of income for me and my family. We're not getting rich from it, but it does supply us with grocery money and some extra money to help pay for fueling up our cars or buying hoses, seeds and other gardening supplies. A few months a year, we have virtually no food expenses because whatever our garden doesn't supply us with, we buy with the money our garden earns for us. My husband and I each spend about 10 hours a week tending to the crops and marketing them.
I have earned money by selling vegetables, plants and cut flowers to local nurseries, grocery stores and restaurants. I have also sold produce directly to customers at farmer's markets and through a delivery service where I established a customer base through word of mouth. I tell almost everyone that I meet that I have delicious, organically-grown produce for sale.
There are many ways for you to earn a part-time income from gardening. They include selling produce at local stores or farmer's markets, growing and selling plants (annuals or perennials of every size and shape), opening a roadside stand and making and selling crafts or other items made from your produce.
All you need to go into business for yourself is a good product, a way to sell it and some gumption.
Vegetable container gardening is perfect for the apartment dweller who loves squash or a condo owner who has always wanted to grow tomatoes.
When it comes to vegetables, nothing compares to the fresh taste of plucking them from the garden to munch raw or cook them right away. Farmer's Markets can come close, but they're usually only held once a week, and not all cities have them.