Few of us commit to homesteading to get rich, but it’s hard to ignore opportunities to bring in some extra money every month with cash crops for homesteaders.
With that in mind, here’s a list of some of the crops you can start growing on your homestead to bring in a tidy profit.
You Won’t Get Far If You Don’t Understand This First
When it comes to taking crops to market, there’s a unique set of questions to consider. Before you select a crop to sell, ask yourself the following:
Is there demand? – Luckily, there are some simple, cheap ways to answer this question. Google’s Keyword Tool and Google Trends can show you the crops users are currently searching for.
You can also perform an analysis of small farming business and e-commerce websites to see what the “competition” is selling.
Are there multiple use cases? – Markets are dynamic, so try not to rely too much on one type of customer or industry. Crops with multiple uses—for example, both as a seasoning and a fragrance— will protect you if the industry you rely on goes through a slump and buyers dry up.
Will it grow quickly and yield a lot of product? – Speed to market increases profitability, so look for crops that grow quickly and produce a large yield in a single season.
Can it grow all year? – Seasonal revenue is fine, but money coming in all year is even better. Keep this in mind as you select cash crops to invest in.
5 of the Best Cash Crops for Homesteaders
Here are some of the best cash crops for homesteaders that match at least some of the criteria above:
Crops like oyster and shiitake mushrooms are fairly forgiving, easy to grow, and do well in indoor and outdoor environments. Startup costs are relatively low, and according to Cornell University “the mushroom industry is expanding rapidly with expected sales of 34.3 billion by 2024, up from 20 billion in 2018.”
Strawberries grow well in a variety of climates and soils and are always in demand. They sell well at farmers markets as well as on the wholesale side. The crop doesn’t need much room to grow, either.
3. Specialty Garlics
Regular garlic is a widely used kitchen staple and something of a commodity.
However, the demand for specialty garlics is on the rise—especially purple stripe, elephant, and rocambole varieties. Speciality garlic is a niche market and can require a larger investment up front. However, because they sell for more, it shouldn’t be difficult to make your money back (and then some).
4. Specialty Tomatoes
Cherry, grape, and heirloom tomatoes fetch a high price per pound, which is why many small farms grow them at a nice profit. Cherry and grape tomatoes take up very little space and can be ready to harvest in as little as a month and a half.
Yes, lavender is a trendy crop at the moment, but there’s a good reason: it’s higly profitable. This is in large part because of its versatility. It’s used as an essential oil, cooking oil, a spice, floral arrangements, and more. It also does well in cold climates, which makes it widely growable in the US.
Demand for lavender continues to rise. Around $76 million worth of lavender oil was consumed in 2016, and Persistence Market Research estimates that number will grow to $124.2 million by 2024.
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