Make money from your crops
As large commercial operations continue to take over much of the world’s agriculture and food production, the number of small farmers has gone on the decline in recent years. They simply cannot compete with the economies of scale that the larger operations can achieve. This doesn’t mean they are without options, however. There are still many specialty cash crops that the big guys are not all that interested in. If you are a small farmer, or just have some land you want to make income producing, you will find the following ten websites useful. You can make it a full time endeavour or just for some extra jingle in your pocket. Some sites also have other ways to make money on a small farm. The sites and articles are listed in order of their Alexa traffic count ratings.
1. Mother Earth News (Two articles): http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/grow-catnip-zmaz80mazraw.aspx#axzz3DD5wXeTX and http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/greenhouse-vegetables-zmaz83jfzraw.aspx#axzz3DD5wXeTX
Global Alexa Rating: 7,633
Mother Earth News is always a great source for information and the links given for two articles are just part of the great advice you can get from this website. These two articles offer two options for cash crops: catnip and greenhouse vegetables. Type in Cash Crops in the search window and you’ll see even more suggestions such as hemp, gourds, grass and strawberries.
Global Alexa Rating: 88,218
There are plenty of useful articles in this magazine and on this website, but the most relevant to this list is the link provided which offers a discussion about growing blueberries as a cash crop. Be sure to check out all the gardening articles for even more suggestions about things you can grow either to make a profit or to provide food for your family.
Global Alexa Rating: 97,909
Hobby Farms offers tons of articles and advice on everything to do with small scale farming. There is a section on livestock, crops & gardening, tools & equipment, food & kitchen, home & barn and even farm pets. Having a hobby farm could be simply a hobby, but it can also provide some income if you plan carefully and use some of the great tips you will find on this website. There is also a community on the site so you can connect with other people with this interest.
Global Alexa Rating: 394,974
Although this site deals mainly with sustainable agriculture, the link provided is to a publication entitled, “Moving Beyond Conventional Cash Cropping.” You can order a print version of the publication for $3.00 or you can download the PDF file or view it online for free. This publication gives advice on how to make the transition from various high risk, long hours, low pay, poor price conventional cash crops to viable alternatives.
Global Alexa Rating: 423,838
This article from December 1998 discusses culinary herbs as an alternative cash crop for small scale farmers in southern Ohio. This is not to say that the article is not useful to those living elsewhere, although you may have to tweak the process a bit. Keep in mind also that all figures given were as of 1998 so have likely changed. It still gives you an idea about culinary herbs so that you can do a bit more research to see if this would be a good fit for your property and location.
Global Alexa Rating: 622,672
This website is devoted to suggestions for plants that could be profitable for a small scale grower. They offer grower guides for high-value trees, heirloom tomatoes, lavender, microgreens and woody ornamentals. They also offer a guide for selling your harvest. On the site you will also find free instant access to a free book, “Best Specialty Crops for Small Growers: 14 Best Profitable Plants for Backyards & Small Acreage.” You don’t even have to provide your email address or signup for anything to download it. It is a very useful 53-page book that includes crops such as bamboo, flowers, ginseng, herbs, mushrooms, garlic and more.
Global Alexa Rating: 766,933
This article offers a number of practical solutions for making money on a small farm, many of which go beyond what you’d traditionally think about. For example, if you have a large farmhouse, you could be making money by operating as a bed and breakfast. Another unique idea is snail farming and there is a two-minute video about this topic. There are some really creative suggestions here.
Global Alexa Rating: 868,082
This website shows you a very successful family owned and operated nursery and vineyard – dating back to 1934. They have included an article (link given above) about using blackberries, blueberries and muscadines as a cash crop. Greg Ison even offers to assist you in developing a strategy if you want to go this route. The site includes a gardeners guide section that shares their planting expertise on muscadines, berries and fruit & nut trees.
Global Alexa Rating: 2,569,019
The link provided is to a NOFA/Massachusetts newsletter as included in the January 2014 issue. It is about growing salad greens as an easy and lucrative cash crop. It is about Dan Kittredge, the owner of Kittredge Farm in North Brookfield, MA who uses a comprehensive plan for growing salad greens on ¼ acre just 20-40 weeks out of the year, earning $1,000 week doing so. The site also offers plenty of information for farmers, gardeners, homesteaders and landscapers.
Global Alexa Rating: 3,228,906
This website is about building a sustainable farm. They offer assistance if you are just starting out or even if you are an experienced farmer. One particularly useful article is found in the Organic Farming section and is titled, “What is the Most Profitable Type of Small Scale Farming?” Another one titled, “Top 10 Profitable Spices to Grow” which is located in the Plants section. The main categories of the site are Land, Hydroponics, Water, Plants, Animals and Farm Equipment. You should also sign up for their growing tips newsletter to get their Beginner’s Guide to Small Scale Farming which is 67 pages packed with useful information.
These sites should give you plenty of ideas about using your land to turn a profit, or even just to improve the quality of the food for your family. Commercially grown food just isn’t that great and more people are reaching this conclusion every day. Mass produced food certainly serves a purpose when it comes to feeding our populous planet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a better way for you and your family while adding some income to your budget in the process.