We all want to be self-sufficient, but most of us still have to earn money in the “outside” world to make ends meet. As my family struggles to get “off the grid,” it is becoming obvious that we will still have to use technology and interact with the very same society we are trying to escape from. Herb farming is a great way to blend our lifestyle with society without compromising our morals. Below are just a few ways to make money growing herbs.
1. GROWING SPECIALTY HERBS
Before there were pharmaceutical medicines, herbs were used to treat everything from sore throats to psoriasis. Herbs like boneset (arthritis), mullein (asthma), yarrow (cuts and scrapes), and marigold (stomach aches) were in great demand, and many people made a living selling these herbs. When the crap hits the fan, our society will need these products more than ever, but there is a real market for these herbs right now.
2. GROWING POTTED HERBS
We started this on a whim, and it grew quickly into a good income. Pick a few common cooking herbs like basil, chives, dill, cilantro, thyme, and parsley, and start them in late winter from seed. We start them on our front porch, heating the room when needed and using fluorescent lights at night. By March, we have several flats of babies, and when they get big enough, we plant them into 7-inch hanging baskets. We end up with about $3 invested in each pot, and we sell them for $6. I use social media to advertise for free, and I deliver free to our local area once a week. This year we sold every pot we grew, and next year we are looking to double our production.
3. SELLING TO LOCAL MARKETS
Many major grocery stores now have sections where they sell local produce in their vegetable sections now, and this is becoming a great way for small farmers to sell their produce. Fresh herbs are in demand nowadays, as city people just don’t have time or space to care for their own herb gardens. With a small investment of plastic and a heat sealer, you can sell fresh herbs in many markets.
4. SELLING TO RESTAURAUNTS
Growing specialty herbs for local restaurants can be very lucrative. Many chefs prefer a certain type of basil or chives, and they pay good money for freshly cut herbs. With the price of a good meal in a fancy restaurant skyrocketing, you can almost name your own price.
5. MAKING TEAS AND OILS FROM HERBS
Essential oils are becoming very popular these days, and some physicians swear they help your physical and mental health. With a small investment, pressing oils and bagging teas could be just the thing to bring in that extra income.
There are many ways to use herb farming to supplement your income, and you don’t need a lot of ground or a lot of money to start your own small business growing herbs. The best part is, by herb farming, you are helping to bring this civilization back to nature, and what could be better than that?