Friday, March 9, 2012

How to Make Money Growing and Selling Herbs (and Herbal Products)

f you’re a creative person and you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, you may want to consider the idea of starting your own business growing and selling herbs and herbal products. If you weren’t born with a green thumb, don’t worry! Herbs are easy and inexpensive to grow yourself, and whether you choose to sell the plants themselves or make your own fun and innovative products from them, the marketing possibilities are truly endless. Here are some tips and ideas to get you started growing and selling herbs for profit.
Come Up With a Plan

Like any other business endeavor, the best place to start is with a well thought out plan. Since herbs are very cheap to grow, you can plant a lot of them.

If you are able to have an outdoor herb garden, you will need to pick a location in your yard where your plants will thrive and then prepare the area for planting. Keep in mind that outdoor plants are more susceptible to pests– so determine ahead of time a safe and effective means of eliminating them.

If outdoor space is limited or you live in an apartment, you can grow your herbs indoors–just make sure you have plenty of space set aside near windows or on a deck or patio so that they get the sunlight they need. If possible, plant your herbs both indoors and outdoors–that way you’ll have an abundance of plants year-round to keep your business going strong.

You’ll need to determine which method of growing will be the easiest and most cost effective for you. The cheapest way to grow herbs is with seeds. Although it makes for a slower start, a packet of seeds is cheap and it can produce a large number of plants. You can also grow herbs by planting cuttings. This method is a bit faster, but it’s more expensive because you’ll need to purchase stock plants to start you off. However, once you grow your own plants from the cuttings you’ll be able to use those as stock plants.

Even though herbs are easy to grow and maintain, take the time to do a little research on the herbs you intend on planting. This will help you formulate a solid plan about how to move forward. Follow directions on seed packets and get advice from the experts. If you plan on growing herbs to make money, you’ll want your plants to have the best chance at success.
Grow More, Spend Less

One of the great benefits of growing herbs for profit is that the investment to start is minimal–and there are several ways to cut corners.

Having your own compost pile will definitely save you money. Compost soil is rich with nutrients–and it’s much cheaper than buying potting soil at your local garden store.

If you’ve decided to plant seeds, don’t waste the ones you don’t use. Keep excess seeds in their labeled packets, reseal them, and refrigerate. Even though seeds are inexpensive, you’ll save money in the long run by not wasting any of your resources.

If you will be planting cuttings, buy your stock plants at places like farmer’s markets instead of garden centers. They’re usually much cheaper if you buy them directly from the grower instead of a middle-man. Better yet, ask friends and family for clippings from their plants if they have them.

Be creative with your potting containers. You can use potting soil bags or recycled containers, and don’t forget to look for old pots and containers at flea markets and garage sales.

Be resourceful when it comes to gathering up the supplies you will need; your profit will be much greater if you can keep your costs down.
Turning Your Herbs into Handcrafted Items and Products

Money Making Ideas: Selling Herbs and Herbal ProductsBesides selling whole plants, you can make lots of crafts and products from your herbs to sell at art fairs, farmer’s markets, directly from your home or through online stores. If you are going to create items from your herbs in hopes of making money, it’s important to make things that interest you. Handcrafting products takes time, so choose products that you enjoy making as well as ones that you believe will be easy to sell.

Herbal Teas

Tea is an easy product to make. You can make your own tea bags or sell loose-leaf tea in a decorative jar or tin. Come up with your own custom tea blends and eye-catching packaging to appeal to new customers.

Herb Infused Oils and Vinegars

If you like to cook with herbs, herb infused oils and vinegars might be a good niche for you. Unique flavor combinations in pretty bottles will attract attention at your local farmer’s market–especially if you have samples for customers to try!

You can also take your herb infused oils and vinegars to small restaurants and cafes. They may be interested in buying locally made products or have an area for you to display and sell your goods to restaurant patrons.

Wreaths and Garlands

Dried herbs are beautiful to look at and usually have a lovely fragrance as well. If you have a good eye and a knack for floral arrangements, why not try your hand at making wreaths and garlands? They are especially popular during the holidays, but you can also market them for special occasions such as weddings and showers, too.

Bath and Beauty Products

Since the beginning of time, herbs have been used for relaxation and enhancement of physical beauty. Today, they are common ingredients in a multitude of bath and beauty products that appeal to a huge market.

You can use your home-grown herbs to make essential oils, soaps, lotions, creams, bath salts, hair products, salves, ointments and more! Develop your own one-of-a-kind blends for your bath and beauty products by infusing them with different herb combinations. Basic recipes to help you learn the fundamentals of creating your own products can be found either online or at your local library. Once you have a foundation to build upon and know what you want to make, you can develop your own unique twist on age-old recipes to set your products apart from the others.

Growing and selling your own herbs is a great way to make money right from your own home. With proper planning and organization, minimal investment, and some imagination you can turn a fun hobby into a very profitable small business.

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