Growing Herbs for Cash
THE CULINARY HERB MARKET
Ok, you planted you herbs, they are thriving and now what do you do with the extra crop? Growing herbs for cash is not that hard to do. Of course you could dry the excess and bottle them for later use. You also could consider the local restaurants and farmers markets in the area as a way to turn your excess production into cash.
There are hundreds of culinary herbs that you can grow for their fresh or dried leaves. The leaves, stems or roots of the herb plant contain the naturally occurring oils that are used to flavor culinary dishes, vinegars, sauces and drinks.
Which Herbs Should You Grow?
If you are interested in growing herbs for cash to sell here is a “bakers” dozen that you might want to focus on. In alphabetical order they are: Basil, Cilantro, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Lemon balm, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme. You could focus on just a few of these more popular herbs which most restaurants use on a daily basis like: Basil, Chives, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary and Thyme.
There are several avenues you can use to sell your herbs. One easy way to test the waters is display the fresh bundles of herbs at a local farmers market. This is a way to sell low volumes of herbs. It is dependant on the weather but I found that it is also a good source of contacts. I found my first restaurant at a local farmers market. The chef asked me if I could provide his restaurant with a fresh supply twice a week and I had my first restaurant client. If you plan on approaching a local restaurant be advised that you will have to assure the chef that the herbs will be available on a daily basis. Not a problem during the spring/summer months but once the late fall to winter months arrive it can be a problem. By moving some herbs indoors during the harsh winter months you can extend the time period you can provide fresh herbs to local restaurants.
There are some limitations to growing herbs for cash.
Don’t overextend yourself. Start with one restaurant and only expand if your supplies warrant. Nothing could be worse than getting a reputation of not being able to supply your customers. Once you have established yourself as a consistent and reliable supply source, ask your existing restaurant for a couple of restaurants they might recommend as additional clients. That way you will be offering the next restaurant your services along with a good recommendation from your original source.
The appeal of fresh herbs is actually in the freshness. Sounds too logical-but it is true. The fresh herbs you get in most supermarkets are at least 3-5 days old. The appeal of fresher herbs is where you can find a niche in this growing market. Your herbs are harvested the “day of” which makes them more appealing to the individual gourmet chef or gourmet restaurant kitchens.
For a more comprehensive look at making money from you herb click here for my unique “How to Turn Your Herbs into Cash-Its Easy” eBook that come as a free bonus to the “Practical Herb Garden Information Guide” package. CLICK HERE