Any ideas for an easy to sell crop?

mountainman_bc(5)November 25, 2005

Animals are pretty easy, hay is easy (with equipment), but I'm looking for something that needs little machinery. I have an old tractor, but until I can find a plow it isn't too handy.

I am planning to turn the pasture into cultivation. Roadside sales with the honour system, or even U-pick.

So far I can think of pumpkins and squash.

Any other ideas? Water isn't a problem. I am thinking of using just one acre to start for next year. And the soil is quite nice.

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Turtle_Haven_Farm(Z5 NY)

I am planning on building raised beds next year and then planting with asparagus and specialty melons. Down the road, I looking at red and black raspberries, possibly blueberries. We are building our farm towards retirement, plan on raising specialty crops and selling at the local farmers markets. Check into heirloom vegetables and fruits, items that are tasty but don't ship cross country well. - Ellen

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 8:26AM
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mommagoose(z5 NY)

I have been selling cucumbers and melons with great success, both wholesale and retail. As you can tell I live in cool New York. Each April I till about 1/2 acre and lay a piece of string along the length of the row to be planted. I then lay thermally opaic plastic over the string. The purpose of the string is t pull in drip irrigation if needed later in the summer. Two weeks before setting out the melons or cukes I start the plants in Jiffy 7's two seeds per pot.I keep the flats of Jiffy7s inside till they germinate about 3 days then move them out to cold frames for 2 weeks.Usually May 12th I begin planting in the thermally opaic plastic. I begin picking cukes around July 4th . I get $15.00 a bushel for my cukes wholesaleand up to $30 a bushel retail. If anyone is interested in my list of cuke and melon varieties just hollar and I will post them.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 4:46PM
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Some great ideas here. I should not have said easy crop to sell, rather easy or low maintenance crop to grow, but the answers are good.
I was planing to get into berries when I know the land better, lots of experimenting to do and they are initially expensive. And they are semi-permanant and my farm isn't planned out yet.
And I'd be very interested in which melons you find work. I've grown a few 'early' varieties, usually frost hits when they are nearly ripe. That being my fault with a late planting. But I'm ready to get on it for next spring.
Do you buy seeds bulk? Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 8:20PM
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mommagoose(z5 NY)

I have found a few easy to grow melons over the years. That said, you still need to use thermally opaic plastic to get the temperatures they need to grow. Thermally opaic green plastic raises the soil temperature more than black plastic. If a frost is coming as they sometimes do in June, a roll of Remay can save them as can making sure the plants are well watered before a cold night.
Some of my favorite early cantalopes are Fast Break, Savor , Earlisweet. For water melon we use Yellow Doll and Sweet Favorite. Watermelons are kinda iffy in our area some years the season ends before the majority get ripe. We almost always harvest the Yellow Doll melons and get the best price for them. Johnny's selected seeds also has a butter scotch melon that sells well but its very small. I try other melons too, as long as they are under 85 days to harvest, they usually work out ok. I get my seeds from several sources. Johnnys Selected Seeds- Albion Maine, Twilley Seeds -Hodges South Carolina, Harris Seeds ( for cukes) Pine Tree Garden Seeds ( great for small quantities)to name a few. All these companies have on line catalogues.
I may as well tell you the varieties of cukes while I am at it. The cukes we sell are mostly pickling varieties although we do have a 250 foot row of slicers too. Our main varieties are Regal and Royal(very early and tolerant to cold soil) from Haris seeds and the best is Eureka( several days later tolerates multiple hand pickings) also available at Harris as well as other places.
I am ready to begin planting now too bad winter is in the way :)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 1:49PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

"Easy to sell" means there is a demand in YOUR area. I could say jalapino peppers but I don't think there's a demand for them like down here.

Visit your best restaurants in YOUR area and ask the chefs what they have trouble getting. It might be fresh eggs, herbs, spices, or something else. Then see what you have to do to meet their demand. The easiest sell is to market demand.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 4:59AM
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judeth_ann(Z8 PNW)

One suggestion is fruit trees but one time I think I read you have bears around your property? My folks, many years ago, homesteaded acreage. After clearing it, they planted 100 fruit trees. A beautiful variety of cherries, plums, apples, pears, three different types of nuts. Being in the far outskirts of the town and with the whole of BC, lakes and mountains, in the back yard, they were plagued with black bears. They are beautiful animals --- but they eventually ruined the orchard. At one time they could be shot, folks took the bodies to eat or can for dog meat, another fellow tanned the hides. This kept the number down. Then rules came out "no shoting". The bears multiplyed. They would come into the orchard two or three at a time and would reach up and pull down the branches and break them, when they couldn't reach, they would climb up the trees and break the rest of the branches. At one time when you pulled the hammer of the rifle back, it clicked and with their fantastic hearing, they would run, only to return right behind the two large dogs that had chased them. Today, I live in a waterfront subdivision, both houses on either side of my line, are only a couple feet from the line and each year, I have to pick my fruit so early, before it is ripe and keep fixing the fence that the bears have crawled over, as the area is crawling with over confident bears, not afraid of a thing. Bears will eat strawberries and raspberries, too. One good thing for you to grow to sell is corn. Raspberries & boysenberries are easy. I love to go to the Fraser Valley and pick strawberries. Good Luck and let us know what you decide to do.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 11:55AM
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Specialize. Specialize. Specialize. Plan to begin small scale commercial growing in the spring and am looking at the market to find what people want/need. Thinking of heirloom tomatoes. Heirloom squash. French-style green beans. Baby greens. I have no desire to compete with grocery stores or even others at the local farmers' market. Wee Willie Keilor (baseball player of old) once replied to a reporter that he tried "to hit 'em where they ain't", meaning hit the ball where the fielders aren't. Thjat is my marketing strategy "grow what they ain't".

Here is a link that might be useful: Rural Life 2.0

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 2:11PM
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Corn always sells good. I could plant 2 acers and still sell out.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 5:41PM
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BC is tricky. melons will not get enough heat. Sweet corn is super easy. You can do acres of it with a tractor. and then just pick it. or use the tractor for some weeding before it gets too tall. Sweet corn is a big cash crop but takes more acreage.

For intensive growing I would guess greens that grow when cool. Not sure on the market however.

Most things grow more and faster when warm. You are not warm therefore you have growing problems.

Overall I like the pumpkins the best. lots of places do real well with pumpkins. especially if you can do a pick your own.

But like everything you best have experience with things to see what works for you on your land. The regular connecticut field pumpkin can have huge tonnage/acre on good land.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 11:04PM
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