High dollar crops

Discussion in 'Market Gardens' started by Betho, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. Betho

    Betho Well-Known Member

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    I've seen folks talk about asparagus - makes great sense to me, the stuff is pricey and if it keeps coming up regularly seems like once you get it established you'd have a pretty good income source.

    I've been wondering about others though. I know berries cost a lot here in the grocery stores - is it that way everywhere? They don't grow well here so it makes sense they would cost a lot but I'm wondering if they are a good cash crop to raise? Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.

    What other stuff? What about asian pears? I think they are still considered a unique item but grow pretty well in certain parts of the country - stands to reason to me that they would bring in a good amount of $$.

    Any other high dollar crops to think about?
     
  2. midmogrower

    midmogrower Member

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    If you have a market for it, in my opinion when you figure in your cost of production, ect., you can't beat zucchinni squash. Very easy to grow, prolific producer, easy to harvest. Though it doesn't command a big price, we sell ours for a dollar a lb, very good money maker.
     

  3. mommagoose_99

    mommagoose_99 Well-Known Member

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    Well when you talk about Asian Pears there is a lot of time invested before you get a crop. On the other hand small fruits, strawberries , raspberries , have a shorter time to begin producing.
    I would go with dayneutral strawberries. I planted mine on raised beds covered in black plastic to keep the weeds down. The ground was prepared and a berry fertilizer recommended by the feed store was added .I laid 4 foot wide plastic over the ground. The plants were planted in two rows about a foot apart. I planted in April. I cut all runners until the Fourth of July. The plants began to flower in August and I commenced picking in August. The fall berries sold for $2.50 a pint. That is quite a good amount of money.
    I also sold fingerling potatoes and some odd colored potatoes for $1. a quart and small cukes also for a dollar a quart or $32 dollars a bushel. I consider these to be dollar added product.
    Fall raspberries go for for $2 a half pint here but how I hate picking them.
     
  4. veggrower

    veggrower Well-Known Member

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    Really, the best thing to grow is something that you like to grow.

    That said, berries and fruits are always good sellers.

    Artichokes are good if they will overwinter in your area. I can sell every one I grow for $1+ each depending on the size. 1st season of production they average about 4 chokes/plant. 2nd season maybe 20/plant. I just keeps increasing every year as the plant expands. Under the right conditons you can get a spring and a fall crop. I have 2 acres that will produce the 1st time this May. Well over 10,000 plants all direct seeded last summer.

    A lot depends on how much work you want to put in. An acre of carrots well grown can easily yield $20-30K, but it is tough work pulling/digging them by hand and then washing and packing them. Thursday I was pulling carrots in a downpour with 30 mph winds for over 4 hours. It wasn't fun.

    Like Midmogrower said, if you like to grow and sell zucchini it can be a high value crop. I seldom go to any of the more than 20 farmers' markets in the Portland area. The growers just gouge the shoppers--I made a quick stroll through one day and every grower had the same zucchini and they were ALL PRICED AT $2/LB! Seriously, how much does it take to produce 1lb of zucchini.

    It comes down to what you like and what you like to sell that determines what is high value for you. If you grow spring mix and charge $16/lb but you can only sell 3 lbs in a day, is it really high value? I sell 600-750lbs/week at $4.5 and to me that is a high value crop!
     
  5. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Well-Known Member

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    Research the berry bushes that will grow well in your area. Prepare the spot and leave room for future spots. Buy a few plants. Learn propagation, very simple if I can do it. Go for it! I have stuff growing here I take cuttings off the older stems, if I cut them down that fall. Mostly I just have fun. I also got navite trees with fruit and bushes going. Plus you can pot and sell the cuttings along side of your produce garden products. People do like to start a bush or two if it is presented right at the sale!
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    The veg grower down the road from me says his best money maker is potatoes. Several varieties but as its a mechanical harvest and very low cost to grow he can't help but make money.
     
  7. veggrower

    veggrower Well-Known Member

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    I know an old guy who loads up his sprinter van with sacks of fingerling, yukon gold and some other spuds and drives 300 miles to Portland every friday. He sells them at the farmers' market and direct to restaurants. I think he gets $1/lb for fingerlings and $.50-.75 for the rest. Beats getting the nickel a pound he would get selling them to a broker or processor. He's been growing spuds his whole life and has all of the equipment.
     
  8. hillsidedigger

    hillsidedigger Well-Known Member

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    I have heard that people who grow certain illegal crops can retire after one good season

    or at least be in a place where they do not have to worry about anything for awhile.
     
  9. veggrower

    veggrower Well-Known Member

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    Retire to a federal country club at taxpayer's expense! :)
     
  10. Betho

    Betho Well-Known Member

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    lol yeah not my idea of a good time! BTDT, burned the t-shirt.