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Back Yard Profits For Organic Gardeners
by Jay North

Anyone with a little initiative can make $10,000. per year in their own back yard: providing they have a green thumb, love of the earth, and desire.

While I am not suggesting anyone quit their day job like I did in 1974, just because I fell in love with the land. I am suggesting that anyone can make a little extra cash right out of there own backyard and--without taking out a second mortgage to get started.

What to grow for sale?

This article was spurred by my subscribers who write me at www.GoingOrganic.com and ask me the number one overwhelming question. “Jay what can I grow to make money in organic gardening/farming”? While there are two standard replies for that question; which are research and read my book “Grow Yourself Rich”. I will offer a few suggestions here that may suit many inquisitive growers’ minds and their questions.

While the choices are many and the avenues to market just as plentiful, I will share this one with you, because it was one of my late wife’s favorites.

Pamela, my late wife, helped turn my attention from a rather busy, hectic business world to that of organic farming and healthful living. Pammy as everyone that knew her called her, loved flowers. From the very start of our career in becoming organic growers wanted me to grow flowers for her. My personal love of growing was food and self sufficiency, so I only planted very a few flowers for cutting to decorate in our home.

One day in 1984 we discovered edible flowers, which would change our lives as organic growers for many years to come. Now while I understand that not every back yard grower has the land or the interest in growing several acres of edible flowers, you probably have enough land to grow starters of edible flowers.

Starters are those little plants in cups one buys at the nursery to take home and plant in their gardens. Two problems that exist for backyard growers is that there are very few nurseries that stock edible flowers starts in their stores and virtually none that are produced “organically”.

Edible flowers add great taste and eye candy to any dish, especially salads. Edible flower cookery has been in use for many thousands of years all over the world and now with your personal twist on specialty marketing, even just at the local farmers markets, one can easily add several thousand dollars per year to a checking account.

Getting started is easy and you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it. Careful research will indicate that you can get the little starter cups for free by recycling and one can find a way to build the soil for the cups at very little cost too.

Important note; not all flowers are edible and many are poisonous and deadly, be sure what you grow is safe and keep them pesticide free. Another one of my books available through the website www.GoingOrganic.com is “Guide to Cooking With Edible Flowers”.

The booklet list over forty five varieties that are safe for human consumption, and many that are not. Just a few examples of flowers that are safe for eating are the ever popular Nasturtiums, Pansies and Roses

Edible flowers not your thing, but you still love flowers?

Here, I will share one more idea with you. I suggested this idea to a friend way back in 1996 and he has become one of the largest producers in the state of California. Another favorite of Pammy’s was African Violets. She used to refer to them as her sweet babies. And babies they are and so easy to start and make a great living with from their sale.

You need mature plants to start with, so you can take cuttings from the mother plant or create new plants. There used to be a small book, that could be out of print by now and I gave my copy away years ago. Titled “How to Grow African Violets”. It’s a very short very simple read and shows even the most novice grower how to do it.

I suggested African Violets to a friend here in my home town and by the end of his first year he was selling over $10,000. Per year. Now he sells to supper markets through out the state of California.

African Violets are so easy to start I don’t know why he does not have more competition. Here’s all it takes

Take cuttings from mother plant near the main stem, mix rich soil for the cutting. Dip the cut end into just a pinch of Bat Guano, to help it root quickly. Place the cut end into the soil and water lightly.

Keep slightly moist for a few days and then decrease watering. Keep in a warm environment with plenty of indirect sun light and there you have it.

It will make a whole new plant starting in just about 10 days and only 30 days it will grow to a healthy saleable commodity.

Worried about bringing pest into the back yard? There is new non toxic pest strip you can buy right off the net and find the companies link on my site www.GoingOrganic.com

Serve the community, start a small nursery

Another friend of mine started what is now a huge wholesale nursery. Jeff started by growing in his backyard and selling in his front yard through having weekly plant sales. The people in our tiny community love his plants and the varieties he continues to produce for his customers. Many people here have been loyal customers for several years.

Anyone with an idea to grow something special and has a little or big desire to share it with the world can do it. All it takes is desire, some courage and determination and you will succeed I guarantee it. If you find your self in love with dirt and what it can produce you are half way home.

Do a little home work, brainstorm with your significant other and come up with something you can grow that will help you earn an extra $10,000. per year doing what you love.

Just one other thought on marketing. One could find a local non profit or charity to grow specialty plants as a fundraiser. Place on a specially designed label with the plant, and sell as a fund raiser and split the profits.

I just thought I would mention this, because after 911 many non profits have been hurting for funds and this could be a perfect way to be a win, win for you both, just a thought.

“May God bless this little garden and everything I grow.”

Peace, Jay North

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