I must admit, I have a very bad case of spring fever right now. It started a few weeks ago, and it is getting worse by the day. Even though it is still cold out, I have been outside for at least a little while each day and I have definitely noticed that it is getting dark just a little bit later. All of this wishful thinking about warmer weather made me think about gardening. If you enjoy gardening and you are thinking about starting a home-based business, perhaps you could grow and sell herbs.
As an herb grower, you will be spending quite a bit of time outside working in your herb garden. If you have children, this is a great way to keep an eye on them as they play outside as well as a good way to encourage them to get out of the house. Everyone benefits from time spent outdoors, and you just might find yourself feeling pretty wonderful as a result of it.
As far as the actual setup of your business, it would be wise to assess the potential market for your herbs before you select your seeds and start your plants. If your town or a neighboring town has a farmers’ market, then that is a good place to sell your herbs. Farmers’ markets are generally very family friendly, so your children are likely to enjoy coming along with you for the morning or afternoon, helping set up your booth, and even helping you sell the herbs. I sold baked goods at a farmers’ market last summer when my son was about six months old, and he loved it. You may also want to contact local restaurants to see whether they would be interested in buying fresh herbs form a local supplier. Another thing to consider when deciding what herbs to grow is whether you would like to sell fresh herbs only, or whether you would like to dry some herbs to make cooking spice blends, teas, or other herbal products.
Once you have determined that there is a market for your herbs and you have decided which to grow and in what quantities, it is time to design your herb garden or gardens. If your yard has an area that gets plenty of sun, you could build a greenhouse or a raised bed for your herbs. Take a good look at your yard, and think carefully about what you would like your herb growing operation to look like before you begin to build it. It will be the heart of your business and you will be spending quite a bit of time working in it. You can design it any way you choose, but if you build a long, thin raised bed or greenhouse then you can reach in from either side to access all of the plants. Depending upon the types of herbs that you will be growing, a 30 foot long raised bed or greenhouse that is forty inches wide could hold up to four hundred herb plants in six inch pots.
While a home-based herb growing business requires sustained energy and effort and is largely a seasonal operation, you may be able to earn a bit of money while spending your summer enjoying quality time outdoors with your family. If your kids are interested in helping you with the herb garden, that is great too. You can teach them about gardening and plants while enjoying fresh air and sunshine together.