Gardening Articles: Edibles :: Small Fruits & Berries

Market Gardener (page 3 of 3)

by George Thabault

Keep it Simple

Don't try to do too much at first. We discovered it was hard to sell both flowers and vegetables. We tried tricky crops like lisianthus, which failed in our unheated "hoop" greenhouse. Most of our celosia fell victim to damping off, and the larkspur and other flowers were late. Statice, even the newer pastel colors, sells better after Labor Day (as garden flowers become scarce, perhaps-- ), but ours bloomed in July. After a few frustrating weeks of selling both blooms and veggies, we decided to stick to veggies and offered only a few bouquets.

Weigh the Costs and the Benefits

Our market space was 7 feet long; a permit to sell there for 26 Saturdays cost $120. Market hours are 8:30 am to 2 pm. We missed about eight or nine weeks, some because of rain, other times because we didn't have enough produce, or the family had other plans. We grossed about $2,700 with a one-week high of $210. We learned that a carpenter's nail pouch full of cold cash feels great. Our expenses for seeds and seed-starting materials were about $1,200. Our goal was to pay our town property taxes of $2,100. With some start-up costs already paid, we'll probably hit that goal next year.

Photography by Suzanne DeJohn/National Gardening Association

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