There are plenty of ways for gardeners to start their own small business and begin down the journey towards a more self-reliant way of life. One of those ways is to specify in growing one of the more cost-effective cash crops, to sell in markets, to local restaurants or businesses, or to others in the local community. If you are considering starting a small business, even on the side, you could consider growing one of the following cash crops for small-scale polytunnel gardeners:
Fresh, organic mixed salads and micro-salads are easy to grow yet expensive to buy. Specialising in creating a range of delicious fresh salads could be one way to find your niche. Small salad mixes are trendy right now and in could be in demand in your local shops.
Herbs are also enjoying a lot of popularity right now and there is money to be had in providing fresh herbs for local shops and markets, or for local eateries. Small scale growers can often find a market for their goods by approaching small local businesses. Growers could also go one stage further and create herbal beauty products or distil their own essential oils, for higher potential profits.
Soft fruits are also relatively easy to grow and can often be in demand in local shops and restaurants. Another option for diversification could be to create your own jams and other preserves to increase profits on your growing efforts.
If you are an experienced gardener, the highest profits may come from growing more unfamiliar crops in your polytunnel – from spices to exotic herbs and edibles. People like novelty and if you can grow something no one else does in your area, it may be easier to find a market for it locally.
You may also be able to make your polytunnel pay by growing flowers for cut arrangements and displays. Local florists and local businesses may appreciate being able to buy a wider range of cut flowers locally, rather than having to source their cut flowers from further away.
These are just a few ideas of ways to make money from your polytunnel gardening, though there are many more ideas that you could choose from. There is, of course, no need to monetise your garden – but if you long for your own business, your polytunnel could be a good place to start.