While many polytunnel gardeners simply do it for fun, and to provide food for their own family, others have something wider in mind and want to make money from their efforts. It is a dream of many gardeners to diversify into a business or businesses run from their land. Whether you live on a large farm, a smallholding or just have a small back garden, there are ways to monetise your polytunnel gardening efforts. Where there is a will there is a way.
The first thing to do is to take an inventory. Work out what your resources are. Resources do not just include your land itself, its soil and natural resources. They also include the time you are able to expend in your efforts and the skills you have, or are able to hone, both in the garden and in associated pursuits such as cooking, crafting or artistry.
Market gardening or farming is, of course, the most obvious way to monetise your polytunnel gardening efforts. Selling crops at local markets or to local cooks and business owners is one way to start a small business.
Success in this arena depends on finding your own specific niche. You may decide to specialise in high-value crops such as herbs, salads or soft fruits, for example. But this is not the only way to make money from your polytunnel.
Processing crops before you sell them is one way of maximising financial yield from your produce. Making preserves such as jams or chutneys, creating cakes or using other recipes to produce finished foodstuff can increase the amount of money to be made from your gardening efforts.
Another potential yield to explore is to see on propagated plants. You could use your polytunnel for seedlings or cuttings that could potentially be sold on to make a profit. Seed saving is another potential avenue of revenue.
Keen gardeners may also be keen to monetise their expertise. There are a wide range of different ways in which this can be done. For example, you could run courses, become a certified permaculture practitioner, or guide others online. Online sources of revenue are diverse – from blogging to design, with a wide range of options in between.
Branching out, you could also consider growing herbal remedies, making herbal preparations or essential oils. You may choose to make toiletries or beauty products, candles or crafts from polytunnel produce.
For budding entrepreneurs, a polytunnel offers opportunities galore. Are you making the most of what your polytunnel can offer to move closer to your own dreams?