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Whether you need to come up with money fast, or you are trying to plan a short-term return to fund life on the homestead, you have come to the right place. The five methods I am about to show you can bring in profits in under 60 days time!
A profitable, small homestead nursery can bring in as much as $200 profit a week from a 5-foot x 5-foot space with good lighting. Startup costs for a 5 x 5 nursery will range from about $20 to $50, depending on how and where you buy your supplies.
To start your own small space nursery on the cheap, start with 150 to 200 paper or plastic disposable cups (instead of nursery pots) that you have taken the time to poke drainage holes in the bottom of. Fill the cups with moistened potting mix and plant two to three seeds per cup. It may take a week or two, but as soon as your seedlings grow their first set of true leaves, they are ready to sell. Just start new seeds as you sell the seedlings to keep the process going.
Salad greens are almost always in demand and among the quickest growing crops. A harvest of tender greens will be able to be made about three to five weeks after the seeds germinate. The method known as "cut and come again" harvesting will allow you to sell leaves from the same plants all season long.
Do not pay attention to the growing and spacing instructions on the seed packet for this money-making venture. Just heavily seed a garden bed with salad green seeds, and tend to it as usual for about three weeks. At this time, your seedlings should have at least one visible true leaf. Keep a close eye over the next week or two, because as soon as the seedlings have three leaves, we are going to start harvesting.
Harvest the leaves from your greens by snipping leaves at the base. Use clean scissors or shears, and always leave at least one true leaf on the plant so it can continue to grow. The growth that you cut away will be replaced by the plant for you to continue to harvest over and over again. This method is perfect for growing greens that have been heavily seeded.
Do not limit yourself to growing lettuce though. Pick and choose from the following list of greens and herbs to create your own custom salad blends to take to market:
Most $1 and 98¢ stores will have those windowsill planter boxes for sale from late winter through late summer. Buy them and decorate and customize them. Fill the planters with soil, and plant each one with two or three different varieties of herb seeds. Wait about three weeks for the seedlings to grow their first set of true leaves. Sell windowsill herb gardens for $7 to $10 each.
Microgreens are easy to grow and easy to sell. A $20 investment in seeds spread heavily over a 4-foot x 8-foot bed could return $400 to $700 in just two weeks.
Much like growing the salad greens, we will be sowing a 4-foot x 8-foot bed as heavily as we can with seeds for similar high-intensity growing. Unlike the salad greens though, after about two weeks are up and the first true leaf has formed, the whole bed gets harvested all at once. Then a new sowing of seeds will be required to get more than one harvest.
Some examples of microgreens that are sure to put green in your pocket are:
Having a yard sale or garage sale at your home is a great way to make some money and free up some space for other projects by getting rid of things that you no longer need or use. Most importantly though, it's a really good way to promote yourself.
You can advertise your sale on Facebook, Craigslist, Yardsale.com, or Bookoo for free. When people show up searching for the items in the pictures from your advertisements, let them see what else you have going on as well. A random "Fresh Local Produce" sign in the corner might spark up a conversation or two that will get you sales you weren't even planning on making that day.
I hope that you found at least one of the above methods to be useful. While they all require a little bit of work—and a few require some money invested—they all can and will return you profits if you are willing to put in what it takes to make it happen.