By Tim Moore
You never know when a bit of extra cash may come in handy. Whether you are looking to save for a great tropical escape, or simply would like to make making ends meet a bit easier, turning to your hobbies and interests as a cash source is not as far-fetched as it sounds.
Gardening, in particular, is a hobby that continues to grow, and in the US alone includes over 25% of the total population involved with gardening in one way or another. Not only are their health benefits involved with the task, but the fact that it is truly enjoyable to be surrounded by the fruits of your labor (in some cases literally) makes it a popular pastime. It also is an incredibly easy source to make a bit of money on the side with very little effort.
‘Green’ Money You Can Count On
The influx of people surrounding themselves with greenery, combined with a self-awareness of how food affects our health, makes it a great time to be a gardener. The market is ripe for both houseplants of all varieties, as well as fresh produce, allowing you to take advantage of consumer needs for something green.
The following ideas include many that require little to no extra time to take advantage of, while others may require a bit of knowledge and your resources. Either way, it is done while partaking in a pastime you enjoy and provides a source of easy money, as well as products you can use yourself.
If you start your seedlings each spring indoors, you already are halfway to some quick cash. Seeds are inexpensive and rarely does anyone plant an entire packet of seeds. If you already use efficient LED grow lights, or something similar, you can easily boost your numbers to get many more started – of which you can sell locally or online to those gardeners who don’t have the time or capability to start their gardens early!
Even if you are diligent in your harvest, you will always have seeds available for collection from both your flowers and vegetables. Most people toss their dried flowers and other seeds without taking the time to collect this tiny life-giving byproduct. Take the time to collect and label your seeds, and store them in a breathable, but the dry container. You can use them – saving yourself from having to purchase more next season, or sell them as organic, home harvested seed mixes.
Herb gardens have a tendency to produce more than what is needed. Many people dry their herbs through the season to use in their cooking through the colder, dormant months. If you have an abundance of dried herbs, you can easily offload them locally to those who appreciate the fresh taste and flavor they lend to their meals.
Farmer’s Markets are wonderful places to bring your extra garden goodies. Everything from produce to fresh cut flowers is popular with those who shop there. Many times there is a small fee for a table, or you can speak with a person already selling to see if they would rent you a little table space at an existing booth.
Pick Your Own Rows
If you have space you can put in a row of easy to pick produce. Berries, squash varieties, peas, beans, and even pumpkins grow quickly and produce consistently through their season. Investing in a few rows of plants can be a neighborhood affair for a small cost.
Garlic is incredibly easy to grow and when you plant a surplus are fun to braid into garlands and wreaths to hang until needed. Garlic traditionally used to be hung from rafters with shallots and onions to dry. This is still an excellent way to dry and store them, and are popular in kitchens for easy access when needed in cooking.
Mix and Match Bulbs
Plants that produce bulbs and tubers have a tendency to multiply quickly, causing you to have to divide them on a regular basis. It is easy to quickly run out of room for them. Luckily they store wonderfully, and you can easily put together a mix and match bulb package for sale locally or online.
Wreaths and Garlands
If you have grapevines you know how quickly they grow each spring and the work it takes to cut them back each fall. Grapevine is in high demand for crafting to make garlands and wreaths, and if you make it known you have some available, it won’t last long!
There are so many more ways in which you could use the products your gardens create. Houseplants are also popular, and if you have a producing spider plant or similar vegetation can sell the ‘babies’ off when they are produced. Soaps and candles can be made from plants, as can tea blends- you can even sell your old corn stalks for decorations. Your garden may be an untapped source of revenue, and it’s time you let all your hard work pay off!
Tim Moore is the lead editor of Backyard Boss and is a lifelong backyard enthusiast. He grew up immersed in the outdoors, camping every weekend and tending to the backyard with his family. Follow Tim and Backyard Boss on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter for everyday inspiration for your backyard.