The first way to make money by growing something is to sell the finished product.
- Edible things (apples, oranges, vegetables, potatoes, nuts, etc.) can all be sold at Farmers Markets. Check your local municipality for the required permits.
- Decorative things (flowers, plants, small trees, pine cones, etc.) can also be sold at Farmers Markets.
- If there are no Farmer's Markets, try to set up a stand. Find a well trafficked corner and sell bushes of strawberries. If you don't want to sit around the whole time, you can try to leave a deposit box and trust the honor system.
- If you actually grow a large amount of something, you can try to sell it to a local grocery store, restaurant, or convenience store. Again, there may be some local laws that you will have to consider.
- Try to sell online. Set up a website. "Fresh", "Organic", "Local" are all good buzzwords to help entice customers to purchase your produce. If you can make arrangements with your flowers, advertise those at your church for weddings, baptisms, funerals, and other occasions.
- If none of these things are working, you can always donate to a local food shelf or school cafeteria. Food shelfs are often lacking in nutritious items. You can write off those donations in your taxes, so even if you don't make money, maybe you can save a little.
- Focus on a niche item. If you can grow heirloom vegetables, or even seed producing items, the things you grow will have an inherent value.
- Create secondary products. Zucchini can turn into zucchini bread. Tomatoes and peppers become salsa. Pine branches become Christmas Wreaths and so on.
The second way to earn cash with the things you grow is to enter them in contests or put them on display.
- State Fairs are often holding contests for best produce. There may or may not be monetary prizes associated with the winning entries. The Alaska State Fair is known for its large produce.
- Gardening Magazines (see example below) are often looking for landscapes to showcase. If you can put together a really ornate pattern of blooms, you can get some good cash from the publicity.
The third way to earn an income from things you grow is to teach classes about it.
- Community Education is one place where you can offer to teach a class about gardening techniques.
- Natural Food Stores are also great places to offer a class.
- If both of those places don't pan out, again try to sell your knowledge online. Podcasts, YouTube videos, an Ebooks are all ways to earn money with your knowledge.
Here are some ideas for topics to teach:
- Organic Gardening
- Using Raised Beds
- What are Rain Barrels?
- Easy Recipes for Garden Vegetables
- Understanding Your Soil
- What Should I Plant?
- Weed and Pest Prevention
- Potted Plants
Finally, the focus of this article has been on plants. You can apply some of the same techniques to livestock, rabbits, and chickens.