Once my urban garden gets going well enough, I plan to sell some goods at farmer's markets in my area. Meanwhile, I frequent them to supplement the crops I grow regularly. This past summer, I decided to do some research. I wanted to know what crops sell best, for future reference. Here's what growers told me as I perused their stalls.
The top answer was no surprise.
"Tomatoes" was the number one answer. Frankly, I had a gut feeling about that. Considering the popularity of this versatile fruit/vegetable, it makes sense it would be a best seller. I had already mentally listed it as a contender for the title. Still, I was quite happy to hear that one of the crops I'm best at growing also sells well.
Salad greens and herbs fly off the shelf.
I should have known this. After all, what is a summer salad without the greens? Store bought lettuces just seem to lack the flavor of home grown, don't they? One farmer let me in on a little secret, too. Greens like kale and collard have become bigger sellers since juicing regained popularity. Another reminded me not to forget about fresh herbs. They grow quickly, easily and are in high demand. Plus, they're perennials, which means they don't have to be replanted, saving money on seeds.
Coming in third was a fall favorite.
Pumpkins are easily the best cash crop in autumn, according to several local vendors. Grocery store prices on these orange orbs have really taken a rise. Plus, local farmers have no trouble saving their seeds to spite GMO giants like Monsanto. Those factors make farmers' markets not only the healthiest place to buy them, but the most economical.
Regional crops were a big hit.
Once again, I was not surprised. Here in Denver, hot peppers are a strong seller. That made me incredibly happy, since peppers are my strong suit in gardening. Melons from the high country were a big hit. Of course, the Colorado peach came away with a high ranking too. Last, but certainly not least on this list of best sellers was local wine. I can't speak for the rest of the country. Still, I'm sure each area has a locally renowned crop or product that does well at the markets.
Certain homemade products ranked high.
Peppers and tomatoes came into play again in the most popular product. Yup, you guessed it right. It was salsa. One farmer made mention that his wife's homemade hot pepper jelly was a good earner as well. The fresh pasta vendor was really rolling in the dough. I had a hard time getting a word in with her. I was pleased that a vendor made particular mention of another handmade product I dabble in making. It seems people who frequent farmer's markets just can't get enough homemade soap.
Note -It looks like my future ultimate garden may lead to some serious farmer's market profit once I get it up and running. Hopefully, my research will help yours do the same.
This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.