There continues to be a high demand for quality garlic. According to the Fresh Garlic Association, garlic is the second most used spice in America, just behind pepper. Demand for gourmet garlic varieties is soaring as well, with retail prices now averaging over $15 a pound! So how can you make big profits with your garlic business? Here are five ways to get you started:
1. Grow the “hardneck” type of garlic
The two main types of garlic are hardneck and softneck. Softneck, which usually produces smaller cloves, is the type usually found in stores. On the other hand, hardneck garlic typically does better in colder climates and offers more flavor, so that’s why it’s the recommended type for small growers. The hardneck types include Rocambole, Purplestripe, Turban and Porcelain, with dozens of varieties in each type. Experiment with different varieties, and you’ll soon find the ones that bring you biggest profit.
2. Grow what people want
Before you get growing, it’s a good idea to talk to people and businesses in your area to find out just what they’re looking for. Ask growers at the farmers’ market, produce managers at co-ops, restaurants chefs and more. Suppliers of garlic starts are also a good source of information about popular varieties. It’s true for any business, and it’s certainly true for a garlic business—you need to grow what people want to buy. That’s how you can make a top profit. That way you’re sure to be growing profitable plants.
3. Farmers’ markets
Farmers’ markets routinely draw big crowds eager to buy the best products from the best growers. That could be you. In particular, people love finding exotic garlic varieties at the farmers’ market that they’re unable to find at their local supermarket. Spots fill up fast, so if you’re unable to reserve a spot at your local farmers’ market, consider asking another grower if you can sell at their stand or stall.
4. Grow organic
The popularity of organic plants is continuing to grow as people are trying to live a healthier lifestyle. Patrons of farmers’ markets typically love to find and buy organic products. Your garlic will need healthy soil to grow in, so stick to organic products, such as organic fertilizers and organic pest controls.
5. Mail-order sales
If there is something special about the garlic you’re growing, you could see a lot of mail-order sales. As people everywhere are turning to garlic to live a healthier lifestyle, many are turning to mail-order to purchase exactly what they’re looking for. Place ads in a variety of magazines. How about a health magazine? And don’t forget about gardening magazines. Or maybe you’ve made some value-added products with your garlic, such as flea repellant for dogs. This is easy to make. Put about 6-8 ounces of “culls” (those less-than-perfect bulbs that aren’t supermarket quality) into a mesh bag, and you’re set. Place an ad in a dog magazine, and you could soon see a lot of orders coming your way.
There are many ways to profit from garlic gardening. Try these five out and see what works best for you. Soon your profitable plants will be making you the type of money you’ve always wanted. To learn more, read our guidebook, Golden Harvest.
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