im still getting to know the place but was wondering if anyone else on here had managed to take the hobby of gardening and growing things and make a living from them? 18 mnths ago i lost my job unexpectedly and was unable to find another, i then signed on with the benefits agency as i was more than eligable to do so but frankly they are the most disorganised government department i have had the misfortune of dealing with. By the time i recieved any kind of benefit from them i had taken to growing basil, corriander and various other herbs and potted plants and selling them from the bottom of my drive way or car boot sales. I had been gardening for about 3 years so i was nt a complete novice, 2011 has started well as i am now working again but im really considering filling my greenhouse with various things and making a real serious effort to go commercial (although on a small scale).
Has anyone else sent themselves up as a small plant seller?
I'm always a sucker for the plant stalls at fairs, farmers' markets etc, and I'd make a beeline for the unusual varieties of herbs (eg purple or Greek basil) and the more unusual varieties of vegetable plants such as yellow tomatoes, yellow courgettes, chilli peppers of different strengths etc. If you can also offer bee-loving plants such as lavenders, perennial wallflowers and borage you may grab the interest of the eco-garden-warrior brigade, too. You'd get my vote.
Gone crazy. Back soon.
Hi Bad back
I got made redundant getting on for 2 years ago, and have expanded on my hobby of gardening and making things, I do a few hours a week gardening for a number of people, not big work, but the stuff that the older person finds a struggle...weeding.planting, things like that. I also make lots of jams and pickles from what I grow, then sell that and cakes and jewellery at a stall at village fairs, car boot sales etc.
I find the work enjoyable and it brings more work with it, through word of mouth, the stalls are fun and easily pay for themselves, but I'm not likely to retire to the south of France shortly on my earnings. You can make money on it, but it does take quite a bit of effort, especially if you build up a client base.
I was lucky in that I had worked for the same company for 28 years, was on a good salary and got a very good settlement which allowed me to pay off mortgage etc, not sure I could rely on the new careeer to make myself a living to pay normal household bills otherwise.
If its any comfort, I am in the same boat as you. In the fall my husband and I put up a greenhouse with the idea that we were going to sell wreathes and swags out of it at Christmastime, and then try to grow some specialty herbs and flowers at other times of the year with the addition of hand crafted items. We were also going to try to put in pumpkins to sell in the fall.
So, we are trying. Considering that I have to rely on my husband and Mother to work on the plants while I am traveling for my job..........well...........we will see what this year holds....
Will look forward to your progress, perhaps we will be able to commiserate
If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!
Good luck Bren, with your growing and selling as one clever lady pointed out, grow the unusual , if its flowers say the cup and saucer vine, do find a picture and put it iwith pot!
The only thing I would say Bren is be careful with your overheads, thats where your progfit goes, do you make your own compost?
All the best
thanks for the input and ideas...
to answer a few of your questions : yes i make my own compost which does save me a fortune and obviously its of a much better quality. Currently I'm mainly growing herbs and since making my post on here I have been approached by a smalll local restaurant to provide them with fresh herbs later in the year. At this stage the details still need dealing with but so far it feels like a very positive step. I have also acquired some grape vines which i plan to bring on in tubs and sculpt. Bedding plants seem to be popular so i ll be planting lots. The more unusual the better will be my motto i think. This whole idea came from planting an experimental vineyard in 2008 and the whole thing has snowballed from there, if anyone is interested i built a small website http://www.stroudwater-vineyard.co.uk . its a little out of date in places but still gives a feel of what i am trying to achieve.
Good luck, Bren.
Fiona does a deal on flower selling with our local village shop 50/50.Sales were just so-so. Apparently, in previous years from another local supplier now retired, carnations were by far the best sellers so she is growing a lot of them for this year's season
Another lady's idea worked very well last year. She was selling all manner of young plants too. She put them in a shiny new wheelbarrow outside the shop and they sold well.
Our shopkeeper is a kindly gent and he did not mind wheeling the barrow indoors at closing time. he like to help locals who are showing initiative. Not everybody would be like that.
Never knowingly underfed
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