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You’ve probably heard the term “Market Garden” before, whether you’re a gardener or not. Today, market gardens are more popular than ever.
With the recent outbreak of COVID 19, people are turning back to “Victory Gardens” like the babyboomers did back in the times of World War 2 and the generations before that did during the Great Depression.
For those who’re unfamiliar with the term, we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about market gardens below.
What Exactly Is a Market Garden?
A market garden, sometimes called a micro-farm, is a garden with the primary purpose of selling produce. Market gardens range from backyard operations to properties with several acres. Anything larger falls into a different agricultural category such as a commercial garden or farm.
A typical market garden produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables with the intent to market the product to a local market. Many market gardens sell the bulk of their produce to restaurants and farmers’ market vendors (or become vendors at local markets themselves).
Micro-greens, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, apples, cherries, transplants, seeds, and a plethora of herbs and spices are among the most popular produce that market gardens supply their customers with. Some market gardens, also known as “food forests,” include fruit trees and berry bushes as well.
What to Consider Before Starting a Market Garden
As with any garden, there are a few important considerations to take into account before planning and creating a market garden. That said, keep in mind that market gardens are for-profit, not for pleasure (so, the considerations should be taken with a bit more concern than with a regular backyard garden).
Here are a few of the most significant to keep in mind:
- How much time and money will it require? Starting a market garden isn’t exactly the hardest job, but it does take a lot of time and planning. It also requires a bit of money as well.
- How much space will it take? The amount of space that your market garden will require depends on the sort of crops, and harvest, that you’re aiming for. In many ways, the space available determines the profit available, in regards to market gardens as businesses.
- What sort of soil will you use? The main growing medium of any garden is crucial, even more so in a market garden that you’re more than likely growing strictly for profit.
- What specific crops will you grow? Determining what variety of crops you want to grow is critical early on in the planning stage. Each sort of crop requires a specific amount of space, light, and water, to say the least. Make sure to properly research any garden plant you’re unfamiliar with before planting.
- How will you handle operations? Planting, maintaining, and harvesting crops require different tools, amounts of time, and skillsets. Make sure you take into consideration exactly how you will handle each aspect of your market garden (as well as considering the costs).
- Where will you store produce? Storing your produce before getting it to the market is extremely important. Many market gardens are equipped with extra refrigerators and even walk-in coolers for this purpose.
- How will you sell your produce? You need to have a marketing plan, for a market garden to be successful. Customers will not simply appear to beat your doors down with fists full of cash to buy your produce (unfortunately). Family, friends, and local farmers’ markets, and flea markets are a great way to get started (word of mouth travels far and wide).
A Final Word About Market Gardens
Market gardens are a great way for green thumbs, and even no-so-green thumbs, to earn a nice amount of money using their own yards.
A market garden does require a bit of initial effort, physically, and financially, but, in the end, the output is well worth the steady amount of income they create.
Do you have a market garden, or plan to start one? We’d love to hear your questions or comments!
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