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Growing and Selling Hydroponically Grown Herbs

Growing herbs for sale can be both fun and very profitable when grown using a hydroponics system or unit.

Growing herbs in a hydroponic system is much faster than growing them in soil. The rule of thumb is that herbs such as basil, cilantro, oregano, etc., will grow three times faster than in soil and that means more profit and faster turn-around time to the market. Hydroponically grown herbs and vegetables are now becoming mainstream in the market place. People are now more educated about hydroponics. Because of the advantages afforded by growing hydroponically, the numbers of interested shoppers will increase. It is no longer just a hobby it is a very useful hobby or business venture.

Large and small restaurants are beginning to understand the value of cooking with fresh herbs if they are readily available, rather than using dried herbs. The benefit to their cuisine is better taste, and it will result in more positive comments from the diners. Owners and managers understand that in order to compete, they need to offer the best tasting meal possible. There is no better or more cost effective way to do that than by using fresh herbs. The cost is minimal compared to buying dried herbs. Make a list of the restaurants in your market area that may be very interested in the fresh herbs you can provide for them.

How about providing fresh hydroponically grown herbs to the public at your local farmer’s market?What a great place to sell fresh herbs! Also check to see what ethnic groups live in your area. Many of them will be shopping at your local farmer’s market and are partial to certain herbs. Be sure to check with the market to see what licenses and other requirements may be necessary in order to sell your product. Whether selling to your local restaurants, or to the market, you will need to make sure your fresh cut herbs look great and are truly fresh.

When growing hydroponically, cut your herbs the morning of your sale so they are at their peak. Walk around the market and see how the competition is presenting its produce. Being on top of your market may take some homework. If herbs are available at the market, buy some see how they sell and if they are really quality products. Presentation is also important. You will want to keep your herbs in a cooler with ice, or a container with holes drilled to hold each bunch of herbs. Plastic bags in which to put the herbs after the sale will be required. You may want to consider pre-packaging a limited amount of certain best-selling herbs the morning you offer them for sale. That is up to your marketing judgment.
Checking out the competition can be a great learning experience as whatever your product, marketing is critical to your success.

Selling Tips

  1. Package herbs individually as they are strong and you do not want to mix flavors.
  2. Use rubber gloves or the plastic bags to touch the herbs; hygiene is important.
  3. Offer simple and fast recipe cards your customer can use.
  4. Offer a Recipe-of-the-Month on a poster at your booth with a picture buyers will stop and look.
  5. Offer samples of food made with your herbs that is a great draw to your booth.
  6. Be sure to have enough business cards or simple brochures.
  7. Use containers with ice and water to keep your herbs fresh and vibrant.
  8. Show a small hydroponic system with live herbs so customers can see how the herbs are grown. This is a big “booth stopper” they will stop and ask questions.

 

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