[Market-farming] High value crops.

John Hendrickson jhendric at wisc.edu
Fri Dec 7 11:40:33 EST 2007

Andy makes a good point: non food items often fetch higher prices than 
food.  I know a woman in Wisconsin that gets outrageous returns on wool 
from her small flock of sheep.  Why?  Because she makes wool balls with 
hangers and sells them to people as bird nesting material.  People will 
also pay high prices for corn to feed squirrels.  However, you may not 
want to devote limited space to space-hogging crops like corn and vine 
crops (such as gourds).  The advantage of the gourds and Indian corn for 
you would be that they obviously do not require refrigeration after 
harvest.  Other options in that category would include garlic, popcorn, 
and dried flowers.  Options that would likely require some investment in 
facilities (cold storage) would be berries or fresh flowers.  These are 
quite demanding in terms of labor, however.  As for the tomatoes, I know 
some growers that feel this is a very profitable crop; others that feel 
just the opposite because of the production costs (growing the 
transplants, trellising, pruning, lots of labor inputs, etc.).  If you 
can get a good price in your area for specialty potatoes that might be a 
crop to consider.  On the pro-side, you wouldn't need a cooler but the 
con is that  potatoes do require a good bit of space. 

Just be sure to ask for "real" prices so that you are not undercutting 
full-time vegetable farmers in your area.

My random thoughts.  -John

Fellenz wrote:
> If you have some space and traffic in front of your home, Indian Corn 
> and gourds may do well.  I used to sell Indian Corn for $6/dozen tied 
> in gruops of three and received another $2/dozen for the stalks.  
> Small, brightly colored odd shaped gourds for table displays also get 
> a premium price.  Tomatoes can also do well. 
> Andy
> Franklin W. Davis wrote:
>> Hi Folks...am retired and garden on a home scale level. Would like to 
>> expand in a small way to try 
>>   and make a few dollars to help out my retirement funds. What high 
>> value crop(s) would anyone care to comment on that I could raise to 
>> accomplish that goal. Franklin
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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John Hendrickson
Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1535 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706

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