Planting a small cash crop, help for a beginner

farm, crops, farming, planting - planting and starting a small cash crop farm.
United States
May 2, 2007 9:25am CST
We are going to plant a cash crop for the first time. We have about an acre plowed. He will come back and plow again in about a week. Now we need to decide what to plant. What will sell good? I am actually going to put a stand in my front yard and sell my fresh produce! How do I control the weeds and bugs? Any ideas?
1 person likes this
5 responses
@coolseeds (3921)
• United States
3 May 07
I would plant what I want to eat. That way if no one wanted to buy my produce I will get to enjoy it. There are a lot of options to control weeds and pests. How much do you want to spend? This means time or money. If you don't want to spend money to control them you will have to put in some time doing maintenance. I mulched my mother's garden and till it into the soil at the end of the year to enrich the soil. I don't recommend plastic and would never use it. It will ruin your soil. It needs to breathe as well as get water.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 May 07
Thanks for your advice. There is no way we would be able to eat all we plant. If we plant the acre. I will have to can what we don't sell. I wonder how I can store corn though?
@creematee (2810)
• United States
2 May 07
a whole acre? Boy, am I jealous!! I only have about 20 square feet!!! Some of the fruits and veggies that sell well around here are tomatoes, cucumbers, melons (any kind!), pumpkins, onions, garlic, squash (again any variety!) sweet corn, and peppers. I've also seen asparagus, radishes, leaf and head lettuce, cabbage (red & green), broccoli & cauliflower, green beans, peas... do I have your head spinning yet??? Since it's such a large area, you will probably need mulch to keep down the weeds. Our town has a tree chipper, so we can get wood mulch just about anytime. (It's free!) I would like the aisles between your veggie rows with that or grass clippings (that's a lot of grass!) You will still need to weed, but it will help, and help preserve moisture that those veggies need. Make sure if you use pesticides in the garden that it is safe for those beneficial insects. You don't want to kill those little helpful critters! :) Good luck!! I am so green (with envy)
• United States
2 May 07
thanks for your comments. I am a little overwhelmed with it already and havn't even started, except that it is tilled. Thanks for your suggestions. I am reading a book right now about gardening, so I wll let you know.
1 person likes this
@creematee (2810)
• United States
3 May 07
Well, you are off to a good start! Do all the research you can, ask questions, contact your local state extention office, find local garden centers, all those places can help! Also, don't be afraid to contact vender's at farmer's markets or other fruit/vegetable stands. With any luck, they'll all fill you with the knowledge you need. My best wishes! You can send me a bushel of tomatoes when they are ready!!! LOL!
• United States
3 May 07
I am doing all of the above. I went to the library yesterday and picked up a couple of books. I am in zone 7, so we are actually getting a late start. Oh well, there will be plenty. I am sure we will ahve plenty of tomatoes. I can't 'wait, fresh local tomatoes are so much better than store bought.
1 person likes this
@Rickrocks8 (1751)
• United States
5 May 07
I would plant what you like to eat. Around here people love tomatoes, corn, beans, peppers, & cucumbers. I wouldn't put all my eggs inone basket I would grow alot of differnt things. If this is your first year I would look at it as a test market. Maybe people will love all the differnt types of peppers you grow and you will be know as the pepper guy. Add a little tomato and your Mr Salsa! Best of luck and I hope you amke alot of money!
• United States
5 May 07
Thanks so much, that is some really good advice. That is kind of what I had in mind myself. We are surrounded by subdivisions. So it would be convenient for people to stop by on their way home from work and pick up something for dinner! I think tomatoes, corn, beans, cucs is a great idea. I was also thinking about herbs. Also planting sunflowers out front. It would not only draw attention, it would be pretty. Thanks again for the encouragement.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 May 07
I love buying from the local farmers. THanks so much for the BR I just found that I had some. Good luck I pray your crops will flourish!!!
• United States
14 May 07
If you choose to plant green beans or other legumes for your cash crop, consider mixing Rhizobium culture in with your soil. This beneficial bacteria allows enhanced nitrogen fixation to aid in the growth of your legume crops. Many farmers use this especially if the land has been used for previous crops which depleted the soil's nitrogen content. Good luck!
• United States
15 May 07
Thanks for the information. I never heard of that. We are planting bush beans, Lima beans, peas, tomatoes, corn, watermelon, canteloupe and cucumbers. WE have just about everything planted.
• United States
5 May 07
What sells well varies from area to area, week to week from what I understand. I plan on selling at our local farmer's market next year...I want to get our soil prepared, research what there is a need for, what there is too much of, etc. I started a blog where I will post helpful info and resources, and another blog with photos of our garden. Hope that helps some...talk with other growers in your area. http://DandelionFarmVA.blogspot.com http://GardenNerds.blogspot.com
• United States
5 May 07
I checked out your gardent blog. It is very nice. Your pictures are superior. My sister in law lives in Chesepeake.There is a neighbor who lives two doors down, he has been farming here for years. He has given us alot of advice. He says corn, tomatoes, and okra sell well. He has already come and plowed up our acre.So for this year I think we will get the fertizer. Then in the fall turn it over and work on composting. Our road is very busy, even though we have 3 acres, we are surrounded by subdivisions. People use this road to go to and from work. Because of the traffic, I don't think we would have a problem selling anything.