The North American Center for Saffron Research and Development, a new program at the University of Vermont, hopes to make New England the new hotspot for this ancient Mediterranean herb.Selling for $5,000 to $10,000 per pound, saffron is the most expensive culinary herb in the world, mainly because it is composed of the tiny, thread-like stigmas of the crocus flower.Roughly 50,000 flowers are needed to produce a pound of the dried herb, though this requires just a quarter acre of land, hinting at just how lucrative this crop can be.To help expand their viability, the University of Vermont recommends planting them in high tunnels, a simple protective structure made of plastic sheeting over a frame of PVC pipes, which allows saffron to be grown in much of the country.Wild ginseng root, a medicinal herb which is found in forests throughout much of the northern and eastern United States, is harvested on a commercial scale and sold for astonishing prices, largely to Asian buyers.The crop is so valuable that a growing guide from Purdue University recommends protecting your investment by “installing security cameras, keeping guard dogs, and embedding microchips” in the roots.But the simplest way to sell lavender, which requires minimal investment in time and equipment to produce, is as dried flower bouquets.Simply tie bunches of the flower stems together with twine and hang in a barn, shed, or other well-ventilated structure to dry for at least one week before bringing them to market.Dried organic goji berries regularly sell for $20 or more per pound, with the fresh fruit fetching a significantly higher price at farmer’s markets.Simply plant a grove, let it spread, and then pot up small clumps to sell to local nurseries or direct to consumers.Depending on the variety, it may take anywhere from three to ten years to establish a patch large enough to start digging out clumps for sale. .
Top 10 FAQs About Growing Lavender For Profit
In many parts of the world, such as the Provence region of France, lavender has been grown commercially for centuries.Today, lavender is experiencing a renewal of popularity as a culinary and medicinal herb, and as a fragrant addition to cosmetics from perfumes to body lotions.Lavender grown in regions with high humidity often have problems with fungal diseases, which can sometimes be corrected by wider spacing between plants to improve air circulation.Also, if you are located in an area with colder winters, such as zone 5, grow Lavendula augustifolia, as it’s the hardiest lavender species.Lavendula augustifolia, or English lavender, is a cold-hardy species that does well in climate zone 5 to 9, with mild summer heat and long hours of daylight.The sweet fragrance of the true lavenders is ideal for culinary use, and the aroma and quality of the essential oil they produce.This unique lavender species is easy to recognize, with a cylinder shaped flower head topped by leafy extensions that resemble rabbit ears.They are the earliest lavenders to bloom and produce flowers all through the season, but are less hardy, with most varieties only suitable for zones 7 to 10.Some small growers tend a few dozen plants in their backyard, and are happy to make a few hundred dollars.Larger operations on acreage can bring in hundreds of thousands, especially if they also produce and sell value-added products.Purple Haze Farms, in Sequim, Washington, for example, routinely grosses over a million dollars a year with about 8 acres of lavender.Most growers sell direct to the retail public, either from their garden or at the local farmer’s market.Other lavender products, such as lotions and soaps, bring 500% or more markups from the price of the basic ingredients.Most growers agree that late morning, after the dew has evaporated, and early afternoon are the best time to harvest.If you’re selling bouquets, fresh or dried,harvest when the first flower blooms open up on the stems.After harvesting the lavender bunches, bind them with a sturdy rubber band around the base of the stems.Best of all, selling direct at the market allows you to cut out the middleman and receive full retail prices for your products.Three proven value-added products that enjoy widespread appeal, substantial profit margins and repeat buyers are:.Lavender oil has been used for hundreds of years as an antiseptic, a natural antibiotic, an insect repellant and a calming sedative.It is used as the aromatic base for thousands of cosmetic products, such as lotions, massage oils, perfumes and soaps.Several manufacturers make small, affordable tabletop distillers used to extract the lavender oil from flowers. .
The Complete Guide to Growing Lavender for Profit
While it might not be quite as easy to grow as microgreens or salad mix, we think it’s a good next step for the beginner farmer or gardener.It originates from the Mediterranean, but today lavender is grown all around the world, from Europe and North America to parts of Africa and Asia.Compared to standard crops like corn or soybeans that typically generate less than $1,000 per acre, the choice is obvious.An efficient lavender operation can produce 100 times that much money in the same amount of space!As bee populations decline, you want to attract as many pollinators to your garden as you can, so lavender is a great choice.Mosquitos, moths, ticks, fleas and flies all dislike the smell of lavender.But if you’re willing to put in a little extra work, you can also use your lavender to create a wide variety of products.Alternatively, it can be grown on a slope so that water quickly drains away from the plant’s roots.If you’re interested in having guests visit your lavender field, you’ll want your farm to be easily accessible and located where a lot of people drive by it.These are crosses between existing popular lavender varieties and often attempt to combine the best traits of both.Hybrid lavender plants are sterile and their seeds are not viable, so they can only be grown from cuttings.However, for oil production, a hybrid lavender variety called Grosso is the clear winner.For purposes other than oil production, consider a variety of English lavender called Buena Vista.If you live in a colder climate, the Folgate variety of English lavender will produce the highest yields.You can earn as much as $120,000 per acre in ideal conditions by selling fresh or dried lavender.Larger farms specializing in lavender can make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year or more.Purple Haze Farms in Washington produces over a million dollars of lavender per year on seven acres.Bunches of fresh lavender at your local farmer’s market can easily sell for $5 each or more.If you are willing to produce your own line of lavender-scented soaps or lotions, you can multiply the profits of your lavender by four or five times.People love to tour and take pictures in the rows of deep purple flowers.However, as previously mentioned, you can use your lavender to create other products and further maximize profit instead of selling the plant material directly.You would need a dozen or more dump trucks full of sand to achieve the necessary levels of drainage.So if you’re set on growing lavender, you may need to relocate to somewhere that has the correct soil type.For that reason, nearly all commercial lavender producers buy seedlings or grow cuttings from their existing plants.Using cuttings will ensure that plants are exact clones and that you’ll get a consistent level of oil production and flower color.They are typically placed in a mixture of 50/50 sandy soil and perlite and allowed to root then planted directly into the field.The best time of day to harvest lavender is late morning or early afternoon.Due to the cost, purchasing specialized harvest equipment usually isn’t justified unless you’re growing several hectares of lavender.After harvest, lavender is grouped into bunches and the stems are bound together with rubber bands.They should be kept in a dry, dark area with good ventilation to minimize the risk of mold growth.To maximize your lavender profits, you’ll want to try to sell the majority of your produce directly.A farmer’s market on the weekend is a great place to sell your lavender in various forms.Operating on an honor system where people help themselves to your product and leave money in a lockbox minimizes the amount of labor required.Lavender farms with a strong agrotourism aspect to their business may even want to set up a dedicated shop.Any excess lavender that you can’t sell on your own may be sold to chefs, wholesalers, independent flower shops or other businesses.For more information on growing and selling plants, check out our guide: Starting a Market Garden.But it bears repeating that creating your own line of lavender products can really take your income to the next level.Choose from cosmetic products, perfumes, lotions, massage oils and a lot more.If you live in an area with the right climate and soil conditions, lavender can be a very lucrative crop to grow.You can use lavender plants as a hedge, to attract beneficial insects or simply as a way of diversifying your income. .
7 Ways To Make Money Growing Lavender
Even a small backyard lavender garden can produce a surprising amount of income.Best of all, unlike many other seasonal crops, such as flowers, that are worthless if not sold at harvest time, lavender can be dried and made into even more profitable products.Most growers sell direct to the retail public, either from their garden or at the local farmer’s market.Also, the flower buds can be removed from the bunches and sold or used to make sachets and other value-added products.Lavender sachets can be used anywhere the air needs freshening or deodorizing, such as drawers, closets, even in smelly shoes!The Saturday market is a great place to sell sachets, especially if they are made using decorative fabric scraps.Growers can also wholesale potted live lavender plants to local garden centers and nurseries in their area.Many commercial flea repellants use powerful chemicals that can have toxic side effects.With so many molds available to soap makers, lavender bars can be created in an almost unlimited variety of sizes and shapes.By using value-added products, the income from a patch of lavender can continue year-round instead of being limited to just harvest time. .
Purple Reign: The Joy & Value of Growing Lavender
Incredibly aromatic, lavender flowers have a soothing scent featured in a variety of merchandise, which provides a range of profitable outlets for small-scale producers.Unlike many other seasonal crops, producers can dry lavender for ornamental flower arrangements, wands, sachets or potpourri, or transform the dried flowers into value-added products such as essential oils, tinctures, soaps or lotions.Your plans for your harvested lavender will determine which of the many species you should grow, but all the common varieties have fairly simple propagation needs.Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas) is compact, bushy and often treated as an annual instead of a perennial.French Lavender (Lavandula dentata) is a busy, spreading shrub with beautiful purple-blue flowers that thrive in warmer, temperate regions.(Lavandula dentata) is a busy, spreading shrub with beautiful purple-blue flowers that thrive in warmer, temperate regions.Grosso and Provence are the two varieties produced by Claudia Estrada of Harmony Lavender in Atascadero, California.“We primarily grow Grosso for its high oil production, drought tolerance and gopher/deer resistance, and Provence for its culinary uses,” Estrada says.She and her husband hand plant, grow and harvest it, then turn it into essential oil, crafts, gifts, and bath and beauty products.Beyond that, there are multiple ways to transform this fragrant, highly popular herb into a teeming enterprise.acre farms, lavender is trendy in culinary markets, but more commonly sought after for medicinal and cosmetic products.This includes florists, bath and beauty product manufacturers, candle makers, chefs and bakers.“We have a lovely local clientele list, as well as a strong online presence and a full agritourism following.”.Many of these proven value-added products enjoy widespread appeal, which provides a steady supply of repeat buyers, as well as substantial profits.It’s also used as the aromatic base for thousands of cosmetic products, including soaps, lotions, perfumes and massage oils.This byproduct has a tiny amount of lavender oil mixed with the water-soluble parts of the plant and makes an excellent addition to spritzers and room fresheners.Lavender also requires regions with full sun and limited humidity to avoid problems with fungal diseases.We don’t use rooting hormones and plant them in a 50/50 mix of perlite and sandy soil in 2-inch nursery pots in a shade-cloth building.Because of the plant’s susceptibility to mold and fungus, organic mulches usually aren’t good for lavender.They don’t require much in the way of nutrients, and I’ve personally not had any problems with pests or disease.”.Once lavender buds bloom into brightly colored flowers, it’s time to start harvesting.Late morning (after the dew has evaporated) and early afternoon (before hotter weather causes oil loss) are ideal times for harvesting.“Depending on your final use of the lavender, harvest when a third of the buds are starting to bloom, or in our case when the honey bees really come on. .
Living the Dream: I Started a Lavender Farm in Oregon
Growing lavender on a beautiful island in Oregon sounds like a dream come true, right?I managed a marina, published a local community newspaper and worked as a land use planning consultant.I was looking for an opportunity to contribute to the family income while allowing me to stay at home with the kids.I read an article in a national magazine about a woman who became a lavender grower and I was hooked.The first thing I did was share my idea with my husband and we both agreed to use the profits from a property sale to start a lavender farm.It is a group of 70+ farmers from three counties whose focus is promoting and marketing members’ farms to the region.I also never thought my reality would include mentoring others who say I am living their dream and ask for help on how to achieve it.I am currently developing a course that will provide folks everything they need know to grow their own successful lavender farm.We chose our farm location based on one overriding factor: we did not want our children to have to change schools.The next factor we looked at was finding property with a family home that had the right soil type for a successful lavender farm.Once we decided we wanted to live on Sauvie Island, the rest just fell into place.When we bought our property in 2005, the island received around 1.5 million visitors a year to hunt, fish, birdwatch, bike ride, sunbathe, swim, and visit farms for produce, flowers and Christmas trees.In July, we do everything that we did in June plus set up the drying sheds and hire and manage a harvest crew for a week or two.About two weeks after harvest we host a party for friends and family to help us strip around 2000 dried bundles of lavender that we use to fill sachet bags.October through May we fill online orders and work on product line development and launches.I work on honing my internet marketing skills to drive traffic to my online shops and I am currently developing a couple of online courses for folks interested in 1) growing lavender for fun or profit, 2) cooking/baking with culinary lavender.I wish I known the importance of creating, nurturing, and maintaining an email list of customers from day one.I have since learned that social media marketing is just one part of the picture and is a tool for growing my email list, but not the end all be all.A few years ago, I was interviewed for a national publication for an article they were writing about culinary lavender.Don’t be afraid to interview people who are living your dream to get inspiration, motivation and guidance. .
Texas Tech launches research program on how to grow lavender as
Depending on the variety, lavender is sensitive to too much humidity, heavy rains, extended cold periods and excessive heat.Russell Plowman and the staff in the Department of Plant and Soil Science plan to establish a core of best practices for lavender growers in Texas.To encourage researchers to bridge this information gap, the USDA has included lavender in the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.Plowman and the Texas Tech staff began a pilot program in April to analyze the best method of taking lavender cuttings and rooting them for new plants.At the conclusion of the trial period, the lavender cuttings were evaluated based on the overall health of the plant and the volume of root growth. .