When we sold at farmer’s markets, the folks with bagged salad mixes always sold out. Every time. There is a reason grocery stores have such a huge inventory of salad mixes – people love the convenience of premade mixes and are willing to pay for it.
If you have the space, salad greens are a consistent seller and a great addition, especially if you have an existing market to sell to. When you hear about farmers projecting a $1,000 per week income selling bagged salad mixes, it definitely looks like a prospect to dig deeper into.
Initial Investment Cost
Looking at the example in the above article, Dan is looking at making $1k/week on 1/4 acre, using the following supplies:
- Seed (rough estimate for 1/4 acre would be $180)
- Drip irrigation (est. $500 for 1/4 acre)
- Hay rake ($15)
- Grass shears to harvest ($13)
- 2-3 20-gallon totes for sorting ($21 ea.)
- Ziploc bags for packaging ($13/96)
This is a basic idea of the supplies involved and you may already have some. If not, the above total comes to about $750. The seed and irrigation are scalable to the size you want to start with, so your overall investment can be lower if you need to start smaller and work your way up.
Sell Bagged Salad Mixes: Space Required
The above example of 1/4 acre is just a guideline. To put it into perspective, 1/4 acre is a little smaller than a 100’x100′ plot. You could get started with a lot smaller area, but that $1,000 per week estimate sounds pretty sweet, doesn’t it? High profits can certainly be seen on small acreage. Take a look at Neversink Farm, doing it their own way and making it work big time.
Lettuce is ready to harvest in 3-4 weeks, depending on the variety. Assuming you have an area prepped in the spring, you can begin selling just a few short weeks later. If you’re reading this at publication time, now would be the time to start planning on where to set up your growing space. You can prep the area now to have a ready planting space in the spring.
Sell Bagged Salad Mixes: Daily Time Requirements
Selling bagged salad mixes is not a labor-light income idea. Between soil prep, seeding, harvesting, reseeding, washing, packaging, marketing and delivering, you will work at it full time during the growing season, which can be about 20-40 weeks depending on your growing zone.
Salad mixes are always in demand. If you can find ready buyers, I think it’s not at all unreasonable to achieve the estimated $1,000 per week in the article linked above. If you have the workers and the space to grow beyond that, you can potentially see a tidy income from salad greens alone.
The reason there is greater profit potential is the high labor cost, so this is an important factor to consider when looking at bagged salad mixes: do you have the time to do it yourself? If not, is there enough of a market to afford paying someone else to do some or all of the labor?
Sell Bagged Salad Mixes: Potential Markets
Potential markets to sell bagged salad mixes include to the individual by way of farm stands, farmers markets or deliveries and wholesale to restaurants, grocers and possibly as value added extras for another local farmer’s operations. Spend some time scouting out the local farmers markets and talking to potential wholesale accounts in your area to find out if this is a viable option for you.
Overall, if there is a demand for bagged salad mixes in your area, you owe it to yourself to do some research and find out if this is a small farm income idea that will work for you. With good management and land use skills, there is enough profit potential to make this a decent percentage of your total income. Fill in the off season with something like basket willows and you could round out that income goal, even on very small acreage.