Anyone moving to the country and starting a homestead is faced with how to pay the bills. After all, there aren’t many jobs in most rural areas. One option is to finance your homestead with high value, easy to grow, easy to sell crops.
Consider growing organic heirloom plants that are relatively unique (as opposed to widely available generic hybrid plants). Those who can afford to will pay a premium for top quality and hard to find items. My blog post the other day about Buying Local used an example of super delicious mangoes. I realized later after writing the blog post that that mango farmer was not optimizing sales. They were selling premium mangoes at a pittance to passersby (mostly other poor farmers). They could have distributed them to high end health food stores at much higher profit. That’s just one example.
Value added crops: Look for ways to increase profitability. Maybe sell canned apple butter in attractive jars rather than just raw apples. Consider making hot sauce out of your chilis so they have longer shelf life and can be shipped anywhere in the world. Another option is drying food in a solar dryer to reduce shipping weight and extend shelf life. Maybe you grow awesome tomatoes with extra you could sell. Or maybe you have a greenhouse and can provide fresh produce when prices are highest.
I really like the idea of making all natural pickled veggies. There are lots of free recipes on the Internet. A friend said he simply uses whatever veggies are available, adds a bit of salt and fills the jars with spring water. He lets the jars sit on the counter for a few days (experiment to see what works best in your climate) with loose fitting caps. This allows some bacteria into the jars to start the fermentation process. Put in the refrigerator for long term storage. These are just a few possibilities. Let’s hear your ideas.