As a born and bred urbanite who is seriously planning on moving back to the land within the next two years, I am continually researching:
- Ways to make it on the land, as well as,
- Exactly what does, "making it mean"? ... what are my expectations?
- What crops bring in money to the small farmer
- Are my expectations for sustainable living too low ... can I actually bring in a profit too?
These and other questions brought me to Mint Farming. A kind new friend on www.tribe.com informed me that crops like mint could be easy as well as profitable. A quick search brought up Amish Acres. This site provides not only information about the crop, but the directions on everything from planting to harvesting.
Like anything, you want to do your homework. While the appeal of growing mint is that you plant it, treat it perhaps once, and do little besides ensure proper watering before harvesting the crop, nothing is guaranteed for small framers any more than they are for large, corporate farms.
"Mint is a small, unstable market with frustratingly little solid economic data," says Montana State University economist Gary Brester.
That’s why linking up with associations like the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) , that featured award winning small farmers Alex and Betsy Hitt and told the story of how they make above average earnings on just three acres of their 27 acre North Carolina Peregrine Farm. (Click here for photos.)
The web is filled with information for new hobby farmers. New Farm’s web site is a treasure trove of information and it also host a forum to ask questions and read problems and solutions encountered by other small and organic farmers. One of this site’s niche appeals is that it covers both national and international farming. They also plan to offer online courses for both the veteran farmer interesting in organic farming, and courses for tenderfoots like myself.
The United States Department of Agriculture's web site also offers a treasure trove of information to people who love the idea of growing crops for their family and/or for sale to the public. The link below details the planting of cover crops which are used to enrich soil and protect the land after the fall harvest.
NOTE: I encourage you to look at the text in this article closely. Links aren't easily viewed in some browsers.