Urban Backyard Farming for Profit
These four urban farming business plans show how you can start a gardening business in your backyard and earn a profit on a half acre or less. Learn which customers to target, the most profitable vegetables to grow, and how to design the most efficient planting system.
All the urban farming business plan models I’m proposing are designed to be scalable. You can start as a part-time farmer in your own backyard (Model 1), and then, after you gain some experience and feel comfortable quitting your day job to pursue farming full-time, you can scale up to 1⁄10 acre (Model 2) or 1⁄4 acre (Model 3). From there, you can continue to scale up as you see fit.
A quarter acre of land or less is the right amount to start with if you don’t have any previous experience in farming. I want to reiterate the lesson I should have learned after my first year: Don’t take on too much! Start small and grow slowly. On 1⁄4 acre, you have the potential to make $50,000 from the land itself, but if you incorporate some greenhouse or indoor microgreens, you could considerably increase that number — all by selling vegetables. This will all depend on your market streams. Understanding your market will be the key to your success in urban backyard farming.
10 Steps to Starting a Community Garden
1. Organize a Meeting Of Interested People
Determine whether a garden is really needed and wanted, what kind it should be (vegetable, flower, both, organic?), whom it will involve and who benefits. Invite neighbors, tenants, community organizations, gardening and horticultural societies, building superintendents (if it is at an apartment building)—in other words, anyone who is likely to be interested.