Another niche to explore! – growing herbs. Herbs generally refers to the leafy green or flowering parts of a plant (either fresh or dried) which does not develop a woody trunk and (usually) dies down in the winter.
As you can imagine this covers a vast number of plants whose leaves, flowers and/or seeds are used for flavoring, medicinal purposes, cosmetics, scenting, pest control, composting – the list of uses is almost as long as the list of herbs.
You can start an herb farm from home and run it part-time. Herbs tend to be hardy and are not as bothered by pests and diseases as vegetable crops. They do not take up a great deal of space. Startup costs are quite low as well: about $2,000. If you live in a cold climate, you may want to pay to invest in a greenhouse so that you can grow herbs year-round. You can focus on;
- Culinary, fresh or dried
- Medicinal, fresh or dried
- Growing plants for nurseries
- Cosmetic purposes
- Essential oils
Herbs – culinary
Culinary herbs are edible aromatic plants. Their leaves, stems, and flowers are used in small quantities in cooking and baking to impart flavor. Some of the most popular and common culinary herbs are mint, peppermint, spearmint, basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, coriander and dill,
Under culinary I would add a bay tree as well. Note – they grow huge! This one of mine has had numerous harvestings for sale and you can not see the difference!
One of the most essential herbs for any Indian kitchen garden is the Curry Leaf plant (also known as Curry leaves plant, curry tree or curry patta plant). Like the bay tree the curry tree will grow vigorously and produce far more than needed for your own use.
Herbs – medicinal
There is a great deal of demand for medicinal herbs to make herbal preparations and salves for various medicinal benefits. The long list of possibilities contains chamomile, echinacea, calendula, mullein, horehound, lemon balm, feverfew, goldenseal, lavender, valerian. In this category, also consider growing for essential oil production.
Herbs – teas
If you are growing herbs in your garden, why not dry some out to offer as herbal teas? You could consider herbs like chamomile, lemon balm, mint, lavender, and peppermint. You can experiment with making your own combinations for specific purposes such as energizing, calming down, sleeping well, etc.
Herbs – scenting & cosmetics
Herbs are widely used for their aromatic properties and can be prepared as aromatherapy essences, added to bath products and moisturizers, and to soaps and candles.
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