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| Farming Dandelions -- How Much to Grow? |
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Gordon Matthes
Posted on: April 21, 2008
Ok, I have read your three herb books from Richters, and I have the book Herbal Harvest. Lots of information, plus I have been searching the web for information on growing dandelions. It appears that dandelions can be a very profitable crop. But, how much does one grow? Five acres? 500 acres? More?
Supposedly the roots can be made into a dried snack, I am still searching for more info on those. The land and equipment are the easy part, what do you do with the roots? Everything could be processed on the farm creating more profit, and there appears to be a potential for some serious profit with dandelions. But who buys the roots? Sale them on my own to local grocers? Herb shops?
For true field production costs and feasibility studies, I have always suggested one begin with 2-acre parcels. This give one enough information to scale upward toward needs and the market demands.
To set the fields correctly, one begins with 10,000 plants in a greenhouse by February. These are then hardened-off in April, and ready for row-crop planting devices May 1st. See "Getting Started," at
Chicory is ready for a first harvest in late September, but Dandelion will require a disk-harrow first, and the raking the root into a more solid set of rhizome root-crops, for a first harvest one year later, in June or July. They are both grown similarly to most other root-crops, and can be taken with either carrot pullers, or even potato gear (like ginsengs).
The largest current markets for chicory and dandelion are as herbal coffee substitutes. I have written extensively on this subject, and am available as an outside consultant to make it work. I have immediate markets whom would be interested in purchasing raw material, cottage industries, and/or the farm intelf, as a demo for upsizing this to meet growing markets for alternatives to coffee.
That about cover your first questions? How else can I help you?