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| Pumpkin Farm Expanding to Herbs |
Answered by: Rick Miller
Question from: Jeff, KS
Posted on: September 13, 2010
My wife and I have 23 acres of good farm ground in NW Kansas. Last year we put in electricity and a well with several water hydrants so watering is not a problem. We have been raising pumpkins on a small plot of it to give away and have really enjoyed it. (Over 400 last year. Such a joy seeing kids go crazy picking their own pumpkins from a patch! ) We have lots of catnip growing wild on the land also and supply all interested cat lovers with their "feline’s fix" :)
What would you suggest growing on the land that would be marketable, profitable, yet easy enough for a beginner? I don’t have alot of equipment, but would purchase necessary items if not too expensive. Although I have not used chemical on the land in several years, I would hope there would be something that I could grow and spray for weeds, as that has been a big time consumer, hoeing and staying ahead of them in the pumpkin patch.
Well, the pumpkin patch might be promoted as a special place for Hallowe’en activities, to include a hay wagon and kid theme park. That brings in 10x the $$$ over selling the pumpkins. Also, think about carving them into very special faces, for the downtown promotion of farming events.
Catnip is also easy to grow, and can be taken much like hay crops. There is a shortage of domestic grown products, to include pet toys and other cat-lover items. All of these should be kept COG (certified organically grown), and 20 acres should do the trick. This allows you to also explore adding value to your crops prior to sale. That’s what you really have to sell - labour.
With your irrigation, you could consider making a comfrey/alfalfa pellet - something no one is doing at this moment. With good irrigation, weeds are not the problem with either various mints (like catnip), or comfrey. The latter will require some capitalization, but your mints could underwrite that over a six year farm plan.