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| Dandelion: Where to Market? |
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Janine Hylton
Posted on: July 01, 2007
My husband and I have 15 acres in east Tennessee. I have been researching what we can grow and what is best for us. I don’t want to grow something that is being done down the road. I have really been looking at growing dandelions for both fresh leaves and dried leaves and roots. My problem is where and what is the best way to find a market for these?
I read all over the net how dandelions is used in many many items and forms. But how do I find the buyers? We want to start small about 4 acres. I plan on growing the wild type and I will have the plants in our fields tested for bacteria. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.
PS should I be worried about local farmers and neighbors being upset that I am growing what they will consider weeds?
I have grown dandelion root for the herbal coffee substitute markets, to include also growing chicory root. The best way to cultivate this crop is in row cropping. It eventually wilI grow into solid mat fields, like most mints. See www.herbfarminfo.com, on "Getting Started."
I would like to respond further in detail, but am off to Sedona for a workshop this weekend, leaving shortly. I would like to discuss the possibilities with this crop directly with you. Call me at 541-476-5588. (8:30 AM Pacific Time is best).
As far as your neighbors are concerned, they will also be contaminating your fields, worth far more than their own. Further, your method of harvest will preclude allowing the dandelion to go to seed. Even if it does, your rights as a farmer exceed their own concerns. And, your field crop value will be at least 4x anything they might consider growing.
Don’t forget to call. By adding value to this crop, making it into a Indian Herbal Coffee will add treme3ndous value to your overall business plan. And, I can help you sell this formula to Starbucks, later selling your farm as a business model (like Cascadian Farms went to General Mills).