If you live off the grid or on a homestead then one of the best ways of making a profit will be by selling vegetables. Depending on what kind of vegetables you actually grow you can easily make enough money during the season to last you for the entire year. There is a big demand for fresh vegetables and a lot of people are willing to pay a premium for them. The problem is that selling vegetables for a profit is not as easy as it sounds.
Selling vegetables on the roadside is an easy way of making money especially if you live in an area where there is a lot of traffic. The more traffic the road has the more people will stop and buy vegetables. It is extremely important to know what vegetables are the easiest to sell and on which side of the road to place your stand. Making your stand looking as good as possible is vital for having a successful roadside vegetable stand.
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Selling vegetables on the roadside is legal and for the most part, you will only need an Agricultural Dealer’s License although for cash-only sales you will not even need one. Just keep in mind that this only applies in case you are directly selling to the customer and not if you are reselling. In addition to this, there might be a couple of regulations at the county level regarding selling vegetables on the roadside.
When it comes to selling vegetables for a profit you have a couple of options where to sell them, farmers market, restaurants, and even on the roadside. If you do not grow vegetables at a large scale then your options will go down significantly. A lot of homesteaders think that they can simply bring their vegetables to the farmer’s market and make a profit. The truth is that the farmers market is extremely competitive which will increase your costs and lower your earnings in the long run.
On the other hand, selling vegetables to restaurants can be an extremely profitable venture, although this mostly depends on the economic situation. High-end restaurants will mostly use fresh vegetables delivered by farmers, lower-end restaurants will buy vegetables as cheaply as possible in bulk. On the other hand, you can easily sell vegetables on the roadside, the competition is inexistent and you will directly deal with the customer which means higher profits for you.
In some areas of the country, roadside vegetable stands are fairly common, and these allow the local farmers to make some extra money. For the most part, you should grow and sell vegetables that are in high demand, and the area where you are growing your vegetables will also determine what is in high demand. Let’s say for example that you live in Georgia, this state is famous for its peaches so you should focus on them, if you want to know if Georgia is a good state for living off the grid then check out my recent article Off grid living in Georgia ( Peach State ).
1. Know what vegetables are the easiest to sell
Selling vegetables on the roadside is fairly easy although you can make things a lot easier for yourself if you actually focus on growing and selling vegetables that are easily sold. Generally speaking, the most popular vegetables to sell at a roadside stand are potatoes, tomatoes, onions, carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, lettuce, and cucumbers. Depending on where you actually live you will have an easier time growing some of these vegetables.
Although these vegetables will not make you the highest amounts of profit but with a good yield, you can definitely make some money. In addition to this if the area where you live is famous for some heirloom vegetables then you should definitely grow and sell them.
2. Pick a good location for the roadside vegetable stand
The location of your vegetable stand will determine how successful you will be at selling your vegetables. Ideally, your vegetable stand should be visible from a long distance away, this way people who drive in that area can have the time to think if they need to buy some kind of vegetables or not. Try placing your roadside stand on a road that has slow traffic, the slower the traffic is the more likely it is that people will stop and buy something.
On the other hand, if the traffic is way too fast, then they will not have time to consider buying vegetables and they are less likely to stop due to their high speed. In addition to this make sure that people who want to buy vegetables can stop in a safe way without annoying other people in traffic. If you are also raising livestock for a profit then you should check out my recent article Best farm animals to raise to make a profit ( Top 9 Farm Animals ).
3. Place a sign for your vegetable stand a mile away
If you do not place a sign for your vegetable stand along the road a mile away then people in traffic will only notify you once they go past your vegetable stand. They will only have a split second to process the information that they can buy vegetables and then consider if it is safe to stop or if it is even worth stopping. By placing a sign for your stand a mile away from your actual stand in both directions of the road you let people know in advance that they have the option to buy vegetables.
The more time you give people to think about buying vegetables the better it will be for your stand. You should experiment with the sign for a couple of days, change it up a bit, this is basically advertising and small things can make a big difference. Thy to place the sign with only what kind of vegetables you are selling without the price, then one week later add the price as well, see if more people stop. If you want to sell at the farmers market as well then check out my recent article What sells best at Farmers Market? ( Top 106 ).
4. Know the traffic flow
How much traffic the road has will directly impact your profits, simply put the more traffic there is the higher your profit will be. Traffic patterns across the country change from month to month, and especially during holidays. You will most likely set up your roadside vegetable stand in a transit area, so it is extremely important to find out where is most of the traffic going. If you live near an area where a lot of tourists visit then pick the right side of the road.
5. Pick the right side of the road for placing the vegetable stand
It is extremely important to pick the right side of the road ideally people should not cross the road to buy vegetables. You can use different apps or local statistics to determine how much traffic is in a certain area and most importantly where is most of the traffic heading towards. Place your stand on the side of the road where most of the traffic is, although keep in mind that traffic tends to change from time to time and you might find that during certain periods most of the traffic is coming from the opposite side.
6. Make your roadside vegetable stand as attractive as possible
The better and more eye-catching your vegetable stand is the higher the chances are of people stopping and buying some vegetables. How many vegetables you should put on the stand as a display is also extremely important, basically, you should add as much as you can. Supermarkets tend to throw out a lot of vegetables, mostly because people do not like buying the last couple of vegetables, so supermarkets simply throw them out.
You should also experiment with the color of your stand, think of colors that stand out from the surrounding, and colors that are pleasing to the eyes. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to repaint the stand every time you test, just place some colored paper on it and see if more people stop.
7. Have detailed information about the vegetables displayed on the stand
Most people who buy from roadside vendors care about where the vegetables are actually from. If you are growing all the vegetables, you should be proud of it, and that with every purchase people are helping out local businesses. If you have a couple of vegetables that are not that common then make sure to have written information about what kind of vegetable it is and for what it can be used.
8. Keep the vegetable stand clean
It is extremely important to keep your vegetable stand as clean as possible all the time. A lot of people will change their mind about buying vegetables if they see that the stand looks dirty. Make sure to clean it up as well as you can, after all this is the front of your business. In addition to this, you should remove the dirt from the vegetables as well, although there are people who are more likely to buy vegetables that have some dirt on it as it looks more natural.
9. Add flowers to your roadside vegetable stand
Even if you are not in the business of selling flowers you can still use them to make your stand look a lot better. If you live in an area where there are a lot of wildflowers then you can easily pick a couple of them and use them on your stand. Just keep in mind that fresh flowers are the best, once they start to die off then throw them out and pick new ones. Remember that everything on your vegetable stand has to look as fresh s possible.
As you can see there are a couple of things which you should know before selling vegetables on the roadside. When it comes to setting up your stand you should test several locations, signs and even change the color of your stand from time to time.