Growing fruits and vegetables in the home garden is becoming an increasingly popular secondary income source for many people, but what are the most expensive specialty crops in the world and how much profit can they bring a small farmer? While grains and even pricey vegetables like asparagus or cherry tomatoes can boost your regular salary by investing little time and money, the reality is that the market is full of home-grown, organic crop suppliers. Specialty crops, on the other hand, can reap up to $60,000 per acre and require the same caretaking as common vegetables.
In a previous article we talked about the 10 most common genetically modified foods and how they’re affecting human health. Due to this, the organic food market is growing significantly, but the biggest earnings remain on a different spectrum. Take a look at our list of the most expensive specialty crops in the worlds and how much you can really earn by selling them.
Estimated price per pound: $18
Lavender is a particularly profitable crop for small farmers, because it’s easy to tend and offers multiple sale outlets. You can sell the fresh flowers to businesses that manufacture lavender oil, or dry the buds and sell them to florists. As this plant is used for aromatherapy and skin care products, amongst others, it’s always in high demand.
6. Oyster mushrooms
Estimated price per pound: $7
While all mushrooms are convenient as specialty crops – given that they can be grown indoors – the most productive choice is the Oyster Mushroom. In fact, on a surface of one square foot you can grow up to 25 pounds of these mushrooms and given their sales price per pound, that can amount to $17,500 in one single medium sized harvest. The fresh gourmet mushrooms are also in high demand at every farmers market.
5. Woody ornamentals
Estimated price per pound: $7.50
The main advantage of this specialty crop is that you can plant and harvest the different species throughout all of the seasons, and for several decades, making them a solid income source. Used mainly by florists and interior decorators, the woody shrubs and tree stems vary in colour and shape, as well as in their budding. The best-known seasonal woodies include holly, pussy willows, and hydrangeas.
4. Bonsai Plants
Collecting and tending to bonsai trees is becoming a widespread hobby, and a costly one at that. As the size and shape of each bonsai is different, ranging from finger-length plants to 18-inch maple trees, so do the prices. However, all bonsai’s are pricey and considering you initial investment of a few hundred dollars for seeds and supplies, the effort is definitely worth it. The miniature shape also allows you to grow several of the trees in a confined space.
Estimated price per pound: $7
While most of you recognize willow (catkins or rods) as the stems you find in your flower arrangements, there are also several other uses for this crop. Most of the rustic garden furniture you can purchase is made out of willows, as well as the majority of baskets. However, while this crop is easy to grow and maintain, given its size you’ll need about an acre of land to harvest 4-5 tons, resulting in approximately $56,000.
2. Gourmet garlic
Estimated price per pound: $8 – $10
Garlic is one of the most commonly used ingredients in the kitchen, but these gourmet garlics are superior in both taste and texture, and customers are willing to pay their expensive prices. Rocambole, Purplestripe, Porcelain, and Elephant are the main gourmet garlics, and farmers will be glad to read that this type of crop is one of the easiest to maintain. Garlic is highly resistant to different soil and weather conditions, and you can harvest up to 15,000 pounds in a single acre of land.
Estimated price per plant: $45
The beauty of growing bamboo is that it can be planted in containers, thereby taking up very little space. In a 30 x 40 space, you can fit up to 600 bamboo plants in 5-gallon pots, although the largest bamboo species (giant timber bamboo) should probably be kept outside, as they can reach up to 75 feet in height. Nonetheless, the landscapers’ favourite plant is also incredibly popular amongst homeowners, which makes for a large customer base. Considering the price per plant and how many plants a single grower can harvest, this is certainly one of the most expensive specialty crops in the world.