Tomatoes are a tasty ingredient in many meals. In fact, they are the most popular vegetable sold at grocery stores, and a popular item at farmers markets, where buyers expect fresh-picked, healthy produce and are willing to pay extra for it.
Heirloom tomatoes – those old fashioned varieties packed with taste and flavor – are enjoying a surge in demand as many shoppers are fed up with bland, tasteless supermarket tomatoes that are bred for shipping, not eating! For several years now, demand for heirloom tomatoes has grown at a fast pace, and that level of demand isn’t expected to subside anytime in the future, as consumers continue to prefer fresh, local tomatoes and other produce.
In addition to the high demand, heirloom tomatoes are easy to grow once you learn the basics. They take about 2 to 3 months from planting to harvest. That’s one of the reasons heirloom tomatoes can be an ideal crop for a part-time grower. if you can spare a few hours a week, you can grow a crop of these profitable plants.
So what kind of money can you make as a grower? Heirloom tomatoes are currently selling for an average of $4 to $5 a pound. A growing area of just 600 square feet can produce up to a ton of harvested fruit, worth about $8,000 to $10,000 at current prices. That’s why growing heirloom tomatoes for profit is a great way to make some extra income.
After your heirloom tomatoes are grown, they’re ready to be sold. Because of their thin skin, heirlooms are best sold locally and fresh-picked, at their peak for taste and flavor. Direct sales are best, as you get full retail price, and no middleman is involved.
Restaurant chefs love to use tasty heirloom tomatoes. Visit local restaurants with free samples for the chefs. Follow up in a few days by asking which varieties they prefer. Farmers markets attract big crowds ready to buy high quality produce from local growers, especially if the produce is grown organically. Set up a stand and get ready to sell lots of tomatoes. If you are only selling tomatoes and don’t need a booth or stand for the entire season, ask another grower with a booth if you can share space.
Local grocery stores are also good prospects for heirloom tomatoes, as grocers are eager to be part of the “buy local” trend.
No matter where you sell your heirloom tomatoes, be sure to do sampling, as taste sells more heirlooms than any other method. Once someone experiences the wonderful, rich taste of a heirloom tomato, they are almost sure to buy some to take home.
Whether you’re new to market gardening or an experienced grower, a crop of heirloom tomatoes can add tasty profits in short order – typically just the 60 to 90 days it takes to grow a crop. Discover more about this tasty specialty crop with Profitable Heirloom Tomatoes.