Anacortes, WA (PressExposure) December 31, 2012 -- Many of us enjoy gardening for fun, but most aren't aware of the profits that can be made growing specialty plants in even a small backyard. One of the most profitable specialty plants is lavender. Lavender farming can bring a substantial income for small growers. Plus, starting a profitable backyard lavender business is easy and fun. It doesn't require a full-time commitment or large start-up costs. So how do you do it? All the steps and know-how necessary to be a successful lavender grower can be found in the latest book from Headstart Publishing, Lavender Farming - How to Start a Lavender Business.
There are dozens of ways to make money with lavender. The fresh flowers are sold in bundles or used to make lavender oil, and the dried flower bunches are sold to florists and hobbyists for dried arrangements and wreaths. The harvested lavender is also used to make dozens of value-added products, from dried buds to aromatherapy products, skin-care products, sachets and herbal pillows. All are easy to make and in demand from consumers who love the scent of lavender. That's the beauty of lavender - unlike other perishable crops, nothing goes to waste, and profits are year-round.
Because demand for lavender and lavender products is booming, there is an opportunity for others to start growing lavender on a small scale as well, and cash in on the growth of the lavender business. Lavender farming can be a small as a backyard patch of a few dozen plants to acres of plants. For example, one lavender farmer grows just 80 plants in her Colorado backyard, using the harvested lavender to create hand-crafted products she makes with her sewing machine such as decorative sachets and herbal pillows. There is room in the lavender world for growers of all sizes, from tiny gardens to acreage. It's an ideal part-time business that can produce a tidy income year-round.
Lavender is a long-lasting herb with a lifespan of 12-15 years in the ground. New plants are usually produced from cuttings, so it's easy to replace older plants, expand your growing area or produce lavender plants for sale at almost no cost. In addition, because lavender is so easy to dry, it can be used to make value-added products year-round instead of just during the growing season.
You can start a lavender growing business with just a small amount of money - as little as a few hundred dollars for plant starts and hand tools. Lavender is an easy plant to grow, and is quite disease-free as long as you give the plants well-drained soil, as it hates wet feet.
Most lavender growers agree the best way for new growers to ensure their success is to "add value" by selling lavender products in addition to just fresh cut lavender flowers. Here are just a few examples of value-added lavender products:
*Dried lavender bundles. Crafters and florists use dried lavender bunches to create floral arrangements, wreaths and other craft products.
*Sachets. There are dozens of uses for lavender sachets, so they are steady sellers at Saturday markets, retail stores and to repeat customers. Sachets are used in bath bags, in closets and drawers as an air freshener and in the dryer to give clothes a delicate lavender fresh scent.
*Aromatherapy oil. Lavender oil is one of the most used essential oils, valued for it's calming, soothing effect.
*Lavender soap. This popular value-added product is always a big repeat seller and gift item.
*Lavender lotions. With markups of 500% to 1,000%, it's no wonder so many cosmetics entrepreneurs have become millionaires! Unlike mass-market factory-made products, small growers can use their lavender oil to make lotions, creams, ointments and shampoos with all-natural ingredients.
These are just five of twenty value-added products covered in LAVENDER FARMING that other successful small lavender growers are using to double and triple their profits. The book covers all the essentials you'll need to take your lavender business from startup to profitable. You'll find helpful information on:
*How to pick the best lavender varieties for each use - cut flowers, essential oils, drying and potted plants to sell.
*Marketing tips to help you sell all you can grow.
*The best value-added products to make.
*Resources for commercial lavender growers, such as wholesale sources and grower organizations.
Lavender Farming - How to Start a Lavender Business is available from http://www.profitableplantsdigest.com