Many persons find it challenging to think of practical ideas to earn extra income. The key to making more money is first to identify where people have unmet needs or pressing problems that you can solve for profit. When you are trying to create a part-time source of income, you should always stick to options that fit in with your natural talents or the resources that you already have on hand.
Using these basic principles, it should not be difficult to find several opportunities to become more productive in your spare time. Today, let’s look at how you can use your backyard, whether big or small, and a little elbow grease to work your way into extra cash.
The Ministry of Agriculture is currently encouraging persons to focus on backyard gardening, so it’s an opportune time to piggyback on this campaign. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, it is relatively simple to produce seedlings for basic crops such as lettuce, cabbage, string beans and tomatoes for supply to your friends and colleagues. The advantage to growing seedlings is that you can harvest a large crop in a relatively small space.
Growing Organic Vegetables
While some people will gravitate towards growing what they eat, even more will be happy to buy fresh produce directly from you. You can create a steady income by cultivating vegetables and seasoning produce in a small area of your garden. If you produce crops without using pesticides and chemical fertilisers, then you can tap in on the increasing demand for organic food items.
Preparing Container Gardens
There are many people who would like to grow their own food items but lack the necessary backyard space to do so. Here’s a perfect solution – you can prepare and sell ready-made vegetable gardens in containers such as large pots or recycled five-gallon paint buckets. After reaping the produce, your customers can return the containers and purchase a fresh supply.
There is tremendous demand for natural remedies for chronic illnesses, and the market for herbs and spices offers great possibilities. Check around at health food stores to see which types of products are best sellers and then do a little research on how to cultivate and package them. With care and effort, you may even develop an export-quality product that can earn foreign exchange.
A unique option for persons who don’t mind getting their hands dirty to earn any honest living is grass cultivation. The popularity of home and garden television shows has spurred many homeowners to become more focused on creating the right curb appeal for their properties. With minimal space and a little technical know-how, you can cultivate grass sod for lawns and supply landscaping companies or homeowners directly.
Raising Exotic Plants
The market for ornamental flowers will always be an option for income generation, even in challenging times. If you have a knack for growing plants, why not convert your talent into money? Turn your backyard into a greenhouse and raise exotic flowers such as orchids or anthuriums for gifts. You can also cultivate attractive plants for rental or sale to offices or for decorating events.
Making Potting Soil
If you’re totally hopeless in the garden and everything you touch turns brown, there’s still hope to earn cash from your backyard. You can create a compost heap with vegetable peelings and other discarded foods to produce enriched soil for other backyard gardeners. Search online for simple techniques and inexpensive machines that can turn decaying leaves into organic potting soil.
Plant cultivation is not the only option for backyard enthusiasts. If you are located in a more rural setting, then beekeeping might be a viable alternative. Jamaica’s climate is ideally suited to raise bees, and you can take advantage of the huge worldwide demand for products such as honey, bee pollen and beeswax. Due to the stringent controls on beekeeping you have to be registered with the Ministry of Agriculture to legally maintain an apiary in Jamaica.
If the thought of getting stung by bees is a major fear, then you can consider rearing animals on a small scale for consumption. With some technical assistance and a little investment capital, you could create income from raising organic chickens to supply consumers’ desire for hormone-free poultry, or capitalise on the growing appetite for rabbit meat in Jamaica.
There are several departments in the Ministry of Agriculture that can provide all the guidance and support to help you be successful in your backyard gardening efforts, so take advantage of this assistance. Next week, we’ll continue our focus on other practical ways to earn part-time income.
About the Author
Cherryl Hanson Simpson is a financial consultant and money coach, and founder of Financially S.M.A.R.T. Services. She is currently writing her first book, “The 3 Ms of Money: How to Manage, Multiply and Maintain Your Money.” Financially S.M.A.R.T. Services is Jamaica’s number one source for practical, down-to-earth and independent answers for all questions relating to personal finance. Get more smart money advice at www.financiallysmartonline.com and and www.financiallysmartadvice.com .
Copyright © 2010 Cherryl Hanson Simpson.