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In the last few decades, the number of traditional farms in the United States and Canada has dropped by half or more, but a new type of farm is growing faster than a prairie weed. Many are part-timers, like the lawyer who grows gourmet garlic in his spare time to de-stress in addition to making a profit, or the retired school teacher who earns most of her retirement income from a half-acre of potted exotic bamboos, or the stay-at-home mom who cares for her three kids while growing mushrooms for market in a backyard shed.
While there are hundreds of very profitable plants – including quite a few illegal ones – there are only a few that qualify for the top choices.
Is it a “high-value” crop – one that allows a grower to earn a solid income from an acre or less? Four specialty crops that qualify on all counts are bamboo, garlic, ginseng and oyster mushrooms.
For thousands of years, bamboo has been an everyday part of Asian life, providing food, shelter and raw material for everything from garden fences to flutes. In North America, bamboo is being rediscovered as a landscaping plant and many growers can’t keep up with the demand.
According to a vegetable crops professor at Cornell University, “There’s a booming market out there for fresh local garlic.
Most small growers use “value-added” methods to get a higher price for their garlic, such as garlic braids, fresh garlic greens and garlic powder.
Once called “Green Gold”, ginseng is an ordinary looking plant that grows on the shaded forest floor.
According to experts at North Carolina’s Horticultural Crops Research Station, “American ginseng has great potential as a small-scale cash crop.
Although it takes 6 years before the slow growing ginseng roots are ready to harvest for market, most growers sell seed and two-year rootlets to earn an income from their ginseng crop in the years before the harvest.
Bob Hanson and his wife Kathy started growing gourmet mushrooms a few years ago, and now grow shiitake, portobello and oyster mushrooms. Hanson, who believes in sustainable agriculture, grows all his mushrooms in his barn, where “high technology” consists of a fan and a 40-watt light bulb. Oyster mushrooms are fast growing – ready to harvest in just six weeks – which gives new growers a fast payback on their investment, as well as the flexibility to increase production to meet additional demand. Oyster mushrooms also produce heavy yields – the average is one pound of mushrooms for each pound of straw used to grow them. Current prices range from a wholesale price of $3 per pound up to $9 per pound when selling direct to the consumer, such as restaurants or at the farmer’s market. To learn more about starting your own microfarm and growing profitable specialty crops, read Golden Harvest.
DISCLAIMER: All background wallpapers found here are believed to be in the "public domain". Traditionally, beehives have been little more than wooden boxes with multiple internal screens upon which bees can deposit honey. When left to their own devices, bees will build a hive just about anywhere, even an abandoned and decaying grain mill. Unlike others featured on this list, the To-Bee by Bar Lavi, a student of Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, employs a bookshelf design. As you spend more time in your back yard with the arrival of spring and summer, there’s a good chance you’ll notice things like a window well that could prove dangerous to your kids when they play soccer or a gate that is rattling loose. These outdoor welding projects range from simple projects that anyone can do to more challenging artistic work that could take quite a bit of time.
This simple welding project doesn’t require a lot of material, and even the original plans on Lincoln’s website note that the welder used various scrap metal for parts of the arbor he welded together.
The greatest challenge for this project will be cutting the metal on an angle in order to create an even archway on both sides.
Square metal tubing will be the sturdiest option for this project, as angle iron may not be quite as durable if a branch falls on the arbor. Don’t forget to leave room at the bottom of each side for the legs to be sunk into the ground. Whatever your concerns, a window well cover is an extremely easy welding project that can put your welding skills to quick use without costing a ton of money in materials. The basic materials for this project could be square metal tubing or angle iron that is then covered with a metal grating or mesh that is sturdy enough to keep someone from falling through. The welder who put this project together at the Lincoln website noted that the covers would last longer if they are washed with citrus degreaser and then protected with two coats of metal paint. A gate welding project can be one of the most challenging projects, but not necessarily because of the welding itself.
This welding project is especially fun for welders who want to experiment with art and design.

While you can get as creative as you like with a wire mesh cover, you’ll at least need an ash pan (and possibly a lid) that you can cut from 12 and 14 gauge sheet metal. As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below.
Disclaimer: While we do our best to provide information that is accurate and free from errors at the time it was published, we do not guarantee the accuracy of the content presented within each blog post and throughout the site.
Instead of hundreds of acres, they may be only an acre or two – even as small as a quarter acre for some specialty crops.
A recent university extension service study found 760 families in one county alone making a good living with specialty crops on plots averaging 3 acres. Several varieties of bamboo are grown just for their edible shoots, producing an edible harvest of up to ten tons per acre. Bamboo is not just a tropical plant either – many varieties are grown in Japan and China, where the climate can be just as harsh as our northern states and provinces.
At current ginseng prices, a half-acre ginseng patch could produce $100,000 worth of seeds, rootlets and mature roots over that 6-year period, or over $16,000 per year. They sell their entire crop at the Farmer’s Market, where regular customers line up to buy the freshly harvested mushrooms every week. He knows other growers who sell their fresh gourmet mushrooms to restaurants and local grocers. Both have a short shelf life, and do not stand up well to long distance shipping – a barrier to large mushroom companies.
Prices will vary from region to region, but in general, the fresh local mushrooms always bring top dollar. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past, or how old you are, or how far you got in school… you can easily do this. If you love growing plants and gardening, you’ll look forward to tending your crop and it won’t seem like work at all. You can get started in your spare time, with just a small investment, and if you choose, expand it to a full time business.
Many growers simply lease their growing area from landowners for a small share of the profits. This marks the end of the blind playthrough, but we won't be here for a few weeks, so enjoy the music and the Poll: Which is the Hardest Boss in Dark Souls 3?
The Urban Beehive by Philips is a much more modern, sleek version of the beehive, especially designed to give city dwellers the joy of watching bees at work. The pod-like hive attaches to a hole cut into a pane of glass. When a hive was discovered in just such a structure near the Buffalo, NY, waterfront, UB’s Ecological Practices Research Group created a contest. After all, the ultimate goal when choosing a beehive design is making sure it’s somewhere the bees will want to live! Designed by commercial artist and Art Center College of Design graduate Steve Steere, the BuBees is a top-bar beehive made from salvaged wood from his oceanside neighborhood.
They can be used to serve, grow, or preserve many things, but this is the first time we’ve seen them used as a home for honey bees.
Whatever you need in your yard, this is a great opportunity to get started on some welding projects outside that will make your yard both safer and more attractive. Keep in mind that most arbors are curved rather than cut from straight pieces of metal, so those angles are really important to nail the first time. A welded metal arbor can do quite a bit of damage if it gets blown over, so make sure you have a plan in place to keep it securely anchored.
While window wells are great for letting in natural light, they can be a hazard for children playing in your yard. You may want to attach some hinges to the house and to the grates so that they can be flipped up easily if you ever need to access your basement windows from the outside.
However, once you have the gate, hinges, and latch figured out, you can get as creative as you like with different kinds of bars and decorations. You can build either a frame with grates over a pit in the ground or you can build a stand-alone fire pit that you can move to any location on your patio. Also, please note that this site contains links to other websites (some affiliated with Baker's Gas & Welding and some that are not affiliated) that point to related information, recommended products and services, and special offers provided by other businesses and organizations (which may include an affiliate link where a commission is earned by Baker's Gas & Welding).
Many of these new “microfarms” are springing up in and around the fringes of larger cities and towns, where customers for the specialty crops are close by.
Department of Agriculture have given it a name, “exurban microfarming.” One reason this trend is growing so fast is the zoning regulations around large towns and cities, where land division is restricted. As one retiree remarked, while tending her garlic patch, “My only regret is not doing this sooner. According to one grower, “You can use bamboo as a hedge, a screen, as a specimen plant or as a shade plant.

Recent scientific research has proven many of the historical claims for garlic’s healing powers. In addition to garlic braids and bulbs, he sells “garlic gardens” sized to grow on a windowsill. The Chinese have valued the ginseng root for thousands of years as the most potent of herbs and as a regenerative tonic. As any ginseng grower will tell you, that beats growing most any other crop by a country mile!
That’s why small local growers will always have the “freshness advantage” with local consumers who want a high quality product. Gourmet mushrooms are fat-free, cholesterol free, pesticide free and have many medicinal benefits.
Consult the list below to find out how best to take on the toughest bosses in Dark Souls 3, learn their you'll be able to take down the game's final boss! Thanks to rampant pesticide use on commercial crops, bees are dying by the hundreds of thousands, and no one seems to be doing anything about it. Once affixed, the glass covered pod on the inside of the window would allow you to peer into the hive while the white entryway on the outside would allow the bees the freedom come and go. Students were challenged to create a structure that would help the bees continue to thrive amid the city.
Painted with non-toxic milk paint, there are two solid boards that run the width of the hive. In addition, it’s quite possible that a wayward ball could smash into your basement windows. In addition, you need to line up the gate with the hinges and latches so that it securely latches in place without having to force it.
Many of the new growers choose to grow plants not just for profit, but also for the satisfaction of tending a crop and the quality of life it provides.
It’s chemical ingredients can fight bacteria, lower cholesterol levels and act as an organic insecticide. He also discovered that the Chinese have long harvested the garlic greens for fresh seasoning, much like chives, so he now sells greens and a recipe for garlic greens pesto sauce for $15 a pound in season! Consumers are also concerned about their food safety, and gourmet mushrooms can be grown without harmful chemicals.
A 200 square foot growing area, for example, can produce 5,000 to 6,000 pounds of mushrooms each year. Here’s How to Earn $200 a Week Growing Flowers for ProfitMany people grow flowers as a hobby, but most people don’t know you can actually make great money growing flowers. Well, certainly not the EPA or USDA (two agencies that should be mortified by recent bee deaths), but there are some doing what they can to help local bee populations survive. Best of all, with the pull of a small cord you can have all of the fresh honey your heart desires.
These boards can be moved to make the space smaller or larger depending on how many bees adopt the hive. Owners of these parcels soon discover that they can either mow a lot of grass or put the land to more productive uses. A recent resurgence in backyard beekeeping is helping, in a small way, to protect and preserve local hives so that there are still pollinators around to help gardens and flowerbeds look their best.
It was purposefully built to mimic the silo where the bees were found, and they moved in quite happily!
A viewing window lets beekeepers see inside the space, which can accommodate thousands of the pollinators.
Potted bamboo plants can bring as much as $150 each retail, and value-added bamboo products, such as fencing and garden art. If you've ever been interested in backyard beekeeping, here are six beautiful hive designs for you to consider. Here’s How to Earn $300 Weekly In Your Backyard Growing For ProfitMany of us have hobbies.

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