Ask a Question forum: Herbs and spices that I can grow in these conditions?

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gardeningguy
Jul 15, 2016 7:39 AM CST
I noticed that I fail at everything unless I do it myself and under my conditions, so I thought that maybe I could finally start making some money this way instead of getting throw out of another job and living a life way below poverty line.

So I live in Poland, I rent a place here, it has no garden, but I do have a ~15sqm room I do not use. What could I plant here (if anything) that I could sell online? Online because local stuff is really cheap in Poland and I would barely make any money.

There is no special lighting systems, there is no air heat control, no fancy stuff like that. It's just a simple room in a simple house. I do not have much savings, and I do have to pay rent monthly, and I do have trouble making money, so I cannot invest much. $50 at the most, and even that would be kind of hard.

Is there anything that I can grow to make money by selling it online within Europe (or elsewhere for that matter, but shipping would cost a lot then of course).

Please ask anything that might help you help me...
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jul 15, 2016 11:26 AM CST
Welcome! to NGA

It doesn't sound like an ideal set-up for plants. You would have to invest in lights, ventilation and water systems - none of that is cheap.

Is there anything else you are good at? You might want to explore some other options for making a living.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jul 15, 2016 11:37 AM CST
Hello and welcome to the site. Welcome!
I used to make Pysanky eggs and sell them at local fairs.

Whew, your question is a difficult one. My answer may sound a bit depressing but I will be sure to end on a positive note.

Plants are not guaranteed to create a profit even under the best growing conditions. You are limiting yourself to an indoor, non-climate-controlled environment.

You will need some kind of bank account and there may be bank fees. Postage to ship live plant material is very expensive as you will need to use Priority (fast) mail. There are times of the year that you will not be able to safely mail plants as the weather will be either too cold or too hot and the plants might arrived decayed or dead. Also, if the buyer is not satisfied you need to have in place a return/refund policy to keep the customer happy.

To legally export plant material you will need to be inspected regularly and obtain a phytosanitary certificate.
http://piorin.gov.pl/en/phytosanitary-supervision-division/
So...in the end you could spend money, grow plants, offer them for sale...but if the inspector tells you that you have failed an inspection you will not be able to sell the plants.

Hurray! I have an idea that is not plant-related. There are many seller on eBay and on Craftsy who design and manufacture handmade items. Do you have the ability to create something? Knit, crochet, jewelry, painting, wood carving, sculpting, etc?

If you have that extra room perhaps you could find a room-mate to share expenses; if you can find someone who is talented at making things the two of you could form a partnership and work together to make and sell things online.

Lastly, since you mention that local merchandise is very inexpensive in Poland perhaps you can offer your local merchandise for sale on the internet. I sometimes buy stuff from a few independent sellers in China and their items are very affordable.

Good luck and I hope you come up with a successful idea. Thumbs up
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Name: Stewart
Pinehurst, Texas (Zone 8b)
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PlantMania
Jul 15, 2016 12:00 PM CST
(Granted, not an herb or spice)


Fungi maybe? ( http://garden.org/ediblelandscaping/?page=december_shroom ) however I have no idea what laws are in place for selling a fungus online. You might could sell to locals.
Cost would involve a basic setup , maybe a heating mat, container, soil (which can be used coffee grounds from that day) , and a dark room which you already have. Many many ideas off the internet on growing them.

Oma and Opa Simon
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[Last edited by PlantMania - Jul 15, 2016 12:01 PM (+)]
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Jul 15, 2016 7:20 PM CST
Hi gardeningguy. Welcome to NGA!

My first thought was that no one growing indoors can compete with anyone growing outdoors, if both are selling their produce. Then I remembered Cannabis. If that's legal in Poland, you would have to compete with very-well-funded companies that have it down to a science. If it's illegal ... they are VERY controlling and inflexible in most prisons!

And you would have to buy lights and fans and maybe other ventilation equipment. Is there any way you can get access to some community garden space? In Britain and the USA, those are sometimes called "allotments". Then you could grow outdoors in season, or under plastic for early-season and late-season.

IF there is an online market and a profit margin to be captured for some crop, growing under the sun on someone else's land would be an easier way to test the market. At least make the money to pay for a lighting setup. Or find out whether the market is there or not.

And shipping would be expensive.

On our side of the pond, if you sell anything edible online, you have to prove compliance with many laws & regulations and buy licenses and maybe even do the paperwork for, and pay for, "phytosanitary certificates".

But if you can find a "niche" market, you might be the only one selling that item and can make some profit. Until someone copies your success. I don't know about gourmet herbs or spices. But I would think that anyone ambitious enough to try to market them, would find some land and grow them outdoors where they thrive.

"Micro-greens" and "baby greens" have become salable in the USA, and their markup must be huge. That might be a possible in-home-crop, though every picture I've seen as an example of "how to do micro-greens" was in a greenhouse with natural light, plus some shelter. They must be more salable in mid-winter, which would give you back some advantage over greenhouse growers.

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/t-micro_greens_production.aspx?so...


We even buy more cleaned-lettuce-mix-in-a-bag now, than we buy HEADS of lettuce! That means we are even more stupid, or even more lazy, than I used to think we were! But bagged lettuce must sell for less per pound than micro-greens, which means that shipping bags of lettuce mix would be more expensive.

I'm guessing this market would be larger than the micro-green market, but have less profit margin and more competition. I think the fanciness of the mix, and the amount of hot air in your marketing hype would be the main ways to distinguish yourself in the cleaned, bagged lettuce mix market ... there would be a lot of competition if there IS an online market!
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/assets/information/salad-mix-prod...

I also saw an online company pop up that offers to ship you a box with all the ingredients for a gourmet meal that you would cook yourself. If you could find such a company, and offer them a reliable supply of fancy-fancy "gourmet greens" and micro-greens, THEY might pay a premium to get really excellent and unique very fresh salad makings. Then you could each harvest to them in one big box, and let THEM re-package it to ship one handful to each of thousands of people with more money than kitchen-sense (or time to spend cooking and cleaning vegetables).

I think the hook there would be to offer FRESH greens in mid-winter. Now you aren't competing with Mr. Sun and Mrs. Earth with your spare-bedroom-farm.

A similar "specialty customer" would be a chain of top-end organic food markets, though maybe ALL food in Europe is "organic", or has fewer pesticides and GMOs than over here. In that case, "extra-gourmet" organic food markets.

Good luck! If EVERYONE else thinks THEY could not make money with such a business plan, you wouldn't have to worry about competition until your success became legendary!

But it is an uphill struggle when a small company competes with large companies.

I especially wish you good luck finding a job you like (or can stand). I have a friend who HAS to do everything 100% his way. That isn't working out for him, financially. And I spent some decades struggling to accommodate bosses who were so unreasonable as to insist on doing things THEIR way instead of MY way.

Then I noticed that even all my peers wanted to do things THEIR way instead of my way!
This ridiculous insistence on NOT always agreeing with me was widespread!!

Eventually I accepted that whoever paid me, got to have things their way.

And that was even fair - if I wanted them to do things MY way, I would have to pay them enough to put up with MY crank notions, and I have no shortage of crank notions.

Let's see - I think it only took me another 15-20 years after REALIZING that, to ACCEPT that. Well, I accept it 80% to 90% , anyway. I'm not all the way there yet and I hope to retire in two more years.

If you still have more than 20-30 years left in your employable lifetime, there's still time to work on accommodating these crazy people who have trouble accepting that THEY should accommodate US. Your valuable experience in moving from job to job gives you a good perspective on what the challenges are, and I'm here to say that it IS possible, if you invest enough decades in the attempt. After all, if you have enough control of your own mind that you can decide to do what the boss wants for YOUR reasons, then it was YOUR decision, not his.

Just today I was in a struggle with a peer, and was getting ready to let him have it with both barrels between his eyes - - - but I know that he is at LEAST as stubborn and bull-headed as I am. More. Even more unreasonable than I am! At the last moment, while on the phone with him, for some reason I just decided to shmooze him instead. So instead of NOT getting what I wanted and having to work late Friday and come back in this weekend, and really annoying our bosses, he gave me everything I wanted and we hung up after thanking each other and congratulating ourselves.

I don't know why that works, either, but first I conquered my own emotions, and then he seemed to get caught in the back-draft. A miracle? Mental Ju-jitsu?

Recently I've made enough progress that the youngest hires are now even MORE stubborn and convinced of their rightness than I am. So I let them rant at the bosses, defy them and call them stupid, and try their best to get fired. I get a lot of satisfaction from agreeing with them in my mind, content that I did enough of that over my first few decades in the job market.

Then I get even MORE satisfaction from cashing my paycheck, doing things "my way" when possible, and bowing to the inevitable the rest of the time. "It's THEIR company!" Trading a stiff neck for an income. Actually, that way BOTH the boss and I get what we each want most. I'll work out my relationship issues with friends, and take the cash at work. Part of what they pay me for is plain old "shut up and do it OUR way". That used to infuriate me ... which was disadvantageous.

I tell myself that if the company "makes me" get cranky and emo, then "the stupid company won that round". Kind of like arguing with a 5-year-old - merely getting INTO the argument means that you've lost time, energy and peace of mind. The winning strategy is to be somewhere else, doing something I want to do or don't mind much doing, and taking home a paycheck.

Once I decided that I would very much rather have the pay than win or lose arguments with malign idiots, it only took a few more decades to put that into practice. I did have to let go of "You can't MAKE me!!" That was one of those funny things like calculus: BEFORE you learn it, it seems totally impossible. AFTER you learn it, it's obvious. Jung called it something like "the transcendental function", but "miracle" is as good a term.

That struggle started in my early 20s and I feel I've made considerable progress by now (64). You should be able to beat that by 30+ years if YOU decide sooner than I did that "Your Way" includes Whatever It Takes to Get What You Want.

Sean Connery in The Untouchables:

"Are ya willin' ta Do What It Takes ... no matter what it takes?"


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