Types and Uses
Mint comes in hundreds of types, each with a specific minty flavor. Most people are familiar with the peppermint and spearmint variety, but there are many others. Some of these even include surprisingly chocolate, pineapple and banana! Mint is also an herb that is easy to grow, making it a good money crop to sell for use in cooking and scented potpourris and for natural healing purposes as mint tea and mint rubs.
Growing mint depends on how much is wanted for sale upon harvest. A few beds would be good for selling in a yard side stand. More is needed if the mint is intended for a larger farmers market. Either way it is best to buy mint plants from a home garden supply store. Mint does grow from seed, but it takes much longer. Growing a crop from mint plants is more efficient in making a profit. Plant the mint in the spring in a contained bed or in an open area of ground away from other plant varieties so that the mint does not spread into them. Mint does best in a lightly shaded area. As the plants grow, water them occasionally to keep soil slightly moist but not saturated.
Mint is harvested by pinching off the leaves. After removing the mature leaves, pinch off the stem and discard to make more room for growing plants. Harvesting is done once the plants have fully formed larger leaves. Plants grow at a different rate at times, so it is fine to harvest whenever necessary. Then, when the season ends in the fall, harvest whatever remains. Spread the leaves out and allow drying before packaging them for sale, if desired, or they can be sold fresh picked.
Packaging the mint leaves is a fairly easy process in a small business. For roadside stands, the leaves can be placed in zipped plastic baggies. This will keep them fresh. A label can be added to the baggie detailing what kind of mint is inside. For selling at larger farm markets, organic markets and shops, jars make a good packaging container. For extra motivation for customers to buy, attach labels with the history of mint printed on them or a list of its uses. The mint is now ready to be sold by the desired method.
Selling options range from easy to the more involved. With the roadside stand, simply set the packaged mint out in sight. Make a yard sign informing passersby that mint is sold there. The larger farm and organic markets have procedures to follow to sell product in their markets. Give them a call before planting to get a complete understanding of what is expected. Another way to sell the mint crop for money is online. Set up a webpage with all pertinent information on what kinds are available, how much it costs and how it will be shipped. Score, a small-business support association, can offer more advice on this method and related large mint business procedures and in small business in general. Making money with mint because of the variations of choices throughout the process is a viable option in adding to current income.