How to Grow Herbs for a Living

Overview

Herbs are used for a wide variety of reasons. They can be used for medicinal purposes, in food recipes and in arts and craft. If you are looking for a business venture that requires little operating space, selling herbs for a living may be just what you are looking for. Whether you have a large piece of land to plant herbs or you need to plant in containers, you can still grow enough to make it financially worth the effort. Use your imagination and the possibilities are endless.

Step 1

Choose a name for your herb business and obtain a business license from your county clerk's office. Regulations and fees vary and you may be subject to a health department inspection as herbs are a food product.

Step 2

Decide what type of herbs you want to grow and whether you want to sell them as live plants, dried or picked fresh. If you want to sell live plants, you should plant and sell them in the same container. Dried herbs will need to be placed in an airtight plastic bag. Herbs that are picked fresh by your customer will need to be displayed in a neat and weed-free environment with easy and safe access.

Step 3

Plant and care for your herbs according to the seed packet instructions. Choose herbs that are popular in your area. For instance, if you plan to sell to restaurants, grow herbs that are suitable for the type of food it serves. Educate yourself thoroughly on the type of herbs you grow and the different ways they can be used.

Step 4

Create business cards and packaging labels with your business name and contact information. Include the date on which you actually picked and packaged the herbs when selling dried. When selling live plants, put a label with your company name on the planter.

Step 5

Set up a company website for mail orders and contact your local farmers market to set up a stand to sell your herbs. Include transplanting instructions for live plant buyers and include simple recipes for customers buying dried herbs.

Tips and Warnings

  • Maintain accurate records of all sales and expenses. Keep copies of everything business related so when tax season arrives you are already prepared. Contact the IRS and set up quarterly self-employment tax payments; this is required to avoid penalties and a big tax bill at the end of the year.

Things You'll Need

  • Business license
  • Herb seeds
  • Planters
  • Soil
  • Gardening tools
  • Business cards
  • Labels
  • Herb recipes
  • Plastic bags

References

  • "55 Surefire Food-Related Businesses You Can Start for Under $5,000;" Cheryl Kimball; 2009
  • Internal Revenue Service: Starting a Business

Who Can Help

  • North Carolina State University Extension: "Growing Herbs for the Home Gardener"
  • HerbWorld Online: Herbal Business Tools
Keywords: herb garden business, sell herbs profit, herb selling business

About this Author

Yvonne Ward began her professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of "Pickin' Cotton Sure Is Hard Work" in the book "Golden Short Stories Volume 1" for the Dahlonega Book Festival. She has since written a true crime book published in 2010, with contracts for two more. Ward is pursuing a Master of Arts in history and culture from Union Institute and University.