Growing the vegetables is just part of the challenge. You must choose vegetables that you can get to the marketplace easily. Most importantly, make sure there is a demand in the market place for those veggies. You may grow the biggest and best eggplants in the state, but if there's little demand for eggplants, you won't have success. Cruise farmer's markets and see what's selling and what's not.
Grocery store tomatoes may be pretty but they don't taste anything like juicy tomatoes freshly picked from the vine. Selection in stores is rather limited to roma, hothouse, and cherry tomatoes. Growing tomatoes that are unusual looking such as striped green and red tomatoes, pink, yellow or orange are appealing to customers. Different size tomatoes from huge beefsteaks to tiny grape tomatoes are attractive. Add in yellow and red pear tomatoes, chocolate, orange and golden cherry tomatoes to round out your offerings. A recipe booklet is an added bonus and will keep your customers coming back.
Fresh and crunchy with a wide selection could mean salad is the path to your success. Stay away from iceberg and romaine, they're too commonplace. Stick with mesclun, young leaves of a variety of spring lettuces, with expensive varieties such as endive or radicchio, or with colorful kinds like red, red and white striped or green and white striped. Add in a booklet that describes each kind and its flavor. Herbs, while not vegetables, make a good offering to go along with greens. Complete your offering with gourmet olive oils and vinegars.
Baby vegetables are favorites of restaurateurs. That translates into big bucks for you because customers are already accustomed to higher prices. Some veggies are sold in the immature stage such as corn; others are small varieties of the normal-sized vegetable such as squashes. Still others are picked at a smaller size such as potatoes, carrots and beets. Display is important for little vegetables. Big piles will just make them look lost. Treat these babies as if they were jewels. Offer an assortment of each of your vegetables as a way to get customers to try them out.
Lots of interesting vegetables that are easy to grow in home gardens are used in Asian cuisines such as yard long beans, bitter melon, daikon radishes and a plethora of greens. Label each vegetable with its name in English and the language of the cuisine it's most noted for.
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