This North Dakota Homesteader Has Turned Her Gardening Hobby in to a Business

What started as a hobby for Krista Johnson has turned into some extra income for the family, especially during the summers. With a format that she developed alongside her husband, Krista has found a way to create a lucrative business out of her garden by selling her excess produce!

Growing Food as a Hobby

When the North Dakota homesteader moved into a home with a huge field, she put her gardening skills to use. Her family started growing their own food and giving away the excess to her neighbors. At this point, her friends asked her to sell the produce at the local farmers’ market. Being a novice in this field, Johnson learned the ropes of the business through a welcoming farmers’ market community. The absence of a fee and the pricing structure at the farmer’s market encouraged her to take the lead in selling her produce.

Monetizing the Farm Produce

Johnson did the groundwork by finding out what products sold well, and the products were not available at the market. The produce from her garden that made it to the market included cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, beets, corn, and berries. Not only did she sell produce, but she also innovatively changed her approach to boost her sales, like pickling okra, a less liked item in its fresh form. She finds pleasure in communicating with her customers, knowing their needs, and offering them recipe ideas for the less preferred vegetables.

Boosting Sales Through Online Networking

Johnson established her online presence through social media accounts which offer a glimpse into her business savvy skills. Johnson’s Facebook page, 25 acres, speaks about the length and breadth of her farming venture. Her website, Dirt on Plate, serves as an affiliate marketing tool for amazon as well as other shopping websites. The blogs on her site offer helpful information for homesteading – ranging from managing a coop for hens and turkeys to finding a space at the farmers’ market. The farming section gives a breakdown of garden planning and management. Johnson taps into her online follower base on social media to sell her produce. Her business model is based on customer wants: She meets them at her home or the farmers’ market and finalizes the price for her produce. During summer, she visits one farmers’ market a week and earns around $50 to $100 every time, grossing up to $2,000 for the entire season. She utilizes the revenue generated for the upkeep of her greenhouse, equipment, and farm maintenance. Talk about some passionate gardening!