Food Plant Nursery

1. What is a food plant nursery?

Nurseries grow and sell plants at a variety of life stages.  A sustainable food plant nursery focuses on growing and selling organic annuals, biannuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees that all produce food.

The results of a business like this are nothing short of revolutionary.  It empowers people in your community to produce their own food.  It teaches children that food does not come from a supermarket.  It reduces the number of miles our food travels from ‘farm to plate’ and the amount of fuel used to make that happen.  It creates community by fostering interaction between neighbors who may trade produce with each other as it comes in seasonally.  It reduces the amount of chemicals used in agriculture.  It capitalizes on a great deal of wasted space many people have in their yards, on their balconies, or on their windowsills.  It reintroduce local plants, including heirloom varieties, that ensure diversity of our food supply.

2. What required knowledge or skills are necessary?

Knowledge of growing, potting, and gardening are all essential for this business to succeed, however, there are no formal educational or training requirements for this job.  However, the work is strenuous and requires that the worker be able to be on their feet for extended periods of time, be well-organized, a good ‘people person’, and be able to lift up to 50 pounds.

3. How much money is required to start?

$   (on a scale of $ to $$$$$)

4. What is the income potential?

$$   (on a scale of $ to $$$$$)

5. What is the best location for a food plant nursery?

Urban (good), semi-urban (best), suburbs (very good), rural (poor).  You’ll need space in which to grow your seedlings, and access to a pretty sophisticated irrigation system, so it is best to start this business where real estate is not too expensive, yet close enough to most of the markets where you can sell your items (think about transporting a thousand seedlings…you won’t want to go too far).

6.  Three best questions to ask yourself to find out if this business is right for you (if you can answer yes to all three, this business might be for you):

Do you have a green thumb?
Do you have a passion for healthy food?
Are you in a position where you can start a business that might take 10-20 hours per week and not pay very much, at least for the foreseeable future?


Interested in starting one in your community? Where do you begin?  What permits do you need?  Who is your target customer?  How do you find them?  What is the best use of your limited advertising dollars?  What’s the best way to attract a great employee or volunteer?  What does an average day look like?  What strategic tips do veteran eco-entrepreneurs suggest for startups like you?

There’s a lot to think about.  Rest easy.  Our mission is to help you succeed, so drop us a line (  We’ll get you a business planning document to get you on your way for ONLY $199!  We also guarantee our work, so if you are not satisfied, you get your money back!*

Take a look at a sample table of contents and a few sample excerpts from similar plans here.   In essence, we’ll provide you the What, When, Where, and How…you provide the Who!

*Subject to the terms of our Licensing Agreement.

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