Growing Sprouts for Cash

Meet two women who are making a good living growing sprouts (alfalfa and lentil) and believe you could too.

| November/December 1978

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    With a setup like this, it's no wonder Evy and Jane have succeeded growing sprouts.
    PHOTO: BETSY ECKERT
  • Diagrams of the shelves Season Is Now uses for sprouts and the rack they use for lentils.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • The process of rinsing, draining, extracting, and weighing sprouts.
    BETSY ECKERT
  • Evy and Jane at work packing sprouts for delivery.
    BETSY ECKERT
  • A package label for The Season is Now Sprout Farm.
    BETSY ECKERT
  • Evy and Jane load up their truck to make deliveries.
    BETSY ECKERT

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Home businesses, as readers of this magazine well know, are sprouting up all over the place these days. Even here in Ballston Spa, New York, where our own little two-woman enterprise is based on sprouts themselves!

Nope. We're not the only folks currently making a living growing sprouts, and we cheerfully admit that we're a long way from being the first to have had the idea. But we are harvesting a steady crop of cash from our basement alfalfa field and lentil patch, we're sure that lots of others could do the same thing in their own sections of the country, and we'd like to share some of the details of our success with you.

Check Out Your Market

The consumption of delicious and healthful sprouts, as we're sure you've noticed, has skyrocketed here in the United States and Canada during the past few years. Almost every health food store and even a few supermarkets now carry at least alfalfa shoots.

But just because an outlet handles a line doesn't necessarily mean that its manager is satisfied with his or her supplier or that supplier's product. So make a few phone calls (even to stores that you know already offer sprouts) and set up some interviews. That's what we did. And we met some very interesting and interested, reasonable, and creative businessmen and businesswomen who sampled our goods ... and gave us some orders! It never hurts to ask.



We've found that we especially like to deal with the large supermarket chains, since it puts our alfalfa and lentil shoots in front of many shoppers who would otherwise never be exposed to them. But then, we also have fun servicing the small health food outlets and corner grocery stores in our area too.

And don't forget restaurants or school cafeterias either. We've found that it's a lot less work to deliver a single bulk order to one nearby college cafeteria than it is to package the same amount of sprouts in 60 dozen four-ounce bags!





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