Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Peppermint: The Three Dollar Investment

It's not often you run into an investment opportunity that is perfect for a child just learning the ropes of entrepreneurship. Raising and selling peppermint plants is such an opportunity providing a great
avenue for earning money and building knowledge of this popular herb.

Fast Peppermint Facts

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita ) is a perennial herb that is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region.

Today, peppermint is used for many ailments including, headaches, sinus pressure, digestive and circulatory complaints.

Peppermint is also used as a mice and garden pest repellent.

While the most well known due to its potent health and aroma properties, peppermint is only one of the many member mint family. For some different varieties check out Chocolate Mint and Orange Mint.

How To Grow Peppermint

Peppermint is spread by runners which shoot off of the mother plant's root system. Thus it doesn't take long for a single plant to multiply into scores filling your garden with their minty fragrance. Here is a checklist for how to go from plant to profit.

Purchase the mother plant at your local gardening center.

Plant in partial to full sun in well drained soil anytime during the spring or summer months (May to July is a recommended time frame).

Peppermint is infamous for overspreading its bounds so keep that important tidbit in mind when you plant. You could use a pot, but since the goal is to sell the new sprouts you do want a roomy area for it to spread. The peppermint in our family garden thrives along the outer edge away from the main beds. Some wandering sprouts still peek out from under the railroad tie borders, but we just mow over them and enjoy the minty perfume. Just bear peppermint's roaming nature in mind and you'll do well and prosper.

Peppermint is a low maintenance herb, so water only as needed. Be diligent and educate yourself on the uses of peppermint while you wait for the new spouts to peek out from the earth. Depending on when you planted and your area conditions, you should have several sprouts by fall. The following year dozens of peppermint sprouts should follow the spring's warming leading to the final steps of our enterprise.

Marketing Peppermint

In the spring when your plants are about 6” tall replant your healthiest sprouts into Styrofoam cups with a few holes in the bottom. Display the name of the plant and your price on the side of the cup. Feel free to get your creative energy flowing and decorate the outside of the cups with yarn, ribbon, strips of material and whatever else you may have handy. Younger siblings can be a tremendous blessing with decorating, so take advantage of their willing hands and make it a meaningful time of building fellowship with them.

Try to keep your inventory small (twelve would be good, give or take according to your customer potential). Remember you can always return to your peppermint patch to replenish your supply, but keeping 70 spouts in peak condition becomes overwhelming fast.

Reserve a spot at your local farmer's market or print out a decorative advertisement and sell out the door. The more you get the word out about your product the wider your customer base will be, so think generously.

This bed of peppermint came from ONE sprout a friend gave to us.
Crunching Numbers

Lets break it down and do an overview of what this venture would cost and what the possible return might be.

Cost of original plant: $3.49

Cost of Styrofoam cups: $30.00

Throw in extra for gas and/or paper and ink for your advertisements and round up our expenses to $40.00. If we sell our peppermint sprouts for $2.50 each (which is very competitive price) we need only sell 16 plants before we make all our money back. Everything after the first 16 is profit. Next year you'll only have the cost of cups, which can be cut even more by watching out for deals. Staying faithful to this investment year after year and a ten year old who sells thirty plants a year will have earned $450.00 by her sixteenth birthday. This diligent hand who puts itself to the plow will find
bread for starting other entrepreneur endeavors, along with a faithfulness that will prepare her for great things.

But this I say, He who sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6)

4 comments:

  1. Wow, that makes life sound so easy. ;) Great idea for starting kids out with earning money. :) We've enjoyed experimenting with different peppermint plants in the past (of course, Chocolate peppermint my favorite, but I also like Pineapple-mint). It is definitely easy to grow!
    ~Amanda

    "He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30

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  2. Thanks, Amanda! Doesn't it?! ;) Chocolate mint seems to be a popular one, but I've never heard of Pineapple mint. That one could easily become my favorite. :)

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  3. Thank you for the post. :) It was very interesting! We actually have a chocolate mint, although it needs to put some work into growing. ;)

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  4. Thanks, Patience! Might want to be careful what you say to that chocolate mint - our experience has been once a mint takes off, there's no corralling it. ;)

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