How to Choose the Most Profitable Crops

By Grow Gothenburg

Want to make a decent living off your farm? Many people around the world are taking the steps into commercial urban farming or small-scale market gardening where only a couple of 1000 sqm can make enough money to pay several salaries. To make small farms be profitable one of the keys is to choose focus on the crops that really makes the most profit. In this article, we will go through the crop value rating system developed by the pioneering profitable urban farmer Curtis Stone.

Curtis started out growing a range of 90 different crops but through really tracking his time spent and the results each year and how much profit each crop made he soon found the most profitable 10 crops and now focus solely on these today – saving him lots of work and bringing in more money on smaller areas of land.

So how do you know which crops are the most profitable? Curtis developed what he called the crop value rating system of choosing these most profitable crops based on 5 characteristics.

Crop value rating system

1. Popularity

It has to be popular in your area otherwise no one will buy it – so aim for crops that have high demand and low market saturation. The market is unique to each area so important to understand your local market.

2. Days to maturity

Only grow crops with 60 days to maturity or less. This means no potatoes, no corn, no cabbage, no garlic, no winter squash.

3. High yield

At least 700g per linear meter of bedspace. (1/2 pounds per linear foot of bed)

4. High price

Only grow crops you can sell for a high price per kg, 60kr/kg or more.

5. Long seasonality

You shall be able to harvest them during a very long season for consistent marketing. At least 4 months growing of harvesting season.

Check out the video below for more in-depth information from Curtis himself.


5 examples of profitable crops

All of these crops are examples of crops that have short days to maturity, high market demand in Curtis area – but also proven by many urban farmers in Gothenburg to be in high demand at restaurants etc. You can also harvest some of them about 3-4 times on each rotation – meaning the same plant keep growing back 3-4 times after cutting them. That is pretty awesome, right? Another way to maximize yield over a long season. Learn about them all in this video: