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Make Money With SPIN Farming

Updated on July 18, 2011

SPIN farming is a method of growing high yield, high profit crops in small places. It is a great choice for urban and suburban gardeners hoping to make extra money (or even earn a living) doing something they love.

What Is SPIN Farming?

SPIN stands for Small Plot INtensive farming. It focuses on farming using plots of one acre or less, using a combination of low value crops such as potatoes and onions, and high value crops such as heirloom tomatoes and fresh salad greens.

SPIN farming techniques are not revolutionary by themselves. However, the program offers a level of business and marketing assistance to practitioners more similar to a franchise business than a typical farmer's how to manual, including business plans, marketing advice, and day-to-day workflow schedules for a five day workweek, while still accommodating the high degree of local and regional variation in farming operations.

Photo by Trinity
Photo by Trinity

SPIN farming is an especially good choice for would-be farmers in urban and suburban settings because it focuses on earning a significant income from small plots, making it easier for beginning farmers to get into the business without moving to the country or going deeply in debt due to the high cost of land in many regions.

The small scale of SPIN farming also allows for much lower overhead costs once the plot is chosen, because of the minimal need for mechanical tools or outside help. SPIN farmers are able to use simple, inexpensive tools such as drip irrigation systems made from ordinary garden hoses and rented rototillers, and many SPIN farmers require only occasionally outside help and typically barter fresh produce in exchange for labor from family or friends. The goal of SPIN farming is to keep expenses to roughly 5-10% of total sales.

SPIN Farming or SPIN Gardening?

SPIN farming techniques have been adapted for non-commercial use as well, in the SPIN Gardening program.

Rather than producing an income, SPIN gardening aims to help you produce a substantial percentage of your family's produce from a small plot of 500-1000 square feet.

The Promise of SPIN Farming

SPIN Farming has the potential to be not just a system of vegetable farming, but also a movement.

Though well grounded in the practical realities of farming, SPIN farming also offers a unique opportunity to meld income with idealism. SPIN farmers value environmental sustainability, social responsibility, food security, and good taste, and by providing fresh, local, and organic food to their customers, they are truly living their ideals. 

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    • patchofearth profile image

      patchofearth 5 years ago from somewhere in the appalachian foothills

      I'm with onegoodwoman, this sounds like square foot gardening-- which is a really great idea. I will book mark this hub for future reference.

    • moneymakingmom profile image

      Beverly Johnson 6 years ago

      Totally brilliant idea! We should all strive to be self sustaining.

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town

      This makes me think of square yard or square foot gardening. Both are fabulous ideas. Making the most of what you have...even when we have little.....an idea we could all utilize.

      Thanks for introducing an old idea in a new way.

    • Cedar Cove Farm profile image

      Cedar Cove Farm 7 years ago from Southern Missouri

      OK, I am very intrigued! I need to look into this more. Thanks!

    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      I'm very much in agreement with keystrokes. Living in LA myself but coming from a house in Wales where everyone, in my younger days, would grow vegetables in the garden. We used to eat from our own harvest. No pesticides, no chemicals just old fashioned gardening. Nutritious and satisfying on many levlels.

      Great Hub thank you for reminding us of home grown value.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

      I think that larger more decayed areas might find Spin farming to be the answer to loads of urban issues. Los Angels could learn a few things by reading your hub. Great information and a very good approach to solving some much larger issues!

      ~Always choose love~

    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 7 years ago from Utah

      Great idea. Haven't heard of SPINN farming, but I am interested. Thanks.

      I live in the country, but I am interested in this type of gardening because it minimizes work!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      A great concept. This is something that could take hold in Detroit, where they are razing decrepit and abandoned buildings for green space. SPIN farming could revolutionize urban landscapes!

    • pinkboxer profile image

      pinkboxer 7 years ago from Louisiana

      This is valuable information. I am starting an urban garden and the SPIN concept is perfect for me.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for your great inspiration.

    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      I love the idea of having a small garden when we cannot have a real garden. I think it makes so much sense. Thanks for the motivation to do something with my small space.