Aim low, that is, pick the level that you think will be easiest for you to accomplish. That way you can graduate on to the next level quickly and confidently.
Most people overreach in the beginning. They get overwhelmed, lose control of their operation, and give up. You increase your chances of success by starting modestly.
If you have never grown much in your garden, or have never grown at all, it is best to sell just to friends and family since they will be more forgiving if you have gaps in production. You should not launch a CSA program or develop restaurant clients until you are sure you can produce a wide variety of vegetables week after week.
Here are some specific guidelines on which program level to choose:
Pilot Program is best if you:
- are a novice gardener, or have never grown at all
- have limited, or no, growing space (you need 100 sq. ft. total; containers such as Earthboxes can be used)
- have 15 hours to implement the program
Think of the Pilot Program as a lemonade stand scale operation.
Production Program is best if you:
- are an intermediate gardener
- have limited growing space (you need 1,000 sq. ft.)
- have about 32 hours to implement the program
Think of the Production Program as a part-time hobby operation.
Continuous Production Program is best if you:
- are an experienced gardener
- have a good size growing space, or access to one (you need 2,000 sq. ft.
- have about 123 hours to implement the program
Think of the Continuous Production Program as a full-time operation.