How Do I Become a Fruit Grower?

Tiffany Manley

There are many paths that you can take to become a fruit grower. Some people choose to begin working on a farm as a laborer of some sort and learn the business before venturing out on their own. Other people choose to attend school and learn about agribusiness before starting their own fruit farm, vineyard or orchard. Some people are born into the family fruit farming business and follow in the footsteps of their family members, eventually taking over the family fruit farm. You might choose to work for a fruit farmer, obtain an education in agricultural sciences, develop a business and marketing plan and ensure that you are following all regional requirements when you become a fruit grower.

Golden passion fruit.
Golden passion fruit.

To become a fruit grower, you must have some basic knowledge about growing fruit. This does not just involve planting a sprout, helping it grow and then harvesting it. In addition to knowing how crops are planted, grown and harvested, you usually will need to know how to care for your fruit farm or orchard, how to properly contain pests, what types of equipment to use and other fundamentals of farming. You might choose to gain this knowledge by working for a farmer before setting off on your own or by attending college and studying in an agribusiness program.

Kiwi fruit growing on the vine.
Kiwi fruit growing on the vine.

After you believe that you have obtained the necessary skills and education necessary to become a fruit grower, you likely will benefit from developing a business and marketing plan. Doing so helps you focus your business. You might decide whether you would like to grow fruit just for friends and family, for the local farmer’s market or for a large chain of stores. In addition, you might determine where financing will come from, what land you will use and how you will market your produce.

Dates growing on a date palm.
Dates growing on a date palm.

Arranging finances is an important aspect of becoming a fruit grower. Unless you have a large amount of money saved, you might need to borrow money from a lending institution. In addition ensuring that you have a business plan, this financial institution might want to know what qualifies you to become a fruit grower and other information that indicates that you are a good investment.

Grapes.
Grapes.

After financing has been arranged and you have a clear plan to become a fruit grower, you should ensure you are following all of the regulations in your area. There might be only a few, or there might be many food quality regulations that must be followed. Local government agencies, cooperative extension offices or other agriculture organizations might be good sources of this information.

A Gala apple.
A Gala apple.
Many fruits and vegetables must be picked manually.
Many fruits and vegetables must be picked manually.
Operating a large orchard will require a number of management skills, including accounting and asset management.
Operating a large orchard will require a number of management skills, including accounting and asset management.
Successful fruit growing may involve using tractors or other types of heavy equipment.
Successful fruit growing may involve using tractors or other types of heavy equipment.

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