33 little known high-value vegetables that will profit you

Long are gone the days when you could throw anything into the soil and get crops growing. Needless to say that, those plants would be considered valuable in every sense of the word. Not anymore.

The vegetable growing landscape has changed drastically. The dynamics are well predictable and are attributable to our ever changing lifestyles.

For example, how many of your family members including yourself would choose a veggie over a beef snack? How many of you owns a kitchen garden despite calling yourselves, gardeners? Do you even have the space to establish your vegetable garden to start with?

Tough questions, right?

Let’s be clear. Most of us consume vegetables out of obligation. We use them on our menu because the nutritionist and your parents said so.

I get it. Maybe that’s why you’d rather purchase your veggies from your nearest supermarket than own a vegetable garden, right? Or maybe you love the idea but just don’t have enough space?

What if I told you all that can change?

Yeah, you heard right.

It’s possible to create a culture where we appreciate consumption of vegetables rather than resisting them. We can achieve this by identifying the cause of the resistance.

I recently did a survey and most of the correspondences agreed that the flavor of the veggie in question played a significant role in its palatability.

Related: Planting Vegetables for Beginners That Refuse to Fail

What this means is that by growing high-value vegetables that are rich in flavor, we would help a majority of people to appreciate those veggies.

Moreover, space is becoming a major issue, especially with urban gardeners. Therefore the need to choose the plants that would take as less space as possible and have a higher dollar value. The trick is you grow the most expensive vegetables and buy the ones that are cheap to make sure that you save more.

For example, hops and the white asparagus are considered the most expensive vegetables in the world. Therefore, it won’t make sense buying them if you can grow them.

If you want to have an idea of what I’m talking about, click here to watch the short video before you continue.

 

In this post, I want to discuss 33 little known high-value vegetables that will have a high return on your investment.

The list is arranged based on the overall score with first being the least regarding the value and the last being the most valuable.

The list is based on four main factors;

  1. Total yield per square foot
  2. Average monetary value per pound and
  3. Length of time in the garden
  4. Some are the most expensive vegetables

To your success here are 33 high-value vegetables scored from 1-10 (1 is the least valuable and ten as the most valuable crop).

 

33. Pumpkins (overall score 1.9)

high-value vegetables -pumpkins-

Pumpkins are considered both fruits and vegetables

 

Space utilization: Production per square foot is relatively low approximately 10 pumpkins per 10 feet row. Each 10 ft row can only accommodate 3 plants.

Get recommended pumpkin seeds online for less than $47

Monetary value: Pumpkins although not vegetables per say+ have a relatively low monetary.

Nutrition: It is a superb source of fiber, vitamin A, and calories together with beta-carotene, an antioxidant that according to the National Cancer Institute may play a role in cancer prevention. (Source: huffingtonpost.com)

 

 

32. Winter squash (Overall score 3.8)

 

high-value vegetables-musky-winter-squashes

Musky winter squashes

Space utilization: Production per square foot is medium with 20-30lbs worth of produce in a ten ft. A row that contains only two plants.

Monetary value: Squashes have got a relatively small value.

Nutrition: This squash provides an adequate dietary fiber, significant amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, and folate. The winter squash is also rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants. Furthermore, the squash contains essential nutrient components such as carotenoids, high level of beta-carotene and vitamin C. (Source: wholeliving.com)

 

31. Melons (Overall score 3.8)

high-value vegetables-watermelon

Sliced melon

Space utilization: Relatively low production per square foot. On average, a 10 feet row will yield 10-15 fruits from 3 plants.

Recommended for you: High-quality heirloom melon seeds

Monetary Value: The monetary value is relatively small for the melons.

Nutrition: Melons are also known as cantaloupe or muskmelon. This veggie is believed to remove acne and helps in preventing wrinkles. Melon is powered with a high calorie. For example, one cup of diced fruit contains about 50 calories. Beside these calories, this veggie contains the required vitamins A and C and supplies more beta-carotene than any other fruit or vegetable. (source: greatest.com).

 

30. Celery (Overall score 4.3)

high-value vegetables -celery-

Beautifully flourishing celeries

Space utilization: A 10 ft. Row takes 20 plants to fill up. The yield expected per square foot is medium that is about 15lbs

Monetary value: You can expect a medium return on investment from growing celery.

Nutrition: One large stalk of celery contains only ten calories. Celery further contains essential oils and minerals such as magnesium and little amounts of sodium. A good number of vitamins are available in celery, the most prominent one as vitamin A. Studies have revealed that chewing celery stalk could amp up your sex life! (Source: care2.com)

 

29. Brussel sprouts (Overall score 4.3)

high-value vegetables-brussels-sprouts

Fresh Brussel sprouts

Space utilization: A 10 ft. Row accommodates ten plants on average, and it gives small production per square foot about 6-8lbs.

Monetary value: Brussel sprouts have a relatively high monetary value.

Nutrition: If you are a vegetarian, this vegetable is an excellent option for you. This is because when combined with whole grains, they make a complete protein. Besides that, Brussels are low in sodium and fat but contains tons of vitamins A, C, K (believed to be more than that of an orange), and B6, fiber, iron, selenium, folate, calcium, and potassium. (Source: treehugger.com)

 

28: Peas, English (Overall score 5.2)

high-value vegetables-peas

Shiny green peas

Space utilization: Production per square foot is medium approximately 10-12lbs. This plant is ideal even in limited areas for instance for our benchmark ten ft. row can grow 60-100 plants!

Monetary value: The peas have a relatively high market value.

Nutrition: Peas are green legumes that are loaded with vitamins A, B1, B6, K and C. These super vegetables are high in fiber and low in fat and contain no cholesterol. Furthermore, they are a good source of plant proteins. (Source: webmd.com)

 

27. Eggplant (Overall score 5.3)

high-value vegetables -eggplant-

Purple aubergines commonly known as eggplants

Space utilization: Low production per square foot of about 15 eggplants. In every 10 ft. Row you can plant five plants.

Monetary value: You can expect a high market value for the eggplant.

Nutrition: Also known as Aubergines, an eggplant is an excellent source of dietary fibre, vitamins B1, B6 and potassium. Besides it is high in the minerals copper, manganese and magnesium. Eggplants are also very rich in antioxidants such Nasunin that is found in aubergine skin. The Nasunin is responsible for the purple color found in aubergines. (Source: bbcgoodfood.com)

 

26. Cauliflower (Overall score 5.3)

high-value vegetables -cauliflower

Fresh Cauliflower

Space utilization: Cauliflower has a medium yield per square area. A 10-foot row takes about nine plants and produces anywhere between 8 and 10lbs per square foot.

Monetary value: Even though the yield is medium, this veggie has a relatively high monetary value which makes it attractive to grow.

Nutrition: Cauliflower is low in calories. Approximately three calories which are equivalent to 14KJ. The veggie is low in both fats and cholesterol but high dietary fiber. The cauliflower also contains essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, and some proteins. (Source: calorieking.com)

 

25. Kale (Overall score 5.6)

high value vegetables -kale-

Leafy kale enjoying some drops of water

Space utilization: Kale doesn’t take up much space, and the yields are high.

Monetary value: When it comes to the monetary value, kale has a high return on investment.

Nutrition: Kale is undisputedly one of the high-value vegetables. It’s known to be one of the most nutrient-dense veggies in existence. Kale is rich in about 33 calories, carbs, fiber and some amount of proteins. This vegetable also contains very useful quantities of vitamins A, C, K B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin) and B6, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium. Finally, kale is also a good source of antioxidants such as Kaempferol and Quercetin (Source: authoritynutrition.com)

 

24. Okra (Overall score 5.7)

high-value vegetables-okra

Growing okra

Space utilization: Good

Monetary value: Relatively high monetary value

Nutrition: The okra also referred to as ‘lady’s finger’ is full of nutritional benefits. Amongst them, okra is known to contain high amounts of vitamins C, A, K, and folate. That’s not all. This finger-like vegetable is also a good source vitamin B1, B3, and B6. Also, okra contains vital nutrients such as magnesium, manganese, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. (Source: naturalsociety.com)

 

23. Collards (Overall score 5.8)

High-value vegetables

Image credit: wisegeek.com

Space utilization: Collards are large growing leafy vegetables. This means that they take up a bit of space.

Monetary value: This great vegetable has a medium market value.

Nutrition: Collards provide an enormous amount of food and possess little to no calories. It’s a tremendous source of vitamins A and K, folate, manganese, calcium, and tryptophan. (Source: fullcircle.com)

 

22. Leeks (Overall score 5.9)

high-value vegetables

The edible part is the white area.

Space utilization: Leeks are members of the onion family and take up a relatively smaller space to grow.

Monetary value: They’ve got a medium market value but depends on with growing regions.

Nutrition: Leeks are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B6, C, K, calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese. Multiple studies also indicate that leeks contain anti-cancerous properties such as allyl sulfides. (Source: ehealthzine.com)

 

21. Cabbage (Overall score 6.0)

high-value vegetables -cabbage

A matured cabbage

Space utilization: Cabbage is one of the most popular vegetables that has a relatively small production per unit area. A 10-foot row will take a maximum of 8 plants that will yield 10-15lbs per square foot.

Monetary: Despite the popularity, the cabbage has little relative monetary value.

Nutrition: Cabbage is a member of cruciferous vegetables that is relatively low in calories, carbohydrates, fiber, protein and zero in fat and cholesterol. It is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6 and folate. When it comes to minerals, the cabbage is low in sodium and rich in iron and calcium. (Source: livestrong.com)

 

20. Radishes (Overall score 6.1)

high-value vegetables

Fresh shiny radishes

Space utilization: Radishes are economical regarding space utilization. They produce high yields of up to 3lbs per square foot. In a 10 foot row, 100-120 plants can be accommodated perfectly well.

Monetary value: Radishes have a medium value.

Nutrition: Radishes are a rich source of vitamin C (approximated at 25% of the daily recommended value). Additionally, they contain folate, fiber, riboflavin and potassium as well as useful amounts of vitamin B6, magnesium, copper, manganese, and calcium. (Source: foodfacts.mercola.com)

 

19. Beans, Lima (Pole-type) – Overall score 6.1

high-value vegetables

Super legumes – Green beans

Space utilization: Good

Monetary value: Highly valuable

Nutrition: The primary focus here is the green lima beans that are loaded with plenty of calories and macronutrients. These beans contain carbohydrates, dietary fiber, low fat, omega-3 Fatty Acids, Omega-6 Fatty Acids, proteins and zero cholesterol. Other vital nutrients are pro-vitamin A, C, E, K, B6, B12, Thiamin, Riboflavins, Niacin and Folate. (Source: healwithfood.org)

 

18. Mustard greens (Overall score 6.2)

high-value vegetables

Mustard green

Space utilization: Good

Monetary value: Medium to high valuable

Nutrition: This superfood is undoubtedly loaded with disease-fighting nutrition, rich in flavor and light in calories. It also has outstanding amounts of vitamin K, A, C, and folate. Mustard greens also contain a proper amount of essential minerals such as manganese, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin B6, phosphorous and copper. (Source: draxe.com)

 

17. Spinach (Overall score 6.2)

high-value vegetables

A spinach garden

Space utilization: The spinach utilizes spaces efficiently with medium yields of up to 5lbs per square foot.

Monetary value: It has a relatively intermediate market value.

Nutrition: The spinach is the only vegetable that will give you enormous strength. It’s dense in vitamins and minerals and low in calories. Spinaches are an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin B2, B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, manganese, copper, and calcium. The spinach has been voted as one of the world’s healthiest foods. (Source: livescience.com)

 

16. Broccoli (Overall score 6.3)

high-value vegetables

Green Broccoli

Space utilization: Broccoli utilizes even the smallest of space. For instance, a 10-foot row accommodates ten plants, and production varies between 10 and 12lbs per square foot which are relatively higher.

Monetary value: To top it off, this high-value vegetable is considered to have a high monetary value.

Nutrition: Broccoli has got a great flavor and rich in health benefits. It is low in calories, rich in essential vitamins, fiber, and minerals. The essential minerals and vitamins are vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, potassium, and folate. (Source: healthyeating.org)

 

15. Kohlrabi (Overall score 6.3)

high-value vegetables

Kohlrabi

Space utilization: A medium producer that yields about 8lbs per square foot. Doesn’t take up much space – 10 ft. A row can grow 30 plants.

Monetary value: Kohlrabi is not very popular and has a medium monetary value.

Nutrition: Kohlrabi is a hardy annual vegetable that is full of nutrients and minerals. It contains antioxidant compounds such as carotenes and phytochemicals. Find more health benefits of Kohlrabi here. (Source: organicfacts.net)

 

14. Swiss chard (Overall score 6.3)

high-value vegetables

Colorful Swiss Chard

Space utilization: Magnificent. Can be grown in containers but performs best in raised beds.

Monetary value: Swiss chard has a relatively high monetary value.

Nutrition: Apparently Swiss chards are among the heavy vitamin-laden veggies on earth. They contain polyphenol antioxidants and Betalains. The also contain a super high amount of vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin A. (Source: canadianliving.com)

 

13. Sweet peppers (Overall score 6.4)

high-value vegetables - peppers

Yellow, Orange, Purple Sweet Peppers

Space utilization: Fairly good

Monetary value: They are super expensive in some regions meaning they have a relatively high monetary value.

Nutrition: Sweet peppers are amazing suppliers of the daily required vitamin C. They are also an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, and magnesium. Armoured with lycopene that gives them their characteristic red color, sweet peppers are potent antioxidants. (Source: chatelaine.com)

 

12. Cucumbers, grown on support (Overall score6.5)

high-value vegetables

Mature cucumbers

Space utilization: The cucumber yields about 2-3doz per square foot. A 10 ft-row will accommodate five plants, and they take up much less space especially when supported.

Monetary value: They a high monetary value due to their effective uses.

Nutrition: This is what to expect from the cucumbers; Source of vital vitamins, rehydrating the body, caring for the skin and hair, relieving bad breath, aiding in weight loss and curing or aiding in curing most diseases. (Source: naturalnews.com)

 

11. Carrots (Overall score 6.5)

high-value vegetables

A basket full of carrots

Space utilization: If you don’t have the luxury of owning larger space but still want to grow vegetables, you might as well think about growing carrots.

Monetary value: The current market value is medium to high for all the carrot cultivars.

Nutrition: The carrot is the leading source of beta-carotene. It also contains the vitamins B, C, D, E and K. Besides these vitamins; carrots also supply minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and traces of other minerals. Trace amounts of proteins can also be found in carrots. (Source: goaskalice.columbia.edu)

 

10. Beans, bush (Overall score 6.5)

high-value vegetables

Bush beans

Space utilization: Good

Monetary value: High

Nutrition: These beans are loaded with plenty of calories and macronutrients. These beans contain carbohydrates, dietary fiber, low fat, omega-3 Fatty Acids, Omega-6 Fatty Acids, proteins and zero cholesterol. Other vital nutrients are pro-vitamin A, C, E, K, B6, B12, Thiamin, Riboflavins, Niacin and Folate. (Source: healwithfood.org)

 

9. Beets, for greens and roots (Overall score 6.6)

high-value vegetables

Amazing beets

Space utilization: High

Monetary value: Medium

Nutrition: The beet is an excellent source of phytonutrients, folate, manganese, potassium, copper, fiber, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, vitamin C and vitamin B6. This veggie is one of the high-value vegetables that promotes optimal health. (Source: whfoods.com)

 

8. Beans, pole (Overall score 6.8)

Space utilization: Excellent

Monetary value: Highly valuable (One of the most expensive vegetables to buy).

Nutrition: These beans are loaded with plenty of calories and macronutrients. These beans contain carbohydrates, dietary fiber, low fat, omega-3 Fatty Acids, Omega-6 Fatty Acids, proteins and zero cholesterol. Other vital nutrients are pro-vitamin A, C, E, K, B6, B12, Thiamin, Riboflavins, Niacin and Folate. (Source: healwithfood.org)

 

7. Peas, edible-podded (Overall score 6.9)

high-value vegetables

Podded pea

Space utilization: Efficient

Monetary value: High

Nutrition: Peas are green legumes that are loaded with vitamins A, B1, B6, K and C. These super vegetables are high in fiber and low in fat and contain no cholesterol. Furthermore, they are a good source of vegetable proteins. (Source: webmd.com)

 

6. Onions, bulbs for storage (overall score 6.9)

high-value vegetables-bulb onions

high-value bulb onions

Space utilization: Bulb onions are medium producers. In practice, a 10 feet row will accommodate about 40 plants yield up to 10lbs per square foot. It’s good to note that bulb onions have the best-storing capabilities.

Monetary value: Unfortunately when it comes to the dollar value, bulb onions are considered relatively low in value.

Nutrition: Bulb onions contain important compounds such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and sulfur containing compounds. It’s proven that flavonoids are more concentrated in outer layers of the bulbs. The onions contain biotin, manganese, copper, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin B1, fiber, phosphorus, potassium, and folate.

Several studies show that when onions are consumed in a diet that is rich in other vegetables and fruits, can provide protection for the heart and blood vessels. It can also lower the risk of several cancers (source: whfoods.com)

 

5. Summer squash (Overall score 7.2)

high-value vegetables

Zucchini, squash, courgettes

Space utilization: Three plants of summer squash can produce 25lbs per square foot.

Monetary value: High

Nutrition: This squash provides an adequate dietary fiber, significant amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, and folate. The winter squash is also rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants. Furthermore, the squash contains essential nutrient components such as carotenoids, high level of beta-carotene and vitamin C. (Source: wholeliving.com)

 

4. Turnips (greens and roots) – Overall score 7.4

high-value vegetables

Turnips, beetroots

Space utilization: The turnip is a high producing crop that gives 20lbs per square foot. In a 10 ft. – row 30-40 plants can be planted.

Monetary value: Medium

Nutrition: They are a good source of phytonutrients such as indole-3-carbinol, sulforaphane, and isothiocyanates. Turnips are primarily composed of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins. These vitamins are thiamine, niacin, B6, C, and riboflavin. The principal minerals contained in the turnip are sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, iron, selenium, magnesium, copper and zinc. (Source: healthyeating.sfgate.com)

 

3. Leaf lettuce (Overall score 7.4)

high-value vegetables

Leaf Lettuce

Space utilization: Lettuce is an efficient space user. A 10 feet row can accommodate 30-60 plants and yields about 5lbs which make it a medium producer.

Monetary value: Leaf Lettuce is considered to have a relatively high monetary value.

Nutrition: The Lettuce is a darling for most salad fans. It’s one of the very low calorie (0.15 calories per gram) and low in cholesterol vegetable. This vegetable has folates, zea–xanthin, thiamine and vitamins K, C and B6. Lettuce further contains quite some essential minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium (Source including recipes visit: nutrition-and-you.com)

 

2. Onions, green bunching (Overall score 8)

high-value vegetables-onions

Green Onions

Space utilization: Green bunching onions are space friendly, meaning they won’t take much space, but you can expect high yields. A 10 ft-row will accommodate 60-80 plants.

Monetary value: It’s also good to note that, these onions are poor in storage compared to the bulbs, they have a higher monetary value.

Nutrition: Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients. They are also rich in the powerful sulphur-containing compound called allyl sulfide that is responsible for reducing the risk of developing colon cancer. (Source: thehealthsite.com)

 

1. Tomatoes, grown on support (Overall score 9)

high-value vegetables

High-value tomatoes

Space utilization: It is possible to grow about eight plants per 10 feet row and expect medium yields between 30-50lbs worth of produce.

Monetary value: Tomatoes have a relatively high monetary value

Nutrition: Tomatoes (red, ripe, raw) are good a source of Thiamine, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Copper and Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol). They are also a concentrated source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Manganese, and Potassium. As if to spice up everything more tomatoes are low in sodium, very low in saturated fat and cholesterol and 112KJ worth of calories. It’s even believed that this vegetable is anti-cancerous and prevents so many lifestyle diseases if consumed fresh (Source: nutritiondata.self.com).

No wonder when it comes to high-value vegetables tomato takes the number one spot winding up this list of little-known plants that will undoubtedly profit you both in the short and long run.

 

Conclusion

If you’ve come all the way to this point, it shows that you already have an ingredient for successful vegetable gardening. I believe that this post has suggested the vegetables you need to start out your own successful vegetable garden.

Don’t forget that this post is part of my series on A To Z vegetable gardening tips for beginners, If you missed the previous post, find it here.

If you’ve found this list of high-value vegetables beneficial, please give it a share. As usual, let me know what you think in the comments. 

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