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Niche Crops

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Pawpaw Fruit Tree

Niche crops a.k.a Specialty crops

are new and emerging crops that have not been commercially grown in a particular region, like the pawpaw seen above. The methods for producing specialty crops generally introduces farmers to a new way of growing. As always before you plant a crop, consider the crop’s destination. What market will be best served by your crop?

The North Carolina Specialty Crops Program was a multi-agency, statewide program dedicated to new crop development.
Read more

Below are resources for beginners and those with more experience in growing niche crops.


Heritage Apples




NC’s largest native fruit. The tropical taste echoes a banana in flavor and a mango in appearance. It’s the host plant for the zebra swallowtail butterfly and is pollinated by carrion flies. River and creek riparian  zones need them for their role in soil conservation. Forsyth County has an annual pawpaw field day.

Kentucky State has done lots with Pawpaws
The N.C. Cooperative Extension, Forsyth County Center is lucky to have Derek Morris, who you may have met if you’ve visited our front desk who is a goldmine of pawpaw knowledge. He was one of the individuals responsible for the planning of the pawpaw orchard behind the greenhouse!
Typically on the second Saturday in September, the PAWPAW FIELD DAY is held at N.C. Cooperative Extension, Forsyth County Center. Annually, we host a field day centered around the orchard at our building with tastings, tree vendors, and educational booths/ speakers!

Hardy Kiwi

  • Fuzzy Kiwi need a male and female plant to yield well. At our building we have Saanichton (female) which produced SUPER well last year with Tomuri as our male plant.