Alternative Crops and Plants

Fruits and vegetables

Looking for something new? Find information about production of floral, forest, fruit, grain, herb, industrial, nursery, nut, vegetable or other specialty plants, seeds and products. Find resources related to:

List of Alternative Crops and Enterprises for Small Farm Diversification

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

Lists alternative livestock species and livestock-related enterprises with links to Extension sources that help evaluate and start non-conventional farming enterprises.

Missouri Alternatives Center: Link List

University of Missouri. Cooperative Extension Service.

Offers Web site resources which include an on-line newsletter and a comprehensive database of full-text, on-line Extension and related how-to publications from all states and on many farming alternatives "from Asparagus to Watermelons, and Aquaculture to Worms."

ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology. ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

Lists publications about Field Crops and Horticultural topics as related to sustainable agriculture.

Crop Production

USDA. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

A selection of books and bulletins available for purchase and online access on the topic of successful crop production systems for farmers and ranchers.

Plants National Database

USDA. Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The section on Alternative Crops provides Web links to production and marketing information for crops suitable to small-scale farming and based on the selected crops and States.


Purdue University. Center for New Crops and Plant Products.

Provides several sources of information such as the New Crops Symposium series articles available through the Table of Contents for each volume, the CropEXPERT listings and the CropORGANIZATION directory about a wide variety of both common and unusual crops.

Plants for a Future

Plants for a Future.

Located in the United Kingdom, "Plants For A Future is a resource centre for rare and unusual plants, particularly those which have edible, medicinal or other uses." Its services include an on-line database which currently consists of nearly 7,000 species of plants. The database is searchable by scientific name, common name or family; edible, medicinal or other use; or search for plants native to a particular area or a particular habitat.

Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases

USDA. Agricultural Research Service.

Search plant, chemical, activity and ethnobotany databases. Includes an ethnobotanical dictionary and links to nutritional, cancer treatment and other plant related databases.

New Crop Opportunities Center

University of Kentucky. College of Agriculture.

"Provides production and marketing information on new crops and value-added versions of current crops."


Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives.

Includes information on many alternative commodities in categories including cereal, fruit, greenhouse, vegetable, oilseed, pulse and medicinal plant crops.

Specialty and Minor Crops Handbook

University of California. Small Farm Center.

Presents selected profiles from the 2nd edition of this unique publication. The complete print document may be ordered from the University of California Small Farm Center Catalog.

Alternative Crop Suitability Maps

Illinois State Water Survey.

Provides summary information and requirements for over 400 crops. Maps provided on this site are specific to Illinois, but other information should be of general use.