Tropical smallholding – what will we be growing?

I’ve been in discussion with a range of people about the crops we should be growing in our global tropical small holding.  There are some obvious species the we know we can grow and we already have: Banana (Musa cultivars), New Cocoyam (Xanthosoma violaceum), Taro (Colocasia esculenta), sugar cane (Saccharum spp.), Yam (Dioscorea spp.), guava (Psidium guajava), Strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum), coffee (Coffea spp.), black pepper (Piper nigrum), chilli pepper (Capsicum annuum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) , star fruit (Averrhoa carambola), papaya (Carica papaya), pineapple (Ananas comosus), achiote (Bixa orellana), Pink banana (Musa velutina), Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatus), Arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea).

Crops we should add are: dryland rice (Oryza sativa), cassava (Manihot esculenta), rubber (Hevea brasiliensis), oil palm (Elaeis spp.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), peanuts (Arachis hypogaea).

Although Reading is a world centre for cocoa quarantine our tropical glasshouse is not kept warm enough to grow Cocoa  but we have many plants just a few metres away in specialist growing facilities.

If there are major crops you think I have missed and will fit in a medium sized greenhouse do let me know.  Coconuts are off the list we don’t have the roof height needed!

About Alastair Culham

A professional botanist and biologist with an interest in promoting biological knowledge and awareness to all.
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