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Unit 2: Site Assessment and Non-Timber Forest Crop Selection
Selecting Crops
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Selecting Crops

This HWWFF site provides two tools to help you select crops that will fit characteristics of your site that have been determined by conducting your Site Assessment. These are the [Crop Matrix Tool] and the [Crop Filter Tool]. You may access these tools through links in this section, or the Tool Tab of the HWWFF Resource Center homepage.

Crop Matrix Tool

The [Crop Matrix Tool] identifies possible forest farming crops for the Northeastern US, and allows you to view the characteristics of each crop. This tool is especially useful if you have certain crops in mind for your site. You can view their characteristics and site requirements to determine if it is an appropriate match for your site.

For example, you may have an idea that you would like to grow raspberries in your forest. To learn something about the plant, its site requirements and what would be involved in cultivating it, click on the [Crop Matrix Tool] and scroll down the alphabetical list of plants. You will find three types of raspberry listed; black, purple and red. Click on each, then read and take notes so you can compare and choose.

Another way to use the matrix is to click on [Show List of all Available Crops]. The first category of crops is Fruits, and under fruits is a sub-category, Brambles. The three types of raspberry are listed there. You can also see two other types of brambles listed, which may stimulate your curiosity, so click on them and have a look at their characteristics and requirements as well. And so on, explore any other crops of interest in the same way.

Crop Filter Tool

The [Crop Filter Tool] allows you to choose a specific characteristic and see what the value of that characteristic is for each possible crop. This is useful if you have a limiting factor on your site, such as a very high or low soil pH. You can easily see which crops can tolerate your soil pH and filter out any crops that are not applicable. The information that these tools offer is based on scientific literature on plant species that the scientists, educators and practitioners who have contributed to developing the HWWFF curriculum believe could be grown as forest crops.

HWWFF Crop Selection Tools