Welcome to WorldCrops
The demographics of the United States are changed rapidly as immigrant populations have increased at rates not seen since the early 20th century, and the overwhelming majority of these immigrants are from non-European countries. Latinos are now 18% of the US population, with over 50 million inhabitants in 2013, and are expected to be the largest ethnicity in the US by 2050. The Asian population, with more than 17 million in 2013, is also growing rapidly. A large and growing number of people listed as African-American or Black in the US were born in Africa.
This dramatic increase in immigrant populations has had a significant effect on the U.S. marketplace, including the demand for fresh produce. Latinos and Asians now account for approximately 25% of all sales of fresh fruits and vegetables in supermarkets in the US.
These immigrant groups want to be able to buy fresh produce that is part of their cuisine and is readily available in their countries of origin. This has brought with it opportunities for farmers in the United States to grow the crops desired by these expanding markets. The overwhelming majority of vegetables and herbs popular in the countries of origin of these recent immigrants, despite the fact that many come from tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world, can be grown in the Northeastern U.S. For example, more than 70% of the 30,000 acres of vegetables grown in Massachusetts are with crops that have their center of origin in tropical and sub-tropical regions, such as sweet corn (Zea mays), pumpkins and squash (Cucurbita spp.), and peppers (Capsicum spp.). There are very few vegetable and herb species that cannot be grown in the Northeastern U.S. This web site provides information on vegetables and herbs that can be grown in the United States.
We have organized this site according to countries in the world. One reason for this organizational structure is that many ethnicities are concentrated in specific cities or neighborhoods. For example, Holyoke Massachusetts has the largest Puerto Rican population as a percentage of any city in the United States. In this case, a grower who wants to grow and market crops for the Latino population in Holyoke would want to check out the crops under "Puerto Rico" on this site.
This video from 2012 describes the activities of the UMass Ethnic Crops Program, which are relevant to the information available in this webpage.