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  1. A wide variety of plants can be used as pasture and forage crops in the tropics. Of these, a few are particularly important due to their wide adaptability, ease of growth, high yield potential, and high nutritional value. Most of these are either grasses or legumes. The majority of the grasses...
     
  2. Leafy vegetables are good sources of dietary fiber, vitamins (A, C, and B-complex), and minerals (especially calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus). Dark green leaves are generally more nutritious than lighter green or yellow leaves. Some leafy vegetables contain anti-nutritive substances such...
     
  3. These annual vegetable crops are vining, climbing, or bushy succulent plants. The fruits are grown for eating, oil processing, or containers. Fruits are harvested before seed maturation for fresh consumption. Varieties used for oil are harvested when the fruits are fully mature and the vine stem...
     
  4. Root and tuber crops contain large amounts of starch, which is their chief contribution to the diet. Perennials generally contribute some protein to the diet as well as starch, though this varies among species. Many roots and tubers contain toxic substances or anti-nutritional substances and must...
     
  5. Pulses are legumes that produce seed for human consumption. They are harvested when dry, and then cooked, usually requiring long soaks in cooking liquid. They are high in carbohydrates, B vitamins, and protein--often able to serve as meat substitutes in the diet. Oil content of pulses varies...
     
  6. Immature legume pods and green seed are used as vegetables. Green pods contain good quantities of fiber and most nutrients, especially protein, vitamins and minerals, but minimal oil and carbohydrates. Immature seed contains similar nutrients to mature seed but are higher in vitamins A and C and...
     
  7. Herbs are herbaceous plants used to flavor foods and for home remedies. It is best to seed or transplant herbs during cooler months in the tropics. Flowers, as well as being pleasing ornamentals, serve to attract pollinators and beneficial insects. Flowers are also used as companion plants, to...
     
  8. Industrial crops provide oils, fiber, or chemicals from leaves, seeds, bark, or roots for income or on-farm use. Plants in our collection are used for edible oil, confection, forage, fiber, fuel oil, or as a pesticide.
     
  9. Green manure cover crops (gmcc) are rapidly growing crops that cover and protect the soil. They are left on the soil surface as mulch or plowed under to enrich soil organic matter content. Legumes are prioritized for their ability to source atmospheric nitrogen through symbiosis with...
     
  10. Tropical fruit trees provide a reliable source of food, often during times of the year when food is scarce. Once established, trees can bear fruit even as environmental conditions fluctuate drastically and thus contribute to farm resiliency. Fruit trees, once established, require less labor than...