The University of California Small Farm Program recently launched the “Specialty Crop Jamboree ‘03” to develop, adapt and commercialize new niche crops for California's family-scale farmers.

The project is supported by two grants - a $150,000 research grant from the Department of Food and Agriculture's Buy California Initiative and an $80,000 specialty crop outreach and education grant from USDA's Risk Management Agency.

Crops being researched include blueberries, pitahayas, guavas, guayabas, papayas, mangoes, Thai chili, jocotes, edamame, Szechwan peppers, capers, water chestnuts, water spinach, jujube, nopales, pineapples, longans, litchi and tea.