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America's Favorite Fruit

The pawpaw is a small tree native to North America that produces a large, delicious fruit tasting like banana and mango with the texture of a ripe avocado. Pawpaws have been enjoyed by indigenous people for thousands of years, were the favorite fruit of George Washington, and even fed the Lewis & Clark Expedition when supplies ran out! 

If you've never had the chance to try a pawpaw fruit, it's probably because they have a short shelf life. That's where we come in - through research, traditional plant breeding, and market development, we hope to help pawpaws reach more people while also fostering a more resilient food system.

Pawpaws have the potential to provide farmers with a low input, high-value crop, to provide communities with access to fruits that are locally grown, and to provide consumers with delicious and climate friendly food. Our mission is to lay the groundwork to help make that happen!

Informational graphic showing three phased approach to pawpaw commercialization

New Solutions to Old Challenges

Project Pawpaw is a collaborative effort to develop varieties of pawpaw (Asimina triloba) that better meet the needs of both farmers and consumers. 

Our work is entirely crowdfunded - all of our funding comes from the sale of products through our online store. This means that the research we do is funded by you and designed for you, not to meet a bottom line. 

This funding structure gives us the agility to explore new areas of scientific inquiry while also keeping us efficient. Dollar for dollar, we are one of the best ways to invest in the future of sustainable agriculture! 


We have a three phase approach to helping pawpaws make it to a farmer near you:

Research focuses currently include evaluating differences in fruit quality and shelf life between cultivars, testing postharvest treatments and optimizing storage conditions, and accelerating the speed of our breeding program by shortening the generation time.

Breeding objectives prioritize selecting for traits relevant to fruit durability (skin thickness, fruit firmness, fruit that browns slower) and key agronomic traits such as flowering and ripening time, restance to disease, fruit size, yield, and a color break to yellow at ripening. There will always be an emphasis on selecting for fruit with outstanding flavor and eating quality.

Market development initiatives will involve working with farmers, processors, and other organizations to ensure that farmers have a reliable path to get their fruit from tree to table. These collaborations will develop marketing and promotional materials for distributors, identify 

Project Pawpaw is funded entireley from the sales of our online shop.

Every dollar we receive is used to fund our breeding, research, and outreach efforts. 



Native perennial crops can provide farmers both big and small with resiliency and stability in a rapidly changing world. See how we can give farmers the tools they need to succeed through innovative research and traditional plant breeding.

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