All in person workshops around the state have been postponed until the further notice. Please look for our virtual workshops and webinars starting in April.  

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Registration: $20. Pre-registration is required and boxed lunches are provided.

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Pawpaw is a fruit that looks similar to a mango, but with black easy-to-remove seeds amid a pale yellow, sweet, custardy, spoonable flesh that tastes like a combination of mango and banana. The fruit is usually eaten raw, but is also commonly used in baked desserts, smoothies and ice cream. Pawpaw fruit is grown on small deciduous trees native to eastern North America and is the largest edible fruit indigenous to the U.S. Though the fruit was once popular among early Americans like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, it became obscured over time, and is now enjoying a resurgence in popularity as the locavore food movement grows.

Native to the Eastern United States, pawpaw is becoming a popular fruit with market potential among farmers. In this workshop, you will learn how to grow and market pawpaw fruit. Samples of different cultivars will be provided.

Mr. Neal Peterson, the nationally known pawpaw plant breeder, will be the keynote speaker, presenting on basic pawpaw production. He will be joined by additional speakers who will share their experiences growing this tasty fruit.




8:00 am – Registration

9:00 am – Welcome, Dr. Ray McKinnie, Dean, VSU College of Agriculture

9:10 am – Pawpaw 101–Basics of growing and marketing pawpaw, Neal Peterson, pawpaw breeder and former PawPaw Foundation president

10:00 am – Small scale pawpaw commercial production – do’s and don’ts, Susan Owens, The Lilly Patch Farm, North Carolina

11:00 am – Field visit – visiting the VSU pawpaw cultivars demonstration plot, Neal Peterson, and Reza Rafie

12:00 pm – Lunch and networking

1:15 pm – Marketing Pawpaw, Dr. Theresa Nartea

1:30 pm – Pawpaw production in Virginia, Barbara Rosholt, pawpaw grower, Louisa, VA

2:00pm – Pawpaw tasting – fruits from different cultivars will be provided for the participants to taste

2:30 pm – Adjourn

For more information, please contact the Small Fruits & Vegetables Program at
If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Mollie Klein at (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.