About Local Food

Qualla Berry Farm is part of a loose community of growers and marketers throughout western NC who are seeking to provide locally grown food to people who live and visit  the mountains. We are helping to develop ways to keep our rural land in agricultural production. We are listed in the Local Food Guide produced by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. For more about U-Pick farms, tailgate markets, and community supported agriculture growers, see their website: www.buyappalachian.org


Happy Spring and Good Health to All in 2020!

 New photos posted to our gallery as of Feb 14 2020!

Thanks to everyone who ordered last year. It was great to see the interest in the "other" turmeric varieties: Black, Indira Yellow, White Mango, and BKK.

February Harvested Turmeric 2020!

Thanks to everyone who came to our 2019 spring classes on Growing and Using Turmeric and Ginger! We had a lot of fun doing them. We plan to do more teaching this year and help everyone grow their own. But due to the coronavirus situation, a couple of classes are not happening as scheduled. Our evening session at Living Web Farms in Mills River NC which was going to be March 17 has been postponed, new date TBA (see http://livingwebfarms.org/workshops/growing-ginger-turmeric/ ). And Karen's week-long "Going Organic" class at the Folk School has been cancelled as the Folk School is closed at least until April 19.

As the situation evolves, and hopefully as it gets safer to travel and gather in groups, we will keep you posted about classes this season on Growing and Using Ginger and Turmeric! We will email updates to our mailing list.

Harvest of Yellow Hawaiian Ginger and Hawaiian Red Turmeric October 2019

This will be a different year on our farm. After seven years, we are going to uncover our main hoop house, let the rain get to the beds, and work on soil in those beds. As a result, we will be doing less "production farming" but should still have turmeric and some ginger available to sell in the fall. We are less certain about ginger as the farm we purchase our seed rhizomes from in Hawaii had production setbacks on ginger due to an unusually hot growing season. We have placed a late order with them and expect delivery by late March. 

Fresh Hawaiian Red Turmeric

We are glad you have found us and hope you will browse over our turmeric and ginger growing adventures.  Learn to grow your own and use these spice plants in daily life for flavor and health!

We are two longtime organic gardeners/market farmers committed to growing turmeric and ginger. Our farm is small but mighty full of a diversity of plants. We are transitioning to doing more teaching and sharing of information of how to grow food, flowers, and spices, particularly the wonderful plant family of Zingiberaceae, which includes our favorites...turmeric, ginger, galangal, and Thai Tulips. 

Garden Gate at Qualla Berry Farm, by Jan Muir


For over a decade we offered organic upick raspberries to our local community. We love all berries. However, in September 2011, an invasive pest from Asia called Drosophila suzukii arrived at our farm and we could not successfully save our raspberry fruit. The plants and leaves still do fine and we have enough raspberries in early spring for our freezer before the fruit fly larvae ruin the berries completely. We almost quit farming after our raspberry loss.  Then, out of our demise, came the idea, support, and actions to learn about and grow turmeric first and then ginger.  What a beautiful path has evolved over time! So, here we are in the mountains of Western North Carolina growing a tropical perennial in both hoop houses and in regular farm beds. Its a journey we continue with appreciation and gratitude. We just never know what will happen next in farming.  Accepting challenges, enjoying nature, and sharing plants, products, fun, and knowledge while supporting organic agriculture and forestry remains our North Star.  Thank you to all our beloved supporters and helpers...without you we would not exist as a small organic farm.  We salute you and get back to the work of planting, educating, growing, harvesting, selling, and navigating the next chapter. 

Join our mailing list to receive updates as the season progresses and changes for news about farm open houses, market appearances, and other events. We will continue teaching and helping interested home growers and small farmers discover the magic of the plant family Zingiberaceae.


Karen and John