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

WELCOME TO QUALLA BERRY FARM

 New photos posted to our gallery as of August 15 2019!

Our plants are putting on strong summer growth in beds and in containers. We expect to have a very abundant fall harvest this October through December. We expect to begin harvesting Fresh Baby Ginger in early October and Fresh Turmeric in early November. We'll start taking orders in September! 

This late summer, we will be selling potted starts (mostly turmeric, but very limited amounts of ginger, and a few Thai Tulips) at markets and in selected hours at the farm. We are getting more confident each year about turmeric's resilience and surprising cold hardiness. Turmeric planted in August can still be harvested in November all the way into January with protection. We are having success with keeping late started turmeric in the ground with a cover of 6" of hay and row cover or plastic on top. The central "crown" of the turmeric can also be kept inside over the winter after the rhizomes are harvested and replanted in April and May.

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 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, and galangal. We also grow heirloom tomatoes and justify still keeping our berry farm name, tomato is a true berry in botany!

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 be teaching a lot this year and helping interested home growers and small farmers discover the magic of the plant family Zingiberaceae.

Cheers,

Karen and John