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

News and Blog

Karen and John's Blogs
Posted 4/17/2019 7:48am by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Hi Folks-

Our next class on Growing and Using Turmeric and Ginger at Home takes place this Thursday, April 18, from 6-8 pm at Karen's office in Young Harris, GA. You can use the easy registration form if you'd like to come and pay us by check to Qualla Berry Farm. The class is $65.00. Please let us know by Thursday morning so we can get a participant count and make final preparations. This class will have a hands-on emphasis covering varieties, planting in beds and containers, propagating, dividing, cold protection, soils, harvesting, and watering throughout the season. We will also share tea from these amazing plants with easy recipes for the home kitchen. You will leave with a garden pie plate starter set of ginger and turmeric plants, a container of coir, growing guide, and leave ready to plant your Zingiberaceae. We will also be offering bulk red turmeric and yellow ginger rhizomes for sale by the pound.

If you can't make this one we will also be teaching at Kula Wellness Center in Brasstown, NC on May 25 (see www.kula.love ) and at the NC Arboretum in Asheville on May 18 ( see https://www.ncarboretum.org/education-programs/adult-education-classes/horticulture-and-landscape-design/ ).

Thanks to everyone who came for Sunday's event! We had a great class and an amazing dinner in spite of the storms.

Happy Spring, everyone! Wildflowers are peaking now so take time to get out and enjoy them.


John Clarke and Karen Hurtubise

Qualla Berry Farm

3274 Qualla Rd

Hayesville, NC 28904





Posted 4/7/2019 9:15pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Dear Friends, 

Springtime!!!  We are planting Turmeric and Ginger and Thai Tulips plus taters, tomato and pepper seeds, and lotsa flowers.  And we are sending you a reminder of two QBF workshop events in Young Harris next week! It's time to sign up if you would like to learn about growing and using ginger and turmeric, plus enjoy a great Indian meal done by an amazing chef, Nanette Davidson! And we now have an easy registration form posted on the website! In other news, if you sign up with a spouse, friend, partner, or whatever, the second person is 10% off (so 2 people for $170 for April 14 and two for $124 for April 18). Someday soon we will be upscale and have a credit card button but not this day…checks still work! Please share this email with folks you think might enjoy this event…and thank you for being such wonderful supporters over the years. We are doing our best to spread the word for how to grow your own spices and food and these are our beginning workshops of 2019!

Fall harvest of baby ginger and turmeric. Start your spring gardening engines now!

Below are the April workshop descriptions; call or email us if you have questions:

Growing and Using Turmeric and Ginger at Home

Come learn about spice and everything nice with turmeric and ginger! Over the centuries, these tropical perennial gems have been regularly grown as vital culinary and medicinal plants. Learn and experience hands on planting, propagation, seasonal cold protection, soils and spacing, irrigation strategies, bed and container growing, and harvesting.  You will sample and learn to make teas, vinegars, refrigerated spice pastes, and candied ginger as well as knowing the best storage and freezing techniques and have a take-home plant of ginger and of turmeric plus some turmeric vinegar and candied ginger. This amazing spice plant family, Zingiberaceae, can become part of your everyday life and health in our Southern Appalachians, and we will show you how to do it. You will be glad to befriend and come to revere these historically significant spices into your garden and life.  There will be an extra special demo of the black turmeric which cuts blue and is used in skin healing salves.

Potpourri of Zingiberaceae

Potpourri of Zingiberaceae

This class will be offered twice at Karen’s office in Young Harris this April, with a different twist at each event:

Sunday April 14, 3:30-6:30pm: This class will be less hands-on as we will be treated at the end of the workshop to an amazing meal (see menu below!) featuring turmeric and ginger dishes prepared by Nanette Davidson. Total cost is $89 per person, register for two people and save at $170 for two! (non-refundable so we can plan quantities) Nanette’s Indian Feast Menu for the April 14 event features either ginger or turmeric or both and will be beautiful and yummy!

Starters-Onion Bahji with Tamarind Chutney, Red Lentil Soup

Main Course-Chicken Tikka Masala, Potato and Pea Somosas, Roasted Paneer with Fragrant Spinach Sauce, Basmati Rice, Cucumber Raita, Carrot and Cashew Salad , Whole Wheat Naan

Dessert-Golden Milk Ice Cream, Candied Ginger Shortbread

Everything is gluten free except the somosas, naan, and shortbread. Everything is vegetarian except the chicken tikka. Everything is vegan except the chicken, paneer, raita and shortbread.

We will have samples of Candied Ginger!

Thursday April 18, 6-8pm: This class will be the same but a bit more messy and will involve more hands-on potting and planting so bring gardening clothes! Cost is $65 per person or $124 for two participants.

We will be thrilled to have you come to Karen’s Young Harris office at 155 Murphy Street Highway 66 from 3:30-6:30 pm next Sunday April 14th or Thursday April 18th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.  We appreciate your support of our mission to spread the goodness of learning, growing, and using food and spices on the path to health and garden loveliness. Plants have a special language if you listen and learn about their unique gifts to us. In our experience, turmeric and ginger are here to help us tackle inflammation while enjoying the flavors of the earth.  Help us let our tribe know how to add these crops and grow organic food and herbs, specifically turmeric and ginger…King and Queen of the Zingiberaceae plant family.

More workshops in May at other venues…we will keep you posted!

Blessings of blossoms,

Karen and John


Karen Hurtubise & John Clarke

Qualla Berry Farm

3274 Qualla Road

Hayesville, NC 28904


828-389-3551 home



Posted 4/1/2019 8:23pm by Karen Hurtubise.

To register for either of our events at Young Harris in April, you may now use the form on this website!

Tor register for either class at the NC arboretum: https://www.ncarboretum.org/education-programs/adult-education-classes/horticulture-and-landscape-design/

To register for the class at Kula Wellness Center: https://www.kula.love/contact



Posted 3/29/2019 8:32am by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Dear Friends,

It’s spring at Qualla Berry Farm! Our ginger and turmeric seed rhizomes have arrived from Hawaii and fortunately Biker Dude and the folks at Puna Organics escaped damage from the Kilauea volcano last year, although many of their neighbors lost homes and roads. We are starting with presprouting the new seed rhizomes and tending our overwintered pots and crowns which will begin sprouting in April and May.

Here’s some news about our spring plans with some exciting opportunities for you to learn about growing, using, and eating these amazing plants at home:

We invite you to come to our class and culinary experience in Growing and Using Turmeric and Ginger at Home on Sunday April 14th from 3:30-6:30 at Karen’s Young Harris office near the College at 155 Murphy Street.

We will teach you the principles of organic growing with these tropical perennials in our temperate climate, and how to prepare your soil in containers or your garden and how to harvest and use turmeric and ginger in your kitchen over the season. We will show you some of the many varieties of ginger and turmeric and share what we know about the many health benefits of these super power plants that have been grown for centuries throughout the world.

As a very special treat at the April 14 event we are  collaborating with our good friend and Cooking Maven, Nanette Davidson, who will be preparing an amazing Indian cuisine meal featuring turmeric and ginger which we plan to serve to you around 5:30 at the conclusion of the “growing and using” workshop. Nanette will also provide recipes to participants!  Nanette was Resident Artist for Cooking at John C Campbell Folk School and is the author of the recently published Folk School Cookbook. She blogs at https://www.brasstownpotluck.com. Nanette’s menu is included below. We will be asking about dietary restrictions when we get you registered.

You will leave with a heap of ginger and turmeric knowledge (and a handout growing guide), plus a complimentary rhizome of ginger and turmeric to eat or grow a plant of each. This will be less of a hands on workshop but we will cover growing in beds and containers as well as potting, division, harvesting, temperature and watering. We will also have limited amounts of seed rhizomes and potted starts available for purchase at the end of the Young Harris workshops. 

 Also, on Thursday April 18 from 6-8 PM we will do the same workshop at Young Harris without the supper. This will be a more hands on experience with soil prep, planting, propagation and division covered. This class is most suitable for active gardeners and farmers primarily wanting to learn more in depth about growing ginger and turmeric. You will leave with a potted start of each and all the knowledge you need to begin to successfully grow your own.  We will have teas, vinegars, spice paste, and honey turmeric ginger jam to sample. 

To register for the classes at Young Harris: Send an email to Karen Hurtubise and John Clarke at jkqualla@frontier.com and we will get back to you with a registration form. If you have questions call us at 828-389-3551. Cost is $89.00 for the April 14th date with Nanette’s Feast and $65 for the April 18th date, and includes all supplies and handouts. We have room for 20 people on April 14th and it’s first come, first serve for tickets.  They are non-refundable so we can plan correctly for supplies. If something comes up for you, give or sell your ticket so it doesn’t go to waste. 

Also note that we will be teaching at the NC Arboretum in Asheville two times in May (register on the Arboretum website):

Saturday May 18: Growing and Using Turmeric, Ginger, and Basils: https://4020a.blackbaudhosting.com/4020a/SP19-Growing-and-Using-Turmeric-Ginger--Basils

Wednesday May 29: Summer Gardening Tasks: https://4020a.blackbaudhosting.com/4020a/SP19-Summer-Gardening-Tasks

And, we have just scheduled a growing workshop at Kula Wellness Center in Brasstown, NC from for Saturday May 25th from 1:00-3:30 pm! Information and Registration at www.kula.love

Spring 2019 Class Schedule at a glance:

Sunday April 14, Young Harris, Growing and Using with Turmeric and Ginger with Nanette’s Feast (registration-email Karen & John)

Thursday April 18, Young Harris, Growing and Using Turmeric and Ginger/hands-on emphasis (registration-email Karen & John)

Saturday May 18, Asheville Arboretum,Growing and Using Turmeric, Ginger and Basils (registration-Arboretum website)

Wednesday May 29, Asheville Arboretum, Summer Gardening Tasks (registration-Arboretum website)

Saturday May 25, Kula Wellness, Growing and Using Turmeric and Ginger (registration-Kula website)

Nanette’s Feast 

Menu for the April 14 event!

(Every dish has either ginger or turmeric or both in it) 


Onion Bahji with Tamarind Chutney

Red Lentil Soup

Main Course-

Chicken Tikka Masala

Potato and Pea Somosas

Roasted Paneer with Fragrant Spinach Sauce

Basmati Rice

Cucumber Raita

Carrot and Cashew Salad 

Whole Wheat Naan


Golden Milk Ice Cream

Candied Ginger Shortbread

Everything is gluten free except the somosas, naan, and shortbread. Everything is vegetarian except the chicken tikka. Everything is vegan except the chicken, paneer, raita and shortbread.



Looking forward to seeing y'all and starting our seventh growing season with Turmeric and Ginger!

Karen Hurtubise and John Clarke

Qualla Berry Farm

3274 Qualla Rd

Hayesville, NC 28904




Facebook: Qualla Berry Farm

Posted 3/21/2019 9:06am by Karen Hurtubise.



January, 2019--Happy New Year to All!  Our ginger and turmeric did well this season and we had a fantastic crop of each this fall. We are still taking orders for Turmeric through January as long as our supply lasts. In addition to our flagship Hawaiian Red, we also this year have enough Black, BBK, and Indira Yellow Turmerics to offer them for sale. 

We are also taking our Fresh Turmeric to Asheville City Market , indoors this month at Asheville Masonic Temple at 80 Broadway Ave. We will have four varieties including Hawaiian Red, BKK, Indira Yellow, and the very cool cobalt blue Black Turmeric! See you there...9am to noon Saturday Jan 5, and hopefully more Saturdays in January!




New photos have been posted in our gallery with the status of our plants this fall. There is also a picture of how close the lava flow in Hawaii got to our supplier, Puna Organics! They have made it through the volcano and the hurricane safely and expect to be able to fill orders this winter.

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

Happy Winter and we are hoping for snow!

Karen and John

Posted 12/13/2018 2:10pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Hi Friends-

We are into early winter at Qualla Berry Farm and have reached the end of Fresh Ginger season. Thanks to everyone who ordered this year and has enjoyed our Ginger.


We still have plenty of our flagship Fresh Turmeric, Hawaiian Red. The Red is our standard mild culinary turmeric which can be eaten raw and is perfect for making tea and Carla's Spice Paste. Please go to our order form to let us know the quantities you'd like on turmeric.We expect to have turmeric available through Christmas and into January 2019, but will not be filling orders during Christmas Week.

And this year we also have saleable quantities of some other turmerics which may interest you! These are Indira Yellow, BKK, and Black Turmeric.

Indira Yellow is a very vigorously growing variety with large bright yellow rhizomes and a "hotter" flavor than Red, perfect for making curries and for cooking into any dish calling for fresh turmeric.

BKK is similar in color and flavor to Hawaiian Red but has longer and more slender rhizomes, and importantly a higher curcumin content (curcumin is the "active ingredient" in turmeric).

And then there is the very unusual Black Turmeric which also has a high curcumin content but has a very strong aromatic odor and striking cobalt blue rhizomes. Black Turmeric is used for topical preparations such as salves and tinctures.

These three Turmerics are priced higher than the Hawaiian Red as indicated on our updated order form.

It's been a great season and we thank everyone who has ordered so far. It is a privilege to get to grow these amazing healing plants and to get them to you!


Karen Hurtubise and John Clarke

Qualla Berry Farm

3274 Qualla Rd

Hayesville, NC 28904



Facebook: Qualla Berry Farm


Posted 11/22/2018 9:41pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.


November 22, 2018--Happy Thanksgiving!

This"Black Friday”, November 23 from 10AM till 2PM, Qualla Berry Farm will be having an open house at the farm! We'll have samples of fresh candied ginger we just made, plus samples of our refreshing turmeric and ginger teas and Carla's Spice Paste. You can see up close how we harvest and what we do to protect these tropical perennials in the cold and extend the season, and we'll offer tips for those interested in growing their own.

We are well into the Fresh Turmeric harvest and are continuing the Fresh Baby Ginger harvest! If you have a pending order, thanks for your patience! We are working through them all and should be caught up soon, and we are still taking orders through our website. The Ginger season will be wrapping up by early December and Turmeric will probably be available till around Christmas depending on the weather.

We also have Bubba Blue Ginger plants for sale as well as Hawaiian Red, Black, BBK, and Indira Yellow Turmerics. 

We're grateful this Thanksgiving for all our friends and customers who are interested in these amazing plants. It's already been an extraordinary season so far with more to come!


John and Karen


Posted 11/21/2018 6:43pm by Karen Hurtubise.

We are staying home and celebrating our many blessings with friends in Hayesville and Brasstown this Thanksgiving week. Its been busy with Jessica helping John harvest and prep ginger and turmeric in the field yesterday. This Friday we are hosting an open house at the Farm so y'all can see what the November turmeric and ginger looks like in mid to late November in the hoophouse and in the field. Tonight we are making some candied ginger and John's special unsweetened turmeric ginger lemonade for Thanksgiving and our Go Green on Black Friday Open House from 10am-2:00pm November 23rd. The mild fall has spoiled us but the cold is here now and its a lot of opening and closing hoop houses and adding and removing row covers til harvest is over. We have plenty of fresh ginger and turmeric now but will be sold out of 2018 baby ginger probably by the first week of December. 

November Yellow Hawaiian trimmed baby ginger 2018 above

November Hawaiian red turmeric 2018 field harvested below

Posted 11/18/2018 10:04am by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Dear Friends-

Happy Thanksgiving! We are well into the Fresh Turmeric harvest and are continuing the Fresh Ginger harvest! Our ginger and turmeric  have grown well this season and we have a fantastic crop of each this fall. We are taking orders for both now and have been filling Turmeric orders for a couple of weeks. If you would like to make a batch of Carla's Spice Paste, this is a perfect time to order some of both. We include the recipe card with your order. We also recommend making candied ginger as a family project...fun to make and deliciously chewy good. It's also prime time to stock up on both turmeric and ginger and freeze packages for making tea and cooking throughout the year. We also have enough this year to begin using our dehydrator and making dried turmeric and ginger and will see how we like using dried powders(along with drying our shiitake mushrooms). Make time to experiment and please, y'all share what works for you with us by email or on our Qualla Berry facebook page. We hope our community will learn to be comfortable and familiar with incorporating these wonderful spice plants into daily life.

We are back from some recent learning and networking experiences at the American Herbalists Guild Symposium at Unicoi, GA and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Conference in Durham, NC. Everywhere we hear more about the health benefits of turmeric and ginger and we feel really blessed to have these plants grow so well in our location.

For those of you who would like to grow your own, we also have Bubba Blue Ginger plants for sale as well as Hawaiian Red, Black, BBK, and Indira Yellow Turmerics. At this time of year they need to be brought into a warm space and they will resprout strongly in the spring for container or bed growing.

We look forward to hearing from returning and new customers. Feel free to forward this to anyone you know who might be interested!

In Thanksgiving,

Karen and John

Posted 10/20/2018 10:36am by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Hi Friends-

It's a rainy beautiful Saturday in October and we are getting ready for colder weather at Qualla Berry Farm. If we can get through this weekend, there's no frost in the forecast until almost election day!

We are still in the middle of a strong harvest of Fresh Baby Ginger and we've had a steady flow of orders. We will be open again for farm sales of Ginger and plants this Sunday Oct 21 from 11am til 4pm. Folks who come for fresh-dug plants will have a choice of ginger varieties.

We also have plenty of healthy ginger and turmeric plant starts for those who want to grow their own. Entering the annual cycle at this stage means keeping the plants warm through the winter and getting a running start on growth in containers or in the ground for the 2019 season.

We helped teach a very well attended class on Everything You Need to Know About Turmeric and Ginger this past Tuesday at the magnificent Teaching Kitchen at the NE GA Food Bank in Clayton. Our friend Patricia Kyritsi Howell covered cooking and we explained the growing the plants.

We will keep you posted about upcoming events. We are watching the Turmeric for maturation and expect to begin that harvest in early November.

A seasonal note! One great thing to do with fresh Baby Ginger is to make Candied Ginger. The Baby Ginger doesn't have to be peeled and it's easy to slice. The only ingredients are ginger, sugar, and water. This is perfect weather for stirring a pot for a couple hours and making a sweet-spicy and healthy treat that's great to have on hand for the holidays. We have had great success with Alton Brown's recipe on YouTube: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/candied-ginger-recipe-1944906?soc=sharemail  Also see videos on our Facebook page.


Karen and John