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 9/24/2009 9:44pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Today I was out in the sunshine picking giant sweet raspberries and so excited because enough were ripe for the upick to open successfully.  Then the rain came again so lots of beautiful berries will again go to mush and John heard there is a 90% chance of rain on Saturday. 

Also, my friend Kara is having a healthy potluck at The Market tomorrow evening and Linda Allen and friends are playing music there from 6 to 8:00.  I will attempt to post more information tomorrow.

Posted 9/18/2009 9:25am by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.
Dear Berry Lovers-
Unfortunately it has rained all week and the raspberries are still painfully late in ripening. We are reluctantly postponing our U-Pick opening for Saturday Sept 19th because there are just not enough berries ready.
We will watch things this week and hope for some sunshine and with any luck we will be open on the 26th.
John & Karen
Qualla Berry farm
Posted 9/10/2009 7:26pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Our berries are unusually late in coming on this fall, possibly due to the cooler and wetter past month. We will not have enough ripe berries ready by this Saturday Sept 12. As a result, we are postponing our opening for the first U-Pick of the season until Sat Sept 19.

The berries when they come will be a very heavy crop. This is the latest ripening we have seen for a September season. Thanks for your understanding,

John & Karen

Posted 9/2/2009 10:40pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Dear Berry Lovers:

With the regular rains this year our berry canes are very strong and the raspberries are about to ripen. We expect to be open for U-Pick, weather permitting, on the following Saturday mornings in September: the 12th, 19th, and 26th. We will send out email confirmation before each opening. If you receive this blog entry by email you are current on our list. If not, you can sign up through the website at www.quallaberryfarm.com


John & Karen

Qualla Berry Farm

3274 Qualla Rd

Hayesville, NC 28904

Posted 7/8/2009 9:25pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.
Our June U-Pick Raspberry season has come to an end. We had one of our best seasons ever due to good rains this spring and good ripening conditions. We hope everyone who picked is enjoying their berries.
The primocanes, which are the new growth, are coming on now will be blooming in August and producing ripe berries by mid-September. We will send out a picking update email and post dates on our website calendar when we know better how things look for the fall.
If you are receiving this email you are current on our amiling list. If you know anybody who didn't get it but would like to get updates please ask them to add their email address though the website.
Thanks again to everyone! It is always fun to meet all of you and appreciate this delicious and healthy fruit together...
John and Karen
Qualla Berry Farm
Posted 6/20/2009 7:38am by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.
Raspberry U-Pick Saturdays June 20 and 27, 9AM til 12 noon. Lots of berries on the brambles!
John & Karen
Posted 6/6/2009 3:31pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.
Berry Lovers!

With all the rain our berries are in really good shape and very productive this year. They are all weeded and mulched and the berries are starting to ripen.

Barring changes due to weather we expect to be open for picking on Saturdays June 13, 20, and 27 from 9AM till noon. There may be other weekday picking hours too; we will keep you posted.

We will also have a number of vigorous new raspberry plants for sale at $5/pot.

Due to an April frost, we will not have enough sour cherries to sell this year. There may be some early blueberries ready overlapping with the raspberry picking dates. The asian pears got hit by the frost too.

But it looks like a good raspberry year and we'll look forward to seeing pickers the next few Saturdays.

John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise
Qualla Berry Farm
3274 Quallla Rd
Hayesville, NC 28904
Posted 5/17/2009 9:25pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

John and David just finished weeding so we are already mulched and now are digging plants for potting up to sell at the upick and farmers markets.  Bees are busy pollinating the raspberry flowers and the wet weather and cool spring after that blast of heat has been helpful.  Plants are looking happy and it looks like a good crop.  Our strawberries are not strong enough for a upick but I may sell some at the farmers market if I am organized and the slugs dont take our crop.  Mulberry tree has green dangly fruit and cherries are green and prolific.  I am planting our regular garden veggies and flowers and experimenting with gooseberries and currants at our Georgia property where the Ribes family is legal to plant. We lost some blueberries in the last freeze but will have a gracious plenty, just not like last year which was super abundant.  All is well and it looks like mid-June will be a good raspberry picking time. 

  I am teaching a Folk School class in Organic Gardening this August 2009 and will be teaching about fall/winter gardening and growing berries also.  Contact the John Campbell Folk school if you are at all interested.  We will be preparing beds for fall and winter greens, sowing seeds for perennial herbs and flowers, dividing bulbs, and sowing cover crops. Late summer has lots of wonderful food to be harvested, planted and grown throughout the winter.  There is also a June 7th-12th permaculture class with Chcuc Marshall and another class on creating wild plant sanctuaries with Jennifer Cordier the same week.  Go to www.folkschool.org for more information on the many wonderful classes in gardening being offered, as well as all their great craft courses.  My friend stayed for two different weeks and had such fun and learned a lot about kaleidoscopes and then making amazing colored clays.  So much to do in this world.  Hope everyone is enjoying the season and we will see you soon.

Posted 2/7/2009 7:27pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Robins have already passed through. They sing really loud when migrating and land in the hundreds in our field and forest edges start in December.  Magical! Weather has been really cold, down to nine degrees this week.  Our garden is looking great early in the season with paths already mulched with sawdust and ready to plant.  John and a helper have been digging up extra strawberry plants and stray raspberry plants for relocation.  Today was much warmer.

We have new hiking trails out of formerly impossible to traverse dead pines and blackberries.  These new trails will help me(Karen) as I rehabilitate my right leg from having ruptured my achilles tendon.  John and I were in Trout Lake Washington playing hockey with friends at their local school parking lot. Working off the turkey and dressing plus pie the day after Thanksgiving I was sprinting for the puck when thwack! I heard a Pop! then hobbled off in agony thinking I had been hit hard by a stick.  Getting home one week later still stumping around and getting worse bruising and swelling by the day, I had an x-ray and then MRI and was off to the Resurgens Orthopedics in Atlanta.      Dr John Gleason and his Physician Assistant Jeannie Kopacka have been wonderfully helpful.   I am currently in a boot and kind of walking again after two months in a wheelchair and on a scooter.  I gave up crutches after I cracked my head open.  The healing process is slow but I have settled in by reading seed catalogs, books, and petting our four dogs this winter.  I have continued working doing one or two massages a day, but the berries, greenhouse, fruit trees, trails, and garden have been off limits until now. Even my hand scooter ATV rollabout is not much for crossing soft wet fields and vole tunnels. We have had a lot of rain, for which we are grateful but it was awful with the crutches. I am still not allowed to drive but enjoy being home.  This injury has slowed me down and now I relish the quiet time of winter.

The raspberries are dormant. Our fruit trees need attention and I am starting seeds for spring and summer.  I intend to offer a seed starting afternoon and will post the details for anyone interested.  We are signing up for the Growers School and the Georgia Organics conference March 19-21st, same weekend.  We hope to catch some of both great events.  Michael Pollan, of The Omnivores Dilemmas book fame, is at the Georgia Organics Conference this year as keynote speaker.  Its all good.  I would love to become a soil scientist and the science of dirt is my current passion.

Posted 10/27/2008 5:56am by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Monday October 27,2008 FREEZE COMING!

Dear Raspberry Lovers-

We have had only light frost so far but a freeze is predicted tonight and Tuesday night so today will be the last chance to pick raspberries for 2008. There are still a number of good berries left.

We both have to work today but will leave the canopy set up for self service U-Pick.

Thanks to all of you for your patronage this season!


John & Karen

Qualla Berry Farm

3274 Qualla Rd

Hayesville, NC 28904