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 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) 

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.

(Yum!-K&J)

 

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

828-389-3551

jkqualla@frontier.com

www.quallaberryfarm.com

Facebook: Qualla Berry Farm

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

WELCOME TO QUALLA BERRY FARM

 

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!

Thanks,

Karen Hurtubise and John Clarke

Qualla Berry Farm

3274 Qualla Rd

Hayesville, NC 28904

828-389-3551

jkqualla@frontier.com

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!

Thanks,

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.

Thanks!

Karen and John

Posted 10/14/2018 8:18am by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Hi Folks-

We'll be open again today from 11 am to 4 pm for on-farm sales of Fresh Baby Ginger and turmeric and ginger plants. We have some finished ginger already bagged and will also have fresh dug field washed whole plants available today.

We are continuing to take orders for both Fresh Baby Ginger and Fresh Turmeric on the website and will begin harvesting turmeric around November 3!

Thanks,

John and Karen

Posted 10/10/2018 9:49pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Dear Friends-

Fall greetings from Qualla Berry Farm! We have begun the Fresh Baby Ginger Harvest! The Ginger has lovely pink bud scales on it now which is how we know it's ready.

Our ginger and turmeric  have grown well this season and we will have a fantastic crop of each this fall. We are taking orders for both now and will begin filling Turmeric orders in November. We also have Bubba Blue Ginger plant starts for sale as well as Hawaiian Red, Black, BBK, and Indira Yellow Turmeric plants in pots and flats. The plants will need a warm space for overwinter protection and will give a good start for year round container growing or a head start on 2019 plants.

Karen, Annie, and John on a hot summer day in the hoophouse

This season we are offering the option of purchasing whole field-washed plants where you will do the final trimming, washing, and curing at home and the field-washed produce will be priced per bunch (the photo below shows what field washed Yellow Hawaiian Ginger looks like). We will be emailing updates on hours for on-farm direct sales and we will start with hours of 11AM till 4 PM this Saturday Oct 13 and Sunday Oct 14 for plant sales and field-washed ginger bunches

We will also offer our usual washed/cured/gift bagged orders for fresh ginger and turmeric as in past years. Please note that we will no longer have pickups in Brasstown as John retired from the Folk School September 1 of this year! 155 Murphy St, Young Harris and Qualla Berry Farm are the options to choose from on the order form for order pickup.

Please see our calendar for information about a special class we are offering with our friend Patricia Kyritsi Howell at the NE Georgia Food Bank Teaching Kitchen in Clayton, GA. The class will be next Tuesday Oct 16 from 6-8 PM and is titled "Everything you need to Know About Turmeric and Ginger".Patricia will cover cooking and usage and we will share what we knowing about growing and propagating the plants. More information at: https://wildhealingherbs.com/class/everything-you-need-to-know-about-turmeric-and-ginger/  Registration costs $30 which benefits the Food Bank.

Fresh Field Washed Yellow Hawaiian Ginger "on the hoof"

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

Happy October to All!

Karen and John

Posted 12/2/2017 8:00pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

December 2, 2017--We are still taking orders for Fresh Turmeric! Harvest season for the Baby Ginger is over as we are sold out after the orders received November 14. Turmeric harvest will continue into December. Thanks to everyone who has ordered so far this season!  We have sold Fresh Turmeric the last two Saturdays at Asheville City Market! Thanks to everyone who purchased turmeric from us there and thanks to ASAP for hosting us at the Market. It was good to connect with some old and new Asheville friends.

We will be making a special appearance at the Brasstown Farmers Market site tomorrow (Sunday Dec 3) just down the road from the Fireside Sale at the Folk School. We will have both ready-to-use turmeric and field washed bunches for sale. Look for us in parking lot across from Pam's wonderful shop full of treasures... Silva Gallery in Brasstown.  from 10AM till 3PM or until we sell out of our stock on hand. We will have available a bit of adolescent bubba blue ginger, and some of our short reserve of mango turmeric, Indira yellow turmeric, and some rare black turmeric to celebrate the holidays.   We will also be at the 2nd annual Farm Services Expo this Thursday, December 7th from 9-3:30 at TriCounty Community College Enloe building with a lot of plants and turmeric rhizomes. 

New photos have been posted in our gallery as of December 2, 2017! And watch for videos and postings on our facebook page at Qualla Berry Farm.

We have a limited amount of Sourwood and Spring Wildflower Honey from our bees this year and it will be available tomorrow and also for delivery along with turmeric orders or separately until we run out.

We still have many extra turmeric plants which may be overwintered in a warm place to give you a good jump on growing your own next year either in garden beds or in containers. Turmeric does well in the ground or in containers as long as it's brought into a warm space for the winter. 

Also the Edible Asheville magazine featuring our farm is on the newsstands now. Watch for it in the holiday issue on spices!

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