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 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

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!


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.


Posted 11/21/2017 8:01am by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

We are so grateful for our honeybees. We first started with bees in 1997 when we got them to pollinate our raspberries. There have been some ups and downs with bears and mites but we have learned a lot thanks to some great mentors including the bees themselves. We have two strong hives and except for a few rainy days during sourwood season it's been a good year. We are offering limited quantities of Spring Wildflower and Sourwood Honey to folks on our mailing list.

Prices are as follows (net weights in ounces):

Spring Wildflower                         24 oz   $12

Spring Wildflower                          10 oz   $6

Sourwood                                       6 oz   $6

Sourwood                                     12 oz  $12

Sourwood with Cut Comb Chunk    11 oz   $14

We don't have a separate order form for honey so just email us at jkqualla@frontier.com to inquire. We can include honey with turmeric deliveries. We will post here as the different size jars start to sell out.

Posted 11/20/2017 9:17pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Hi Friends-

It's Thanksgiving and as it happens every year, we are entering Chapter Two of our season. The Baby Ginger is now SOLD OUT for the season (except for a few pending orders-thanks for your patience!) and our Fresh Turmeric is just entering its PEAK SEASON.

We have a lot of turmeric still to harvest and we are taking orders on our website as usual for cleaned and packaged fresh rhizomes.

We are also traveling to the Big City this Saturday November 25th for a visit to Asheville City Market, so Asheville friends come see us there! We can bring pre-bagged orders along but will mostly be selling washed bunches and small sampler bags. This is especially fun since we are featured in the current issue of Edible Asheville magazine!

And--more Breaking News--we have a limited amount of Qualla Berry Farm Honey which is now available for sale. Our bees blessed us with a nice harvest of Spring Wildflower and Sourwood Honey and we have it in 6oz to 24oz jars (with fantastic labels produced by Signs Fast). We can deliver honey along with turmeric orders until we run out. The Honey price list will be posted on our website.


So we hope to hear from you or see you soon. We have an especially nice crop of Turmeric this year and we're glad to share this health giving and beautiful plant with all of you!

Karen Hurtubise and John Clarke

Posted 10/16/2017 9:03pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Dear Friends-

The telltale pink bud scales have shown up and our Fresh Baby Ginger is ready to come out of the ground! We are now taking orders via our website order form and can begin delivery and pick up this Friday, October 20th. We have already received some eager beaver orders and can finally begin to fill them. So thank you for letters, phone calls, and support...y'all make our farm endeavor succeed and we are grateful. We are gearing up to bring you the best ginger and turmeric ever, including plants for those who have a green thumb and like to garden or farm.

Our plants are very healthy and have put on exceptional growth this season. We expect the Fresh Turmeric will be ready toward mid-November and will be updating you as that time gets closer. Meanwhile if you wish to order both you can enter both on your order form and we will work out pickup times with you by email or phone. Remember that both ginger and turmeric freeze well and also can be kept at room temperature for 3-4 weeks without losing their fresh character (they do not keep well at all in the refrigerator, however we made fresh spice paste and added some organic Bragg's vinegar on top of it, and our spice paste kept all year in the fridge like pickles, very convenient to add to our food for busy meal prep).

We do expect an even bigger harvest than in past years so feel free to forward this notice to friends who may be interested in our products and encourage them to add themselves to our mailing list at www.quallaberryfarm.com.

We are excited about the harvest and looking forward to hearing from you! More photos and some videos can be found on our Facebook page, Qualla Berry Farm. And share with us your ways and benefits of using your ginger and turmeric so we can create a wave of information to help one another in our journeys of health and good food.


John Clarke and Karen Hurtubise,

Qualla Berry Farm, Hayesville, NC