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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 9/15/2010 7:27pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.
Dear Friends,
Rain over the weekend and perfect ripening weather have worked their magic.
The first of the September berries are ready and we will be open for U-Pick Thursday Sept 16 from 5PM til 7:30PM.
Watch your email for announcements of upcoming U-Pick openings as the berries continue to come on.
Thanks!
Joh Clarke and Karen Hurtubise
Qualla Berry Farm
Posted 9/12/2010 10:32am by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.
Dear Berry Lovers-
Rain finally came in time to bring on ripening of our September red raspberry crop. The canes have been thoroughly weeded and trained onto our trellising and it looks like we'll have some nice berries. We expect to be open one evening during the middlle of this week and then probably Saturday Sept 18. WE WILL SEND AN EMAIL FOR EACH OPENING, A DAY OR TWO BEFORE THE OPENING. Due to the delicate nature of this crop and the changing nature of fall weather during hurricane season, we are unable to keep regular hours! Please watch your email and we will keep you posted. If you receive this email your address is correct on our list. We will also post picking updates on our website, www,quallaberryfarm.com
We look forward to seeing you!
John & Karen
Posted 6/25/2010 6:10pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.
Dear Berry Lovers-
The intense heat wave has taken a toll on our June berries and our first season, which usually ends around July 4, has come to an end. It seems July came early this year!
We are seeing strong growth on the canes which will bear the fall crop and given some rain they will be producing in September. We will keep y'all posted by email as usual.
Thanks to everyone who came and picked during June!
John & Karen
Posted 6/18/2010 11:25am by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.
Raspberry Lovers!
We will be open for U-Pick Saturday morning June 19 from 9 AM till noon or sooner if we sell out. The red raspberries are at their peak right now. Gate opens at 9 AM sharp.
Thanks,
John & Karen
Posted 6/15/2010 3:33pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.
Dear Berry Lovers-
Qualla Berry Farm will be open for U-pick Wednesday June 16 from 4 til 7:30 PM. The shade starts covering the berry rows around 4:30-5. We are loaded with berries right now.
If a thunderstorm forces us to cancel we will post a note on the home page of www.quallaberryfarm.com .
Thanks!
John & Karen
Posted 6/11/2010 7:41pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.
We will be open for red raspberry u-pick tomorrow morning from 9AM til noon or whenever we sell out. Gate opens at 9 sharp!
Thanks,
John & Karen
Qualla Berry Farm
Posted 6/11/2010 7:36pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.
We will be open for red raspberry u-pick tomorrow morning from 9AM til noon or whenever we sell out. Gate opens at 9 sharp!
Thanks,
John & Karen
Qualla Berry Farm
Posted 6/10/2010 8:47am by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.
Dear Berry Lovers:
Our red raspberries are starting to ripen. They are in very good shape this year and we should have a lot. However, with the frequent thunderstorms we've been getting we are going to be watching for the right moments to open for picking. Regular hours are out of the question!
So please stay on your toes and check your email. We will email notifications of picking hours when we have berries ready and the weather cooperates.
Thanks!
John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise
Qualla Berry Farm
Posted 5/21/2010 9:22pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

HI!HO!RASPBERRIO! Its May and 2010 and we are so happy. Very wet today and this rain and cooler weather is great for the raspberries.  Our strawberries are not as happy in the rain and tend to go fungal. However, they have been heavily bearing for a week and our freezer has been getting packed with yummy organic strawberries from our garden.  We are growing three kinds...Sparkle(my current favorite), Allstar, and one big beauty from a friend's patch that we dont know the name.  Sparkle comes earliest and is sweet and has the least amount of slug damage and rot issues so far.

2010 looks like the year of the BEST BERRIES.  Cherry trees are heavy with reddening fruit, mulberry tree is covered with dangling green thangs just starting to turn purple, strawberries are raging into ripe sweetness, blueberries are flowering with lots of heavy fruit set, and Raspberries are well on their way  from flowers to green fruit just starting to set.  Fire blight is on the asian pears but oh well there are only so many hours in the day and we havent gotten to cut the black twigs off yet and its spreads like FIRE.

Speaking of fire...the fireflies off Qualla Road are so exquisite its worth a stop if you are in the neighborhood and its nighttime. I am so grateful we don't have any big ole lights shining everywhere and diminishing the contrast of sparkles to darkness.  Fireflies are a southern tradition in my family where we used to catch them and put them in jars and sell them to scientists in Oak Ridge.  I loved catching them but did not like putting them in the freezer even though it did make us some pennies.  Firefly forgiveness...they keep on blinking and winking and what a show this week! Glad to see so many of those special beetles carrying on their mating rituals.

So, what about raspberry picking this year?! This year we are not committing to regular hours but will send out email alerts when berries are ripe.  Think flexible, easygoing, and abundance for all in June. We hope you are able to come when they and we are ready, with plenty ripe for the picking.  If we see there are berries ready, depending on our estimate of supply, we will announce this fact via email.  The days and times will be everchanging so pay attention starting the second week of June until fourth of July.   We are going to have raspberry plants for sale and you can learn to grow your own if you have the location and time to fuss with fruit.  Raspberries are easy in so many ways if they are happy in the environment.  You can grow some in pots as I have discovered at the side of my house and add flowers around the edges of the pot for color. They are not easy like dandelions, which we also love and have learned to eat for health and happy livers.   

We will also figure something out for sharing mulberries, sour cherries, and blueberries and keep you posted when there are more than we can handle. 

Happy Spring into Summer,

Karen and John

Posted 10/18/2009 1:11pm by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.
Dear Friends,
I am out picking today and the berries are still abundant so we decided to open til dark.  It looks like a freeze tonight and that will end this 2009 raspberry picking season.  This year has been unusual, a long and lovely fall for the berries despite all the rain.  We are usually down to the dregs of raspberry picking and not able to be picking this late in the season.  Come on over, there are no bugs and the picking is great this afternoon.
If you haven't gotten to pick fresh raspberries yet this is probably the very last chance this year from our place.
Out the door,
Karen and John