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

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Blackberry Bloom Spring Greetings from Qualla Berry Farm!

Posted 5/14/2020 11:57am by John Clarke & Karen Hurtubise.

Dear Friends-

We hope you are staying safe and keeping up your immune systems this spring! Blackberries are blooming so brightly white and bees are buzzing. We have been making the best of our shelter in place time making improvements to the hoop houses and the beds, planting our spring garden, and tending overwintered plants, turmeric crowns and ginger mother rhizomes. In spite of the late frosts, our soil is warmed up and we are watching for resprouting of our overwintered-in-the-ground turmeric ready. We throw a lot of balls for Annie, our farm love dog and best buddy.  She keeps us laughing. Nesting phoebes just fledged. So, there. Resilience and persistence. Keep going. Be fierce. Love.

BREAKING NEWS: We are offering seed rhizomes for sale this month. We have extras; these are certified organic seed rhizomes, Peruvian Yellow Ginger and Hawaiian Red Turmeric, from our supplier in Hawaii. We are shipping orders this May for immediate planting in your home garden because we ordered for our classes that were cancelled.  We have an easy order form for your convenience and will provide you our growing directions gleaned over the years. There's a limited supply so it will be first come first serve until we sell out.

One pound Hawaiian Red Turmeric seed rhizomes

One pound Peruvian Yellow Ginger seed rhizomes


Planting overwintered Hawaiian Red Turmeric clusters in the hoophouse April 2020

This will be a different year on our farm--the coronavirus changed things. A Lot. We've been enjoying our time sequestered on the farm and have gotten work done but wish it were over. Miss people. We had originally thought we'd be doing less production farming and more teaching this year but a new reality appeared. So, Hi ho! Hi ho! Its off to plant we go. We will be doing our usual production and have lots of baby ginger and turmeric for purchase this fall.  And do consider growing your own because its fun and these plants are worth your time and effort.


Harvest of Yellow Hawaiian Ginger and Hawaiian Red Turmeric October 2019

It's still our hope to teach folks about Growing and Using Turmeric and Ginger this year. Hopefully in person, but maybe remotely! We will keep you posted about any classes this season and if we do zoom or something.  We are grateful to everyone who came to our 2019 spring classes on Growing and Using Turmeric and Ginger! We had a lot of fun doing them. And thankful to all of you who have bought rhizomes and supported us over the years. Ginger and turmeric are important spice plants to add to your daily fare. We drink our ginger turmeric tea with black pepper daily. Yummy.  

Here's to a healthy Spring and Summer!

Karen and John

Fresh Hawaiian Red Turmeric