Hemp, Tomatoes, and Chinese Herbs!

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5/26/2021 – Research assistant and graduate student, Katie Learn, provided these pictures of recent activities in our North Carolina Alternative Crops and Organics Program.

Two people planting hemp plants in raised beds with white plastic

The first planting of the Hemp Planting Date/Harvest Date study is in the ground at two locations: the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center in Mills River (shown here) and at the Piedmont Research Station in Salisbury. Two more plantings will be set in mid-June and early-July. Here research assistant, Patrick, and research associate, Margaret, are tenderly hand planting the little hemp plants. Photo by Katie Learn.

Paeonia lactiflora

Our Chinese Medicinal Herb garden is flourishing with the warm temperatures of late spring. Pictured here is Paeonia lactiflora (Bai Shao Yao). The efforts to propagate this species by splitting the roots of three mature plants last fall was successful and we now have 30 individual plants flowering! At the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River. Photo by Katie Learn.

Organic tomato transplants growing in a greenhouse

Tomato transplants growing at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River. Over the next week we will harden off these plants before taking them to the field. Our organic tomato projects this year include a continuation of the multi-state Tomato Organic Management Initiative project (TOMI II) and a new organic/conventional heirloom-type tomato project led by Dr. Dilip Panthee. Both projects will be at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville. Photo by Katie Learn