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WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Group

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WNC Medicinal Herb Growers logo over a picture of flowers

The Western North Carolina Medicinal Herb Growers is a group of NC Extension educators, herb farmers, and serious herb gardeners interested in gaining experience in growing medicinal herbs and learning more about them. The group first organized in the fall of 2013 and has met under the names of the WNC Herb Club, the WNC Medicinal Herb Club, the WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Club, and most recently, the WNC Medicinal Herb Growers. They are an active group that meets every month or so on herb farms in the western third of the state to get hands-on experience with all aspects of medicinal herb growing, post-harvest handling, and marketing. It is a very social group, so a pot-luck lunch is often part of the event. Experienced herb growers mentor beginning herb farmers; this can be a casual or more structured relationship.

To get on the mailing list for this group, please email and put “WNC Medicinal Herb Growers” in the subject line.

Woodland Stewards is a group within the WNC Medicinal Herb Growers who are beginning and advanced forest farmers that meet monthly for hands-on programming at the demonstration woods of the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, Mills River, NC. Under the leadership of Margaret Bloomquist, research associate, and the WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Captains, the Woodland Stewards are embarking on their 5th year of monthly gatherings and work parties. This includes participation in research and extension efforts of our native woodland botanicals; the maintenance, growth, and harvesting of woodland medicinals at the Mills River demonstration site; site visits, mentorship, and work parties at woodland stewards’ properties; plant rescues; and more! The Woodland Stewards projects are currently supported by, and very much a part of, the educational programming of the Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmers Coalition funded by the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.

WNC Medicinal Herb Grower Videos:

How to Make a Plant Voucher – Meghan Baker, Margaret Bloomquist, and Craig Mauney, NC Extension. Meghan Baker also created these lists of field guides and other resources to help you with medicinal plant taxonomy and identification and a list of materials for making plant vouchers. (2/12/2021)

Tool Care for Small Farmers – Meghan Baker and Craig Mauney, NC Extension. (7/21/2021)

Plant and Seed Suppliers

Please see the updated 2022 WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Planting Stock Suppliers_9-2022 (this is a pdf). If you think your business should be on this list, please email

WNC Medicinal Herb Growers 2023 Spring Programs

The WNC Medicinal Herb Growers have a year of events planned to help new and established herb producers develop their medicinal herb operation. Topics will include how to get started in the medicinal herb industry, plant identification and voucher preparation, post-harvest handling and food safety for herbs, and a variety of production topics. Check back soon for full registration information.

March 23, 2023 6-8 p.m. 
WNC Medicinal Herb Growers “So you want to grow medicinal herbs..” 
This is a free online event using Zoom.
Description: Have you considered growing herbs in your forestland or in your fields? Join WNC medicinal herb growers for this beginner-level workshop appropriate for anyone wanting to get started cultivating herbs for market. We will delve into site considerations, growing requirements, harvesting, storing methods, and market options for selling your herbs.

Register through Eventbrite:

April 27, 2023 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Spring Taxonomy Walk 
The location is anticipated to be held in Transylvania County, more details will be shared closer to the event date. Cost: $12. 30 people maximum.
Description: Immerse yourself in plant taxonomy with our native spring wildflowers as the focus of this field-intensive workshop. Study the relationships between plant families, and discuss field identification characteristics and habitat markers. Learn how to utilize dichotomous keys and field guides. Plan to be outside for the duration of this event and walk up to 2 miles.

Register through Eventbrite:

May 16, 2023 9 a.m.-12 p.m. 
WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Sowing and Transplanting Medicinal Herbs 
Gaia Herbs Farm, Brevard, NC. Cost: $12.
Description: On farm work event focusing on seed sowing, transplanting, and planting stock considerations for medicinal herb growers. Seasonal hands-on event at Gaia herbs farm in Brevard, NC

Register through Eventbrite:

June 1, 2023 1-4 p.m.
Who Will Buy My Herbs?
Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, 455 Research Drive, Mills River, NC
Spring grower/buyer social
Evaluating raw material quality
Share samples of herbs and planting stock
Free to attend, but please RSVP today on this Google Form
Contact with interest.
Sponsored by Herb Pharm, the WNC Medicinal Herb Growers, and NC Extension

Save the Dates:

  • Aug 31, 2023 9 a.m.-12 p.m., WNC Medicinal Herb Growers head in the woods – Ginseng Opener, Mills River, NC. Description: WNC Woodland Stewards welcome the WNC Medicinal Herb Growers to the woods for the 2023 Ginseng opener event!
  • September 28, 2023 9 a.m.-12 p.m., WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Harvest Event,Gaia Herbs Farm, Brevard NC.
  • October 17, 2023 9 a.m.-12 p.m., WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Advanced Handling Considerations for Medicinal Herbs, Mills River, NC.
  • November 3, 2023 2-6 p.m., Annual WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Grower Buyer Event, Mills River, NC.
  • November 30, 2023 9 a.m.-12 p.m., WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Plant Voucher Workshop, Buncombe County Cooperative Extension, Asheville, NC.

Woodland Stewards 2023 Spring Programs

Monthly group gatherings at the research and demonstration woods in Mills River will continue this spring. We are seeking a consistent group to grow through the seasons together. Please reply with your interest and save the dates for spring events.

In person programming hours are offered on the following dates from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. over 7 dates (21 hours). And 6 hours total for the pilot weekend woodland stewards events. Picnic lunch follows from 12 p.m.-1 p.m.

Registration is required for all events via

  • February 9th, 2023 – Winter dormant transplanting of forest botanicals
  • March 23rd, 2023 – Woods mapping and participatory season planning
  • April 13th, 2023 – Emergence observance and ephemeral forest botanicals
  • May 11th, 2023 – Population inventory and cataloging
  • May 13th, 2023 – Population inventory and cataloging II

The Piedmont Medicinal Herb Growers Group

Established in mid-2022, this group is organized by N.C. Cooperative Extension agents in the piedmont counties. They are hosting several spring events. To join, or for more information about the classes or the group, email Susan Hawkins at

  • Production Process of Herbs: Comfrey and Lavender, Monday, March 27th, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Cost: $12. Location: Iredell County Cooperative Extension, 444 Bristol Dr. Statesville, NC 28677.
  • Accessibility Herb Walk@ Greensboro Arboretum, Friday, March 31st, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Rain Date: April 7th.Location: Greensboro Arboretum, 401 Ashland Dr. Greensboro, NC 27403.
  • Herb Walk@ Uwharrie River Trail, Friday, April 14th, 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Rain Date: April 28th. Meet at Eldorado Outpost to Carpool. 4021 NC-109 Troy, NC 27371.
  • Voucher Workshop,Tuesday, May 9th,10 a.m.-12 p.m. Cost: $12. Location: Davidson County Cooperative Extension, 301 E Center St. Lexington, NC 27292.


Also be sure to check out our winter virtual regional workshops through the Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmers Coalition that were held from February through April 2022. They were recorded: Workshops

Be sure to follow the ABFFC calendar for more events.

hanks to the Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition funded by the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program for support to continue our efforts.

To get on the mailing list for the WNC Medicinal Herb Growers and/or Woodland Stewards, please email

You can follow us on Facebook, too: WNC Medicinal Herb Growers FB page

collage of photos of people working in the medicinal herb growers group in 2021

And we are currently recruiting new WNC Woodland Stewards to help shape our 2023 spring and fall gatherings – Please email with your interest.

See More News for WNC Medicinal Herb Growers