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NC Medicinal Herb Growers Groups

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There are now TWO NC Extension led Medicinal Herb Grower Groups with a third being formed. These groups are focused on commercial herb production (i.e., growing for sale) and are led by extension agents. Read below about the WNC Medicinal Herb Growers and the Piedmont Herb Growers.

WNC Medicinal Herb Growers logo over a picture of flowers

Western NC Medicinal Herb Growers Group

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 Meghan_Baker@ncsu.edu 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 Growers 2023 Fall Programs

September 28, 2023, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Harvest Event 
Location: Gaia Herbs Farm, Brevard NC
WNC Medicinal Herb Growers venture to Brevard for an interactive work event at Gaia Herbs Production Farm. We will assist with a commercial herb harvest while discussing important aspects of post harvest handling, and processing options. This is an on-farm event. Plan for outdoor conditions and dress appropriately for late summer field work. Hats, water, long pants, and sturdy shoes are all recommended.
Questions: Contact Meghan Baker at meghan_baker@ncsu.edu
Cost: $12
Please register in advance: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wnc-medicinal-herb-growers-harvest-event-tickets-672556343127?aff=oddtdtcreator

October 17, 2023, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Advanced Handling Considerations for Medicinal Herbs
Location: Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, 455 Research Drive, Mills River, NC
Growing medicinal plants is just one side of commercial herb production. There are also many decisions to be made in terms of harvesting and washing methods, post harvest handling equipment and best practices, and storage. In this interactive workshop, we will go through the many steps involved with an herbal root harvest, discussing key decision points along the way and showcasing herb cutting equipment. This is an essential workshop for anyone selling their medicinal herbs into the broader industry. Please prepare for outdoor field conditions; the latter half of this event will be based in the wash/pack facility in Mills River.
Questions? Please contact Meghan Baker at meghan_baker@ncsu.edu
Cost: $12
Please register in advance: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wnc-medicinal-herb-growers-advanced-handling-considerations-tickets-672557356157?aff=oddtdtcreator

November 3, 2023, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
8th Annual WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Grower Buyer Event
Location: Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Ctr, 455 Research Drive, Mills River, NC 28759
The not-to-miss event for medicinal herb growers wanting to connect to potential buyers! Featuring buyer presentations, growers showcase, roundtable discussions, and networking across the industry. Please join us!
Questions: contact Margaret Bloomquist at Margaret_Bloomquist@ncsu.edu
Cost: $12
Please register in advance: https://2023WNCMedicinalHerbGrowerBuyerSocial.eventbrite.com?aff=oddtdtcreator

November 30, 2023, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Plant Voucher Workshop
Location: Buncombe County Cooperative Extension Center, Leicester, NC
Plant Vouchers are an important recordkeeping tool for commercial herb farmers, hobby growers, and home gardeners alike. Beautiful and functional, plant vouchers are often requested by herb buyers to ensure proper plant identification. In this workshop you will learn how to mount and prepare vouchers to meet industry standards, or simply enjoy as a work of art! The summer and early fall seasons are perfect for collecting and pressing plant material – roots, stems, leaves, flowers and seed – to be used for creating vouchers! Bring your own pressed and dried plant material; all other materials will be provided.
Questions: contact Meghan Baker at Meghan_Baker@ncsu.edu
Cost: $12
Please register in advance: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wnc-medicinal-herb-growers-plant-voucher-workshop-tickets-672558298977?aff=oddtdtcreator

Woodland Stewards 2023 Fall Programs

Monthly group gatherings at the research and demonstration woods in Mills River. Seeking a consistent group to grow through the seasons together. 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 (RSVP) is required for all events via Margaret_bloomquist@ncsu.edu.

      • October 14th, 2023 – WNC Weekend Woodlanders – Multi-species forest root harvest II
      • November 3, 2023 2-6 p.m. Annual WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Grower Buyer Event (see above for details)

echinacea flowersThe 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 smhawkin@ncsu.edu

Piedmont Medicinal Herb Growers 2024 Events

Piedmont Medicinal Herb Growers Meet and Greet
Friday, February 2nd, 2024
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
Yadkin County Cooperative Extension Office
2051 Agricultural Way
Yadkinville, NC 27055

Join us on Friday, February 2nd from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. for an in-person meet and greet to kick off the 2024 Piedmont Medicinal Herb Growers Group. The event will be held at the Yadkin County Cooperative Extension Office -2051 Agricultural Way, Yadkinville, NC 27055. If you are interested in learning about growing medicinal herbs, we welcome you to join us. Light refreshments incorporating herbs will be served.

Registration Link: https://go.ncsu.edu/ovbmso6

Growing Herbs For Tea
Tuesday, March 12th, 2024
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Cost: $12
Davie County Library
371 N. Main Street
Mocksville, NC 27028

Join the Piedmont Medicinal Herb Growers for a class on growing medicinal herbs for teas and tea blends. We will discuss calendula, tulsi, lemon balm, and mints. We will also talk about what you need to know in order to sell medicinal teas in North Carolina.

Registration Link: https://go.ncsu.edu/togu9zs

Accessibility Herb Walk at Greensboro Arboretum
Friday, April 5th, 2024
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Cost: $5
Greensboro Arboretum
3299 Starmount Dr.
Greensboro, NC 27403

Join the Piedmont Medicinal Herb Growers on Friday, April 5, 2024 from 3 to 5 p.m. for a plant identification walk designed for accessibility. We will tour the Greensboro Arboretum and identify botanicals. The walkways are paved and easier to navigate than most plant walks. The walk will be led by Craig Mauney, Area Specialized Agent for Commercial Fruits and Vegetables, and assisted by area Horticulture agents.

Registration link: https://go.ncsu.edu/qbcmpqj

Botanical Walk in Uwharrie National Forest
Friday, April 12th, 2024
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cost: $12
Eldorado Outpost (We will meet there and carpool to the trailhead.)
4021 NC-109
Troy, NC, 27371

Join the Piedmont Medicinal Herb Growers on Friday, April 12th, 2024 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. for an Herb Walk at the Uwharrie River Trail. The walk will be led by area Horticulture agents. We will hike the trail and identify native botanicals. Come prepared for a fun, interactive, and educational walk. We will meet at the Eldorado Outpost and then carpool to the trailhead.

Registration link: https://go.ncsu.edu/4tsxrah

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 Margaret_Bloomquist@ncsu.edu

APPALACHIAN BEGINNING FOREST FARMERS COALITION EVENTS

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.

Thanks 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 Margaret_Bloomquist@ncsu.edu.

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 fall gatherings – Please email Margaret_Bloomquist@ncsu.edu with your interest.

See More News for WNC Medicinal Herb Growers