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NC State Extension

WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Group

WNC Medicinal Herb Growers logo

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.

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!

2020 Events:

Annual Native Plant Taxonomy Walk for WNC Medicinal Herb Growers

Immerse yourself in plant taxonomy with our native spring wildflowers as the focus of this field-intensive workshop. Study the relationships between plant families. Using dichotomous keys, we will learn field identification characteristics, floral morphology, and habitat markers. Plan to be outside for this event, dressing appropriately for the weather conditions. Bring water, and any field guides/tools you may need.

Date: March 13, 2020
Location: need address for parking area – Art Loeb Trailhead Parking Area, Pisgah National Forest, Brevard, NC
Cost: FREE to attend
Time: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
To register:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/annual-plant-taxonomy-walk-with-wnc-medicinal-herb-growers-tickets-93516768171

Tools & Equipment Care for WNC Medicinal Herb Growers

Keeping your tools and equipment in proper working order is essential for any small farm. Join N.C. Cooperative Extension and WNC Medicinal Herb Growers for a tool care workshop on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. N.C. Cooperative Extension Area Agent Craig Mauney will demonstrate cleaning and care of hand tools used on the farm and in the garden. Sharpening tools as well as tool safety will be addressed, as well as an overview of useful tools specific to herb growers. Participants are welcome to bring a couple tools to sharpen on their own once the demonstrations have taken place. Please note that we will only be focusing on non-powered hand tools.

Dress for outdoor conditions
Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Location: 74 Research Drive, meet in gravel lot adjacent to lath houses
Cost: FREE to attend
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
To register:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tools-equipment-for-wnc-medicinal-herb-growers-tickets-94408196457

Annual Grower/Buyer Meetup for WNC Medicinal Herb Growers

Join WNC Medicinal Herb Growers for our annual networking event connecting local herb buyers and medicinal herb growers. Through an informative panel of herbal product buyers, growers will learn how to match farm products to local market needs. Growers will also glean information to maximize organization and plan with better accuracy. This is an excellent opportunity to bring your product samples to showcase your herbs to local buyers!

Date: Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Location: Buncombe County Cooperative Extension, 49 Mt. Carmel Road, Asheville, NC 28806
Cost: FREE to attend
Time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Buyer Panel

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 Woodland Stewards, please email Margaret_Bloomquist@ncsu.edu.

Woodland Stewards in demonstration herb plots.

Woodland Stewards in demonstration herb plots.

And we are currently recruiting new WNC Woodland Stewards to help shape our 2020 spring and fall gatherings – Please email Margaret_Bloomquist@ncsu.edu with your interest.

See News for WNC Medicinal Herb Growers