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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 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.

NEW! Announcing the Piedmont Medicinal Herb Growers Group

Established in mid 2022, this group is organized by N.C. Cooperative Extension agents in the piedmont counties, stay tuned for more offerings from this group.

WNC Medicinal Herb Grower Videos:

How to Make a Plant Voucher – 2/12/2021 – 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.

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

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

2022 WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Group Events

Get these dates on your calendars. More information will be posted as it becomes available. Count on most of these being virtual! The postings are in chronological order.

  • So You Want to Grow Medicinal Herbs?

    WNC Medicinal Herb Growers Spring Kick-Off Zoom Event March 9, 2022 from 11 a.m. -1 p.m.  Location: Online

    We kick off our 2022 programming with a focus on what it takes to get started cultivating herbs on your land. If you’ve considered growing medicinal herbs for your own use, or to sell as a business venture, this workshop is for you. Learn what starting a new medicinal herb enterprise takes, from assessing your land to sourcing plant material, and how long it takes for a harvestable crop. You’ll hear from NC Extension professionals Craig Mauney and Margaret Bloomquist, and have the chance to ask all your burning questions at this online event.

    This workshop is free to attend, but space is limited. Please register in advance through this link: EVENTBRITE

  • Sourcing & Planting Event with GAIA Herbs

    May 25, 2022 from 9 a.m. -1 p.m.  Location: GAIA Herb Farm, Brevard, NC

    GAIA Herbs has long been a leader in the medicinal herb industry, and will host WNC Medicinal Herb Growers for this field-based workshop focused on plant material. We’ll discuss seed and plant sourcing, direct seeding vs. transplanting, and plant propagation for certain species. Participants will learn about the rhythms of planting and field preparation at the GAIA Herbs Farm based in Brevard. Come prepared for a fun day of learning and hands-on experiences.

    There are a limited number of spaces for this workshop. Please register in advance using this link to secure your spot! EVENTBRITE

  • Advanced Post Harvest Handling of Medicinal Herbs

    Tuesday, September 27th 2022, 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, Mills River, NC

    Information & Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/409968586077

  • Land Preparation and Stewardship for Herb Production

    Friday, October 21st 2022, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Gaia Herbs Farm, Brevard, NC

    Information and registration can be found at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/land-preparation-and-stewardship-tickets-419793191737

  • NC Medicinal Herb Grower/Buyer Social

    Tuesday, November 15th 2022, 2-6 p.m. at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, Mills River, NC

    Connect with medicinal herb growers and buyers at this networking event. Buyers please contact Margaret_Bloomquist@ncsu.ed to participate!

    For information and registration go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/410098384307

    PLEASE NOTE:

    Registration is required for all events. All event fees are $12 via Eventbrite registration for individual events.

    If cost or physical accessibility are barriers to your participation, please contact organizers.

WOODLAND STEWARDS FALL EVENTS

For more details and to register for WNC Woodland Steward events, please email Margaret_bloomquist@ncsu.edu

  • September 8th, 2022 – Ginseng opener, transplanting, and sowing for the future
  • October 20th, 2022 – Multi-species forest root harvest

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.

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

See More News for WNC Medicinal Herb Growers