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Alternative Crops ~ Herbs ~ Organics ~ Specialty Crops ~ Vegetables

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Upcoming 2015 Event Schedule Hope to see you there!


Monthly hop tours for June 15, July 15 and August 18       

455 Research Drive, Mills River, NC 28759

There is a small fee for the tours and you must register in advance at this website

In order to keep up with the increasing demand for regional hop growing information, we will be holding monthly tours in our research hop yard throughout the growing season. These will be informal events most suitable for those interested in growing hops who want to see a mature, small-scale hop yard with many different varieties. The tours will be led by Kelly Gaskill, Research Assistant, and primary caretaker of the hop yard since its establishment in 2011. Information will be focused on production practices performed throughout the growing season. Meet in the gravel parking lot to the immediate left of the entrance driveway, next to the lath house and just in front of the greenhouses. The tours take place rain or shine, so please dress accordingly. The only thing that will keep us out of the hop yard is a thunderstorm.


July 24-26, 2015       

Wild Herb Weekend 

Valle Crucis, NC  

This is the annual summer conference for the NC Herb Association and it is an amazing weekend in the beautiful high mountain location of Valle Crucis, NC. There is something for everyone at this intimate, little conference. Whether you grow  herbs for a hobby, use herbs for healing, or want to start a commercial herb operation, you will find many interesting sessions and hands-on workshops and plant walks to participate in.  The scenery is breathtaking, the lodging is historic (a bit rustic, shared facilities, bring a fan), the food is good, and the company is outstanding. We have so much fun!!!wild-herb-weekend/ca3p


August 13, 2015       

Annual Tomato and Vegetable Field Day

Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station, Mills River, NC

Are you interested in learning about the research that faculty at NCSU are doing on tomatoes in western North Carolina? Want to see the up and coming varieties? Learn the latest about controlling diseases and insects? How about tomato grafting? See that and much more at the annual Tomato Field Day. Things are a little different this year, so pay attention. The field day will be held in the morning with registration starting at 8:00 am. The field tours will start at 9:00 am. At noon there will be a complimentary lunch served. After lunch, at 1:00 pm, there will be optional tours so you can view some of the other projects that are happening here including hops, apples, ornamentals, and field crops. The event is free, but for planning purposes we ask you to please preregister at . For more information contact or call her at 828-684-3562. Sponsorship opportunities are available. NC Pesticide credits have been applied for.


August 20, 2015, 8:30am 12:30pm        

Alternative Crops and Organics Research Highlights Tour

Mountain Research Station, 265 Test Farm Rd, Waynesville, NC 28786

Join us on August 20th for a tour and discussion of our current organic and specialty crop research projects at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, NC.
What you will see: the certified organic Mountain Organic Research Unit, with studies on breeding organic melons, squash, and cucumbers for organic growers; breeding tomatoes with disease resistance for organic farmers; a participatory study to select broccoli varieties for organic farmers; and organic farmscaping and trap cropping. We will visit a study looking at the feasibility of growing stevia on a commercial scale in western NC and our two Black Perigord truffle orchards.  The large multi-state, private-public breeding project to develop broccoli varieties specifically for East Coast producers will also be included on the tour. We will transport you around the research station on covered trailers equipped with benches. Let us know if you have special needs so we can make it comfortable for you.
What you will do: You will hear from the researchers about these projects and see for the results of the studies designed to help farmers and gardeners in our region. You will have the chance to interact one-on-one with the scientists and their research assistants. Where possible, you will get to taste some of the varieties of tomatoes and cucurbits we are trialing. You will definitely get to taste the stevia!
What to bring: Please dress appropriately for field conditions, including shoes or boots, hats, and umbrellas. Bring a water bottle or snacks for the morning, and feel free to bring your cameras, questions and curiosity! If it rains hard, we will move inside to talk.
This event is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is not required but it would help us for planning purposes if you would just drop a quick email to let us know you are coming.
This tour is highlighting the work of the NC Alternative Crops and Organics Program run by Dr. Jeanine Davis in the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University. You can learn more about her program on her website at and on her blog at
Questions should be directed to
The highlighted projects are funded by grants from the USDA/NIFA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, the Organic Farming Research Foundation, USDA/NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative, and the USDA Specialty Crops Block Grant Program administered through the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.



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Dr. Jeanine Davis
Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center
455 Research Drive
Mills River, NC 28759
Phone: 828.684.3562 ~ Fax: 828.684.8715

Maintained by: Bryan A. Konsler

Updated July 30, 2015 by Lijing Zhou