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Jeanine DavisMy name is Jeanine Davis and I am an associate professor and extension specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. My research and extension programs are dedicated to the development of sustainable and organic production systems for herbs, vegetables, and a wide variety of specialty crops.

The purpose of this website is to provide access to up-to-date, practical information on the production and marketing of these crops and to keep you informed about the current projects in my program. I encourage you to visit the other websites and pages I maintain that are listed at the top of this page and below.

Are you interested in buying or selling North Carolina grown medicinal herbs? Then check out our new beta site to help facilitate that at Herb Connection

Some of the current projects my staff and I are involved in include maintaining a research hop yard at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station in Mills River. This is a five year old, high trellis yard with ten varieties. We have recently completed an Echinacea research project looking at differences in plant growth and medicinal constituents based on where the seed was sourced from. The Echinacea study was replicated at the Piedmont Research Station in Reidsville. We also have research and demonstration plots on woodland medicinals and Chinese medicinal herbs at the Mills River research station . The majority of our research is at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville. There we have a certified organic research unit where we are involved in multi-state efforts to breed cucumbers, squash, melons, and tomatoes specifically for organic farmers. We have also just completed a three year organic broccoli variety study with research station and on-farm components. We are also part of a large multi-state effort to develop broccoli varieties specifically for the East Coast producers. In 2014 we initiated a stevia project to determine if we can grow stevia on a commercial scale in western NC. We also have two Black Perigord truffle orchards and a new project working with truffle growers across the state. We would also like to start a biodynamic research program to help local growers enter that growing market. In addition to research, we conduct many educational programs in the form of conferences, workshops, and field days. We make this information available online through this website, our blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. And finally, we are part of a multi-organization effort to grow the natural products industry in western NC.


Links to Our Projects and Other Web Sites

  • Improving North Carolina Black Truffle Production-a three year study to help truffle growers monitor their orchards.
  • WNC Farmlink-a program to connect farm seekers with landowners.
  • Organic Tomato Improvement Project-a multi-state, federally funded project to develop new tomato varieties for organic producers.
  • Organic Cucurbit Project-a multi-state, federally funded project to develop new cucurbit varieties for organic producers.
  • Exploring Stevia for Western North Carolina- a two year study is examine the feasibility of commercial stevia production in western North Carolina.
  • Echinacea Research Project — Three year (2012-2014) field trials in the southern mountains (Mills River) and upper piedmont (Reidsville) regions of North Carolina.
  • Eastern Broccoli Industry Project — Information about this multi-state project to develop this industry on the East Coast.
  • NC Hops Project — Information about the hops research project in eastern and western North Carolina led by researchers in Horticulture and Soil Science.
  • Farm Prosperity Project — Helpful decision making tools, production information, surveys, and presentations pertaining to choosing new crops and farmland protection.
  • NC Organic — An organic agriculture internet resource for North Carolina farmers.
  • NC Specialty Crops — A resource for farmers, entrepreneurs and consumers within the specialty crops market.
  • Medicinal Herbs for Commerce — Information on growing and selling medicinal herbs in North Carolina. Includes step-by-step "So you want to grow medicinal herbs" process for you to read through and decide if herbs are right for your situation.
  • WNC Forest Producers Marketing Project — Information for local forest products producers (timber and non-timber)and resources for them. Including videos of local businesses and two directories.
  • Southeast Organic Training Page —An Advanced Organic Training for agricultural educators and extension agents.
  • Bloodroot Project — Information on growing bloodroot at home project for artisans in Cherokee, NC led by researchers in Horticulture Science.

Keep Current By Following Our Blog

We welcome you to follow our activities on the Organic Unit, as well as in other parts of our program, by following us on our NC Alternative Crops and Organics blog.

Donate to Our Program

Thank you for your support - Our program is almost completely funded by
grants and gifts. If you value this program, we would appreciate your
financial support. To become a Friend of the NC Alternative Crops and
Organics Program, you can donate on-line here
or print out this form and mail it in with your check.


Get Adobe Reader button You will need the free Adobe Reader program to view Adobe PDF formatted publications.

The presentation on hops production given at the Virginia Hops Workshop in Afton, VA on February 11, 2014 (this is large and takes a little time to download)

Videos of the 2015 NC-VA Hops Conference in Winston-Salem, NC

Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for Medicinal Herbs Training Videos

How to Grow Bloodroot Video

Broccoli Harvest and Post-harvesting Handling Tutorial Video

Goodies from Your Woods Webinar

Hops are in the News

Link to Survey on China Consumer Demand for USA Grown Chinese Medicinal Herbs by Galen University Business Students

From the Western NC Forest Products Marketing Project:

YouTube Videos of the businesses we worked with!

WNC Forestry Success Stories: Change for the Better an Ebook highlighting the successes of the project.

Alternative and Specialty Enterprise and Crop Production Information

This section includes general production information and resources as well as information on specific topics.

  • Specialty Crops
  • NC State and National Resources
  • Jeanine's Book List

Specific Information

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Current Financial Support and Grant Funding Provided by

  • USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program via NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • USDA Organic Research & Extension Initative Grant Program
  • USDA Specialty Crop Research & Extension Initiative Grant Program
  • USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program
  • USDA 1890 Capacity Building Grant
  • USDA Rural Jobs Accelerator Program
  • NCSU Internal Grant

Friends of the NC Alternative Crops and Organics Program

Thank you for all your support!

  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
  • Golden Needle Acupuncture Supply   
  • Jeannie Dunn, Red Moon Herbs
  • David Kendall
  • John McEvoy
  • Pangaea Plants LLC
  • Ms. Mary Wallace
  • Mr. Frank H. McDowell
  • Ms. E. Rubenstein Chelmis
  • Transylvania County Master Gardeners
  • Travis Long
  • Nancy Long
  • Herb Society of America-NC Unit
  • Michelle Lewis, Riverwood Farm
  • Stan Driver, Hoot'n Holler Hops
  • Mark and Terry Willis
  • David Hofshi
  • Janell Kapoor, Ashevillage Institute 
  • Steve Propst
  • Trent Gilland
  • Curtis Meissner
  • Kenneth Spadola
  • Bob Bero, B-Hoppy Candy
  • Thomas G. Miller
  • Judith Rybicki
  • Howard Covington
  • Rita Pelczar & John Wright
  • Susan Coleman Fedor
  • Nan Covert
  • Laura Kaderabek
  • Dave Slater
ramps organic and heirloom tomatoes 2006 heirloom and field study bloodroot
Ramps Organic and Heirloom Tomatoes Bloodroot
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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

Updated June 24, 2016 by Jeanine Davis