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Jeanine DavisMy name is Jeanine Davis and I am an associate professor 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 I maintain that are listed below. Also visit NC Medicinal Herbs which is a collaborative site with the University of NC-Chapel Hill.

Some of the current projects my staff and I are involved in include working on a regional Chinese medicinal herb production project in which we are overseeing the on-farm test sites. One of those test sites is located at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station in Mills River. We established the Mountain Organic Research and Extension (M.O.R.E.) unit at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville. We are conducting participatory broccoli variety trials there in a project funded by the Organic Farming Research Foundation. We also have a truffle demonstration orchard at the Waynesville station. We collaborate with our colleagues in Soil Science on the NC Hops Research Project. With funds from the NCDA&CS/USDA Specialty Block Grant Program we built a high trellis system and are conducting a hop variety trial in Mills River. We are cooperating on a Southern SARE funded project led by Tuskegee University, to train extension agents and other agricultural professionals in organic agriculture. We are also cooperators on a five year, multi-state project funded by USDA/SCRI to develop an east coast broccoli industry. And we continue to grow a large number of woodland botanicals and ramps in the woods at our Mills River location. We are also conducting Echinacea field trials in the southern mountains (Mills River) and upper piedmont (Reidsville) regions of North Carolina.

Medicinal Herb Production Leaflets, Enterprise Budgets, and Other Grower Resources-from the WNC Natural Products Project

This project was funded by the GoldenLEAF Foundation and administered by AdvantageWest.

Links to Our Projects and Other Web Sites

  • 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.
  • NC Medicinal Herbs — North Carolina Consortium on Natural Medicines. Information on herbs for consumers, health professionals and growers.
  • 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.
  • WNC Natural Products Project — Resources from many local organizations supporting the WNC industry.
  • 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 — Due to budget cuts, I have had to get creative to keep my program funded and maintain the level of research and extension activity that we had in the past. If you would like to help and become a Friend of the NC Alternative Crops and Organics Program, please print out this form and mail it in or go to my blog page for more information. Thank you for your continuing support!

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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)

Southeast Organic Training Page

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

Financial Support and Grant Funding Provided by

  • Amway/Nutrilite
  • Cherokee Preservation Foundation
  • GoldenLeaf Foundation
  • Organic Farming Research Foundation
  • NC Tomato Growers Association
  • Southern SARE
  • US Forest Service
  • USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program via NC Department of Agriculture
  • USDA Organic Research & Extension Initative Grant Program
  • USDA Specialty Crop Research & Extension Initiative Grant Program

Friends of the NC Alternative Crops and Organics Program

Thank you for all your support!

  • Dave Slater
  • Laura Kaderabek
  • Nan Covert
  • Golden Needle Acupuncture Supply      
  • Susan Coleman Fedor
  • Rita Pelczar & John Wright
  • Howard Covington
  • Judith Rybicki
  • Thomas G. Miller
  • Jeannie Dunn, Red Moon Herbs
  • Bob Bero, B-Hoppy Candy
  • Kenneth Spadola
  • Curtis Meissner
  • Trent Gilland
  • Steve Propst
  • Janell Kapoo, Ashevillage Institute  
  • David Hofshi  
  • Mark and Terry Willis 
  • Stan Driver, Hoot'n Holler Hops
  • Michelle Lewis, Riverwood Farm
  • Herb Society of America-NC Unit
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 September, 2014 by Lijing Zhou, Jeanine Davis