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Welcome

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 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 maintaining a research hop yard at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station in Mills River. This is a four year old, high trellis yard with ten varieties. We are completing an Echinacea research project there looking at differences in plant growth and medicinal constituents based on where the seed was sourced from. The Echinacea study is 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 also have an organic broccoli variety trial. 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 a two Black Perigord truffle orchards. 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.

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.
  • 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.

Organizations

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!

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)

How to Grow Bloodroot Video

Goodies from Your Woods Webinar

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
  • Nancy Long
  • Travis Long
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
Email: jeanine_davis@ncsu.edu

Updated October, 2014 by Lijing Zhou, Jeanine Davis