We visited Banner Greenhouses yesterday to get a chance to meet the folks that grow our grafted tomatoes and organic seedlings. They are located in Nebo, North Carolina, not far from Asheville. It was a real pleasure to meet the people we talk to every week on the phone, A’lyssa and Lindy, and we got a tour of their amazing facility.
Banner grows myriad bedding plants and flowers, but in the last decade they have been producing excellent organic vegetable seedlings. Our tour guide and vegetable seedling grower, Lindy, showed us how they are able to produce such excellent plants for farmers all over the region. I learned a good deal from her about tomato grafting, companion plantings for pest management, light and temperature management in the greenhouses, and organic fertilizer recommendations for our high tunnel crops. Banner is currently growing out our late-Winter/early-Spring tomato crop which we will plant in our (TFF-Teachey) high tunnel between Christmas and New Year’s Day. We are looking forward to seeing the Banner Greenhouses crew next weekend at the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association conference in Durham.
Below are a few pictures that don’t do justice to the size and scope of Banner’s operations. We were duly impressed with, well, everything, but the seeding and grafting machinery was truly impressive – especially since we do all that by hand. What an amazing place in such a gorgeous setting – check out their fantastic drone video and you’ll see what I mean.