ECO FRIENDLY PRACTICES
ECO FRIENDLY PRACTICES
We practice what we call “Beyond Organic”. The organic label has been watered down in recent years so we prefer to buy from folks we know and who practice methods we trust although they may not be able to afford the time and funds it now takes to have that organic label. Some of the major practices we use to help our planet and the health of our guests in our business include the following:
- Organic Coffee Starter in your Cottage (most coffee & tea comes from 3rd world countries using DDT and pesticides not legal in the US) - we buy fairtrade, organic, shade grown coffee from regional roasters.
- Whole House Water Purification Systems in cottages (Clean drinking and bathing water without chlorine in each cottage – we use systems that meet the highest quality worldwide standards for water purity). You can drink from the tap and not use plastic bottles. The shower feels like rain water and your skin will love it.
- Lighting: Dimmers are on most indoor and outdoor lights (the lower the light, the less energy being used). We have chosen not to embrace the trend to use the curly florescent light bulbs (CFL) due to toxicity & are converting to LEDs.
- Ozone Filtration Units are used on our Hot tubs for minimal chlorine use (chlorine is required by law in TN) and our hot tubs are very energy efficient.
- Non toxic cleaning supplies used in cottages/cabin. We feature eco friendly products you can purchase but also vinegar, baking soda, borax (a natural mineral) and olive oil as our basics. Oatmeal soaps, organic shampoos and conditioners & non-chemically perfumed bath salts are provided in the cottages.
- Fair Trade and sustainable suppliers are used for our products whenever possible (we want folks to earn a decent wage and we want to help the planet to be around for a while).
- Low & no VOC paint & recycled building materials were used during construction and Eco-harvested white pine (from our farm) was used for the floors in each cottage.
- Reusable grocery bags and recycle bags are in each cottage.
- Gardening: We garden organically using a no till system with heavy mulch, rotation and companion planting methods and grow a wide variety of heirloom vegetables and flowers that re-seed (most commercial seed no longer re-seeds). Pesticides have not been used for over 35 years on our farm and we do not use synthetic fertilizers which cause water table contamination through run off. We support organizations like Southern Exposure for their commitment to protect Heirloom seed varieties & buy from local gardening retailers who specialize in regional plantings.
- We designed the remodel of our cottages for minimal AC usage (ceiling fans, lots of energy efficient windows and cross circulation of air) and are looking at future options to add solar/wind. Most of the summer our guests open the windows and enjoy the fresh air and Plateau breezes. Ceiling fans are also used in winter to help keep heat costs down as they send hot air downward. Cowgirl Cabin was built using 90% recycled materials and has a composting toilet and rain water collection system.
- Our pond is not stocked by artificial means: it is a natural spring fed pond. With our catch and release program and use of only worms or grasshoppers for bait, the brim and bass continue to live in harmony as they have for years.
- The firewood that is provided is eco harvested from our farm and neary farms, through fallen trees or “smaller trash” trees that need to be cut to allow our hardwoods and white pine to grow taller and healthier.
- Our honey bees are treated organically by a local state certified Bee Keeper Sheila Ray who lives down the road. Our honey is not processed and contains all the wonderful healthy qualities nature intended. Our bees are kept on 400 acres in the valley (not on our farm).