At Barkwells we do our best to be good stewards of the land and ourselves. We are big believers in natural cleaners and a sustainable environment beyond the natural spring fed pond and fresh mountain air. Although this retreat is not 100% organic, we use natural, pet and people-friendly cleaning products to clean cabins, including new EPA approved cleaning and disinfecting products from Greenbamboo, a local, woman-owned business. We also utilize anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal aromatherapy essential oils like peppermint and thyme and create our own, all natural furniture polish. We buy and support local business wherever we can!
Most of our washers are front-load, highly efficient units that use only 15 gallons of water compared to 40 gallons for standard washers. The dryers are high efficiency, energy star rated to use less electricity.
We wash our own bed linens and pillows in-house with non-toxic, chemical free, non-phosphate soaps. We do not use chemical fabric softeners.
We use only natural ingredients to wash our wood floors. We leave a bottle of natural all-purpose cleaning solution and non-toxic glass/window cleaner in each cabin for guests to use while they stay with us. In case of doggie accidents on the floors (heaven forbid!), there is a bottle of enzyme based cleaner in each cabin.
Our amenities are all natural, Tea Olive soaps and lotions from Greenwich Bay Trading in Raleigh, North Carolina.
We provide starters of organic, fair trade coffee locally roasted at BeanWerks in West Asheville, along with unbleached coffee filters.
Recycle bins are at each cabin and we encourage guests to recycle glass, aluminum, plastic and paper.
The bulk of light bulbs throughout the retreat have been replaced with compact fluorescent bulbs.
New cabins have energy efficient windows, deep insulation, and Energy Star appliances.
Baxter’s cabin is our first cabin to have solar powered hot water. We plan to use alternative energy sources for all new cabins. We have two rain barrels to recycle rainwater and will continue to add them to the property to quench our thirsty landscaping.
Our chickens, while not fed organic feed, which we so far can’t find in this area, don’t indulge in any activities or treatments which would harm their delicious eggs, which we make available to guests at the pleasure of our hens.
We created our first organic vegetable gardens last summer and hope to have more this year. Look for tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, watermelons, pumpkins, peas and whatever else looks fun to grow and eat!
Local Access to ORGANIC & NATURAL FOODS:
Asheville is a haven of organic and natural foods. You’ll find a directory of organic shopping in your cabin, but for planning purposes, the closest stores are:
Earthfare, just 10 minutes up 25 (Hendersonville Hwy.) You’ll also find
Pet Supplies Plus next door, an excellent source for healthy dog products
Ingles grocery has organic foods in nearly every section of the store
Greenlife is in downtown Asheville as is
Hickory Nut Gap Farm is a wonderful place to stock up on organic, free range meats and eggs – a gorgeous drive out there, too! About 25 minutes away in Fairview. Bring a cooler to stock up for the trip home.
Check out the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association for some fabulous choices for organic and local foods.