It’s Easy Being Green!

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 ponds and fresh mountain air. Although this retreat is not 100% organic, we use natural, pet and people-friendly cleaning products to clean cabins. 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.



We provide toilet tissue (recycled paper) and starters of recycled paper towels for guest use in each cabin. Our septic systems are sensitive to anything other than toilet paper so we thank you for not stressing them.


Our amenities are all natural, BeeKind soap, shampoo and lotion from Gilchrist & Soames. Meyers Green Day soap is in the kitchen.

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 LEDs. 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 as much as possible 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 goats and chickens are fed organic feed to create the most delicious eggs, which we make available to guests at the pleasure of our hens.


Bo’s Hideaway  and Diva’s cabin both have have a compost container with bio-bag liners in the kitchen for recycling kitchen scraps. We will add others as we go. What organic leftovers the goats and chickens don’t like, we compost for later use in the gardens.


We plant and harvest organic vegetables around the property, which are available to guests. Look for tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, watermelons, pumpkins, peas or whatever else looks fun to grow and eat!



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, now owned by Whole Foods is in downtown Asheville as is French Broad Co-op

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.