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Elegant Country-Style Furnished Vacation Rentals
ECO FRIENDLY PRACTICES
We practice what we call “Beyond Organic”. The organic label has been watered down in recent years to accommodate demand 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:
- Fair Trade Organic Grandview Mountain Blend Coffee (roasted locally) and organic tea selection (most non organic coffee and tea comes from third world countries that use pesticides not legal in the US)
- Whole House Water Purification Systems (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) in our cottages. They may save energy but they are on the extreme hazmat (hazardous materials) list. If you break one, you are suppose to open every window and leave the room for 30 minutes and then throw everything away that has come in contact with the dust from the breakage (rugs, linens, clothes, etc). They are also extremely toxic to the landfills. If you read the government hazmat website, these CFLs require 3 pages of clean up hazmat instructions. We prefer to turn off lights when not in use and lower the dimmers! We also put in lots of energy efficient windows to offer natural sunlight.
- 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.
- All natural and organic cleaning supplies and pest and insect control with peppermint soaps and plant based sprays and deodorizers. We feature Seventh Generation and other eco friendly products in our cottages although we use vinegar, baking soda, borax (a natural mineral) and olive oil as our basics. We spray poison ivy areas with salt and vinegar and we spray ant hills with molasses and orange peels. It works! 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 (if you have aluminum, glass or paper to recycle, please leave them in the recycle bags when you leave – please rinse glass or aluminum before putting in bag so as not to attract bugs).
- Catering: No preservatives, hormones or antibiotics are used in any of our catering options. We buy local from farms we trust whenever possible including our breakfast meats, farm eggs, fresh churned butter & any produce not raised in our organic garden. We use heirloom flours and grains, rich in nutrition and flavor.
- Gardening: We garden organically using 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 in 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 and we buy from small local gardening retailers who specialize in regional plantings and non chemical treatments.
- 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.
- 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, “minnow or fish bait” is not introduced into the pond and the brim and bass living in the pond continue to live in harmony as they have since we bought the pond in 1972!
- The firewood that is provided is eco harvested from our farm 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 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. Sometimes it crystallizes when it gets cold, but you can warm it up in warm water and it will go back to its original state although some folks like it to crystallize and spread it on the toast this way!