Environment Sustainability

Garden Compressed

The Garden of Many Hands Peace Farm

The Mountain has taken important steps in preserving the unique environment and ecosystem around it. In 2008, the property was placed in a conservation easement with the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust – preserving The Mountain’s property in perpetuity.

The Mountain is home to the last stand of ancient and wind-sheared white oak trees in the world. Core sampling by researchers at Clemson University yielded ages up to 420 years. Some of the rare plant species on the property include Hartweg’s Locust, Shale-barren Blazing Star and Biltmore Sedge. This unique diversity of species is a result of the location of the  Highlands’s Plateau: high rainfall, high altitude and lack of industrial developments.

Interesting Facts

  • The property straddles the Eastern Continental Divide and borders the Nantahala National Forest.
  • Waters on the southern cliffs flow eventually into the Atlantic Ocean; only 100 yards away, the northern forested side flows into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Dramatic exfoliated granite cliffs and outcroppings ring the southern exposure of Little Scaly Mountain.
  • Marked hiking trails lead to cliffs, lakes, streams and waterfalls.

Sustainability Initiatives 

  • Sustainable agriculture -The Many Hands Peace Farm (MHPF), an agricultural extension of The Mountain, cultivates environmental awareness and sustainability by teaching principles of sustainable agriculture, environmental awareness, and farm to table principles to guests and local schools. The MHPF maintains a garden and chicken coop that provide locally grown produce and eggs for The Mountain Kitchen. Using sustainable farming techniques, composting, and organic fertilizers, the MHPF avoids soil depletion and environmental contaminants.
  • Water conservation – The Mountain conserves water through the use of water-saving shower heads and toilets (one-quart per flush); waterless urinals have been installed in several public restrooms. The MHPF uses a drip system for irrigation. Solar power supports the Well and Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP).
  • Recycling – The Mountain recycles glass and plastic; all food waste becomes compost; and, the physical plant recycles everything the local Transfer Station will accept. Whenever possible, obsolete equipment and construction materials are separated and recycled.