Asheville is a Green Dining Destination!

Actually, Asheville is America’s first Green Dining Destination. There’s an official designation and Asheville is the fist city in the U.S. to earn it.The Green Restaurant Association (GRA), Asheville Independent Restaurant Association (AIR)and the Blue Ridge Sustainability Institute (BRSI) worked together to make it happen.

In November of 2012, Asheville met and exceeded its goal to have 15 Certified Green Restaurants. The GRA has certification standards that are really quite interesting. I first learned about this when Posana Cafe became the first green certified restaurant in Asheville a few years ago. Peter Pollay, the owner/chef explained to me that there were certain things you needed to do to obtain the initial rating and then you had to continue getting greener every year. It’s no simple task. You can go onto their website to learn more about it.

Asheville has 16 certified green restaurants! Mayor Terry Bellamy says she is “both proud and honored” to be the first city designated as a Green Dining Destination. This is another great reason to visit Asheville – or to move here!

To get the green certification, each restaurant has to earn at least 100 points in a number of different categories such as food, water, energy, chemicals and disposable. No more polystyrene foam containers!

So, which restaurants are certified green in Asheville? Here’s the list:

Cedric’s Tavern on the Biltmore Estate
The French Broad Chocolate Lounge
Laughing Seed Cafe
Luella’s Bar-B-Que
Plant Restaurant
Neo Cantina
Posana Cafe
Rosetta’s Kitchen
Strada Italiano
The Corner Kitchen
The Green Sage
The Green Sage South
Tupelo Honey Cafe
Tupelo Honey Cafe South

Congratulations to you all!

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Asheville – Ashvillage Bee City USA

Have you heard about Ashevillage, the host of Bee City USA? When you’re in Asheville you should plan on visiting. Bees are a very small part of what they do. If you contact them ahead of time, you should be able to arrange a tour. Ashevillage is “a nonprofit community education organization dedicated to sustainable solutions in action.” They are located right on the edge of downtown, near the baseball field. It’s amazing to see what they’ve been able to do in an urban setting.

Most recently they have hosted a gathering of teams from around the country to work on what it takes for a city to be pollinator-friendly – in other words, bee-friendly. Bees are more important than most of us think.

Not all bees are honey bees, but those that are, serve us in a number of ways. Honey is the most obvious, but also Royal Jelly, beeswax, and to pollinate fruit crops. Without bees, agriculture is in big trouble and that means the human race is also in trouble. But bees are not safe with things like pesticides being used. There are other dangers as well.

Asheville is an area with large bee clubs, some great natural bee-keeping schools and also home to the Center for Honey Bee Research. So, it’s the perfect place to host a gathering of bee-keepers to figure out how to keep bees safe for a better world. We’re glad Ashevillage took the initiative to make this happen. Now the goal is to set up a network of sister bee cities around the country – and perhaps some day around the world!

Check out Bee City USA!

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Asheville: America’s first solar-fueled EV Destination

One thing that keeps people from buying electric vehicles (EV), besides the price, is the limited distance you can travel before you need to charge up again – and then you have to plan carefully to be near a place that has something to plug into. This can make it hard to use an EV as a tourist.

But, guess what!? Asheville, NC has come up with a great solution. You don’t even have to own an EV. There will be a fleet of them available for rent. Plus, the greatest part is the charge stations will be solar powered! So you are really getting by without fossil fuels.

Check it out:

#436 12th December 2012 | Asheville Green Drinks.

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Certified green home for sale in popular West Asheville, North Carolina

7 Hi Alta Avenue is located just 7 minutes from the hub of downtown Asheville, this secluded home, with complete privacy fencing, is in a neighborhood of responsible and friendly home owners. The house sits back from the road with a private drive.

This 2006, like-new home is a certified HealthyBuilt Home, which includes EnergyStar certification. Its open floor plan and nine-foot ceilings provide the a feeling of spaciousness. All 1,500 square feet are efficiently designed for comfort and low utility expense. The electric heatpump provides heat and air conditioning, and an efficient propane gas-logs stove provides ambiance and low-cost climate control.

Yard and Gardens:

Arriving at 7 Hi Alta Avenue brings you to our privacy-fenced driveway. Along the fence is a garden and fruit-bearing vines, including fig, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and grapes – all producing delicious fruit throughout their season. The .2-acre lot is cozy and creates a haven of privacy with the fence, and lovely trees and gardens.

An arched rose-covered entrance just inside the front gate ushers homeowner and visitors alike into a magical setting of beautiful flowers, more delectable fruits and fresh organic vegetables.

Inside this secluded lot you’ll find not only an enchanting environment but also an economic food source. The lot has been carefully sculpted with raised organic, fertile garden beds.

The property boasts a courtyard with stone walkways leading to seven fruit-bearing trees: apple, peach, pear, cherry (3) and a large mulberry tree loaded with tasty, dark red loganberry fruit last season.

Strawberry plants come alive in the spring with large red berries from over 200 plants that continue to send out runners and propagate more new plants. They share the courtyard with herb plants and bright flowers amongst the trees.

The herb gardens contain peppermint, sage, rosemary and a variety of cooking and healing herbs. Extensive mulching over landscaper’s paper keeps unwanted growth from encroaching on the gardens.

An open side yard provides a flat play area for children. There’s ample room for swings, slides and other playground sets. Additionally the gates can easily be locked and secured from the inside preventing little ones from wandering off while mom or dad garden.

Before moving inside the home you can visit the 12′ x 16′ outbuilding with an 8′ ceiling, currently outfitted as a wood-working shop. It has electric lights, power for tools and air conditioning. Additionally the roof is a 12 x 12 pitch and there is a large storage area in the upper level that has a 6′ ridge. This building is nestled in the rear yard, just inside the fence with a wood plank walkway to both front and side double doors.

For garden supplies and tools, a small, efficient 4′ x 8′ shed provides convenient storage and lock-up after a day of planting and watering. Three rain barrels hold fresh rain water for the gardens.

The house has two covered porches. The back 8′ x 12′ porch has a privacy screen to block the sun and wind and offers a space in the summer for cooking, resulting in reduced energy cooling expense from heating the kitchen. The 6′ x 19′ front porch is cool in summer months as vines and trees provide just the right amount of shade, leaving enough sun and light for relaxing throughout the day or in the evening watching the moon come up as the sun goes down.

Inside the House:
Once inside the front door you experience the expansiveness of 9′ high ceilings and the open floor plan to the kitchen. Floor to ceiling cupboards provide ample space for food and other kitchen storage needs. There’s a dishwasher, EnergyStar refrigerator, electric range and generous dining space.

Windows throughout are large and convenient, covered with large slat, white and wood louvered blinds.

There are two bedrooms on the first floor that can also function as offices or guest rooms. These rooms are 12′ x 13′ and 9′ x 10′. Each room has two tall windows, blinds and closets.

A large bathroom sits at the end of the hall. It has a tub/shower, toilet, double sinks, and a closet which houses a washer and dryer and multiple shelves for linens and towels.

There’s also an ample closet in the hall leading to these bedrooms and bath, which is currently used as a pantry.

Downstairs floors are wood laminate and vinyl for easy maintenance.

The landing for the stairwell holds coats and hats on wood shaker pegs crafted by the “Shaker Maker” owner himself.

The master suite is takes up the entire second floor of the house – 17′ x 35′. The master bath is 60 square feet of that space. Going up sound-silencing carpeted stairs to the second floor, the door opens onto stunning blonde bamboo flooring. Spacious and bright with louver blinds in the sleeping area, there is ample room for dressers and other furniture. A large closet sits around the corner to the right when you enter the room.

A newly built master bathroom completes the charm and efficient use of this upper floor with its jacuzzi tub, double flush toilet, and dual sink set with cabinets and mirrors. The bath is just to the left at the top of the stairs. Next to this bathroom there is a 10′ x 12′ open space with a tall window for relaxing, sitting or storage. With the addition of a short wall and door it could become a child’s bedroom.

To see the house, or for more information, please contact me or the sellers:

Ron and Kathy Heatley
(828) 254-6837

Also, you can visit their website.

Posted in Affordable Green Homes, Asheville, Asheville NC, Green Building, Green Living, mini-homestead, Urban Infill, West Asheville | Comments Off on Certified green home for sale in popular West Asheville, North Carolina

Great Asheville Home and Location For Sale

Wow, where have I been for the last few months?! Well, I’ll tell you. Vermont. Vermont? What am I doing up there? It’s a long story. Yes, I still love Asheville. And once life settles down a bit, I hope to get back to blogging again – maybe not as much as I was doing, but still some. And I still have my website: If you need any real estate help, I can still answer questions and refer you to other people who I respect.

In the meantime, we put our Asheville home on the market today! It’s very emotional for us. We had a lot of good times there. We had a great home in a fantastic location. We miss it so much. The screened porch was on the second level in the back, right up in the trees. We spent as much time as we could out there. In Asheville weather that meant we were out there at least once a month even in the winter months, if not more. In the warmer months we ate most of our meals out there and stayed after supper as late as we could to enjoy the evenings, listen to the birds and watch the changing sunset colors. When the leaves were gone, we had a 180-degree view of the mountains.

I’m really not sure which season I preferred. They were all great! In the spring the birds really went nuts – oh, and so did the squirrels and chipmunks. The forsythia seemed to start blooming earlier and earlier each year. The daffodils and tulips and other spring flowers would suddenly be out. The dogwoods were all throughout our one acre yard. The red buds tiny pink flowers would suddenly burst and the azaleas and rhododendrons would gradually spread their colors. Other things bloomed, too, and I never did find out what they were.

In summer it felt like a green cave. I loved to lie on my hammock on the porch and watch the trees sway – mainly oaks and poplars, so tall. They kept the house cool. We had AC but rarely used it. The ceiling fans gave a nice breeze. And every night it would cool off so you could open the windows and naturally chill it down.

The fall brought a real treat of color all around that gradually went away, but our view of the mountains returned. An occasional snowfall in winter was always a treat. I would run outside about every hour with my ruler to measure. It usually didn’t amount to much and it would melt in a day or two.

I think the snow brought more neighbors out than the nice summer days. People would go walking down the street – which ends on the Blue Ridge Parkway – to take a walk. The parkway always closes when we have snow, so it’s a perfect place to take a walk. But any time of year, if you cross over, there’s a path to the Mountains-to-Sea trail and you can take a nice hike without ever having to get into your car.

Well, if you or anyone you know might be looking for a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house in Asheville, Just let me know. The MLS number is 509323.


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WNC Green Building Council’s Directory Party

Just got back from this year’s WNC Green Building Council’s (WNCGBC) annual celebration for the new green building directory. The directory is a great resource – filled with great articles and a directory of businesses that are related to green building. You can access the online version if you aren’t here. If we ever get together, you’ll probably get one from me – I give them to all my clients and everyone I meet with!

This year is also the 10th anniversary of the WNCGBC. It’s a very helpful organization and just a great group of people who run the organization and who are members. They’ve been responsible in many ways for the wonderful growth in green building in this area. They hold classes for builders and everyone else and oversee the certification processes. I know they do a lot of other things that I’m not even aware of. The website is really helpful, too –

One of the things discussed at the short members’ meeting at the start of our celebration was information about a new program to help people help themselves make their homes more efficient. They are encouraging people to get together groups to work on each other’s homes. They will provide someone the lead the groups in the work that needs to be done and the only expenses will be some payment for the leader and the materials. This way people will be able to make the efficiency changes they need affordably and with an expert’s guidance

There were tables of information set up about different member’s businesses – everything from builders, engineers and architects to green cleaners and organic mold remediators. Lots of people were there at the Pack Square building. Of course there was food from Pasana Cafe and Roots. Also there was local organic beer from the Craggie Brewery.

Maybe next year you can join us!

Posted in Asheville, Asheville green events, Asheville NC, beer, Buncombe County, For Buyers, For Sellers, free things, Green Building, Regional News, special events | Leave a comment

Asheville Earth Day 2011 and Green Moving Co.

Went to Earth Day downtown yesterday. So nice to be able to attend festivals on Pack Square again! For the last few years they’ve been digging it up and turning it into a new park. I’m not really sure it was worth all the hours and dollars to re-sculpt it. I mean – it’s very nice, but we probably could have done something much simpler, less extravagant, less expensive, more community-centered – with some shared edible plantings, solar and wind-powered features, etc. Oh, well. I’m glad we can use it again.

It was great to see everyone out and enjoying the great day and all the interesting green booths. One booth that caught my attention was Quick Moves Moving Company. As a Realtor, you can imagine that would seem interesting to me. Plus, as it turned out, theyare really trying to be a green moving company! It’s their mission to reduce their carbon footprint. They use all bio-diesle fuel and use only biodegradable plastic wrap to care for your furniture! They also pay their workers a living wage. I want to learn more! I hope they are as good as they sound!

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Sunday Afternoon Asheville Book Group

It’s Sunday afternoon. I went to my book club this afternoon and we sat out on today’s host’s deck and talked about this month’s book, An Unexpected Guest by Bruce E. Johnson, an Asheville author. This is an Asheville novel – his first novel. He’s written more than a dozen nonfiction books – mainly about Asheville area history and antiques.

So, as you can imagine, this novel was filled with historical facts – photos, too. It’s a murder mystery about a dead woman’s body found at the Grove Park Inn. There are photos of the earlier years of the inn and many of the characters are real people in history. Henry Ford was one; Thomas Edison another. Just about everyone in the book was a real person you would recognize from our history.

But the story is fiction.

You may have enjoyed our group. The weather was nice. Everyone had a different opinion of the book.

I went home, had a great dinner on my screened in porch, and drank a local Highland beer while watching our “winter view” close in with the fast growing spring leaves.

Hope you had a good day!

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HUD home closing!

Part 5 of our Asheville HUD foreclosed home story¦

Nothing’s easy with a HUD home – including writing the blogs about it. I wrote one a few days ago and for some reason it disappeared. Oh, well…

So, we set the date for April 4th and that seemed easy enough.

Not. We soon heard from the local closing attorney that HUD requires 10 days notice to close – official notice. Just signing the contract isn’t good enough.

Plus, they require five days to examine the HUD Settlement Statement. What a luxury! If you’ve closed on a home any time recently, maybe you remember that you may get the Settlement Statement the morning of the closing – possibly the day before.

But five days before! That’s nice. I think I’ll require that from now on, too.

The settlement Statement tells you exactly how much money has to be brought to closing. It itemizes all the expenses like the title insurance, attorney fees, taxes, and so on. So, you need time to be sure the charges are correct and added and subtracted properly.

This is one of the big scary things on the NC Real Estate exam. It’s really not that hard, but you have to go over it carefully.

I don’t think you really need five days to do it, but a three day cushion would be nice.

One reason why it would be nice to have plenty of time for the buyer is so you can get your money to the closing agent in time. You need that number – that’s another blog.

Well, We had to change the closing date to the 8th – today!!!

In the meantime, though, my client had arranged to have a plumber dewinterize the house and for the water and utilities to be turned on and other appointments. They all had to be changed. Ugh.

We weren’t able to get them not to turn the electricity on. To do that you need to have an account number and they didn’t give us one, yet. Oh, well. We just checked to be sure the stove and oven were off and that the heat was also turned off.

One of the buyers had to go sign documents on Monday, because he wasn’t going to be able to get there today. It’s hard to get three people’s schedules together.

Then I got an email saying not to forget to have my clients change the locks. I was not to give them the key. I was also to dispose of the “for sale” sign and the combination lock box. What a waste. I questioned them on that. They said I could keep the key, but dispose of the lock box and sign. Government waste!!!

So, we got to the closing and the attorney was not going to be able to be there but his assistant would be able to take care of us – whew! That was a close one.

Then at the last minute, the attorney walked in.

In just a few minutes we were done. The actual closing was the simplest I’ve ever had!

We went over to the house. Hmm… the power didn’t seem to be on. We tried everything. They were trying to get the power on and the water going when I left.

I got the lock box, key and sign to dispose of and wished them well. They were delighted! I felt a little like a midwife who just helped birth a child. We’ll see if this is the end of the story or not. Post-partum blues…

Posted in affordable, Asheville, Asheville NC, City of Asheville, For Buyers, HUD, Regional News | Leave a comment

Green Home with Privacy and Mountain Views For Sale

Looking for a green home with privacy and mountain views? Maybe this is the place for you!

On over 2.2 acres, this 4-bedroom (split bedroom plan), 3-bath home is certified HealthyBuilt. It has both passive and active solar with radiant floor heating. If you have any allergies, you probably know that radiant floor heat is the best. No dust is blowing around.

Here are some of the features:Gourmet Kitchen

  • cellulose insulation
  • thermal barriers
  • tankless water heater
  • central AC
  • Energy Star appliances
  • water filtration system
  • low VOC paints
  • IAQ compliance
  • spacious master suite with HUGE walk-in closet, tiled shower, garden tub and VIEW
  • gourmet kitchen

The great room has a wonderful fireplace with south-facing windows – perfect for entertaining.
The lower level has a living room, office nook, full bath, indoor workshop, and a large bonus room that would be perfect for a studio or another bedroom.

There are also two garages, an outdoor coop and garden shed. Plenty of room for organic gardens! Perfect for a mini-homestead.

The price is $399,900 for this home of about 2700 square feet.

By the way, this house is actually located in Hendersonville, outside the city limits, not far at all from Asheville, but the taxes are lower – nice.

If you’re interested, please let me know. I would be happy to represent you! greentreenc[at]gmail[dot]com

Here’s a statement from the owner…

“The peepers are singing…
We have a duck that comes every year to call her mate and lay her eggs in our neighbors small pond. About our neighbors… they’re a phone call away and will drop everything to lend a hand if ever one is needed or to share from their organic garden’s abundance. They’re also very respectful of space and privacy.

“You can see the mountains from the large, front passive solar windows (8 upstairs and 6 downstairs). The house is on a small hill so the views are spectacular. There are 70 acres of untouched woods behind us – beautiful.

“It takes me 17-20 minutes to get to West Asheville, which is nice.”

Posted in Asheville, Asheville NC, For Sellers, Green, Green Building, Green Living, mini-homestead, organic, Regional News | Leave a comment