Herb Mountain Farm was a piece of land that had been overgrazed, logged and farmed unsustainably for over a century and needed a lot of conscious stewarding to build up the soil that had been washed away to the Mississippi delta. Hart, with the help of many hands over the decades, brought in organic matter and plant diversity and also built many structures for his family that are now used today as part of the lodging for our guests.
We have several residential homes on the property along with an outdoor bathhouse, two retreat center lodges and a warehouse occupied by an herbal distributor, Emerson Naturals. There are small ponds, orchards, dozens of gardens, a mile long nature trail loop and a hike to an escarpment overlooking the Reems Creek Valley and on into Asheville and the Pisgah National Forest.
For decades, Hart sold vegetable and flowers from the farm to local markets, restaurants and grocers, then built a distribution warehouse on the property for the organic farmers in the area, called Hart Distributing, which eventually grew into a distribution center for organic ale and wine – long before Asheville was beer city! Hart spent several years in California, opening one of the first farm to table restaurants called ‘The Seasons’ in the 1970’s. Cooking real, natural food for people is one of Hart’s greatest loves!