GREEN HOMES • HEALTHY LIFESTYLES
Asheville Intentional Community – Asheville Eco-Community
THE 67 ACRE FARM was purchased in 1994 by Sandy & Bernie Byrne. For many years they considered developing 58 acres of the farm into 10 to 20 residential home lots but resisted that idea because they didn’t want to “destroy” the land. Only when they received an offer from a Developer (who said he would be using the 58 acres for his personal estate) did the awareness fully set in that Bernie, the Iowa farm boy, would be the best steward of land development. The 58 acres is now called Mountain Meadows on Crooked Creek and the remaining 9 acre Farm is now called Mountain Meadows Farm. Bernie started with a low impact site design that “listened to the land.” He selected conscientious and experienced individuals to manifest a sustainable environment of 28 home-sites averaging 2+ acres on gentle laying land (for mountain areas). Mountain Meadows has a clean water source; organic garden area creekside; planted fruit trees and berries; sun-facing land; 85% forest; Sandy & Bernie’s Mountain Meadows Farm is adjacent and Bernie is the conscientious owner/developer on-site. Mountain Meadows is a GreenBuilt homes community that promotes Healthy Lifestyles which nurture the body, mind, & spirit.
Bernie was raised on a farm in northwest Iowa with five brothers and one (lucky) sister in a family from Irish and German immigrants. Chickens, pigs, and field work were the daily chores and the exemplary Midwestern work ethic was borne. After college at the University of Iowa and combat duty in Vietnam, Bernie received the CCIM designation, considered by many to be the PhD equivalent in Commercial Investment real estate, and began representing investors in the purchase, sale, and leasing of prime properties in Coral Gables and Miami. After moving to Asheville, Bernie founded a natural soda company, developed some commercial property in Downtown Asheville, and developed Mountain Meadows on Crooked Creek.
Sandy was raised in a Scottish English home in Iowa City with one brother. Perhaps because of her dad’s dedication and pioneering work in his field of study, fundus photography, Sandy said that someday she would become the best… at something. Well, now she is. Sandy (Sandra Frazier Byrne) is internationally known in the field of Ultrasound of the Eye and has written many books and articles that have greatly advanced the care of patients with various eye problems. Sandy is in practice in Asheville at Western Carolina Retina Associates and often consults for international biotech firms who develop treatments and protocols for various eye diseases.
Bernie & Sandy are dedicated to a healthy infrastructure for the conscious, environmentally sensitive, and sustainable community of Mountain Meadows, where a fruit orchard and an area by the creek for vegetable gardens and a Creekside Poultry Patch (a place for chickens and eggs) greet all who enter.
Bottom land is where our organic garden areas and orchards by Crooked Creek reside. Bottom land is often referred to as “prime soils,” a limited and valuable resource. Prime soils comprise only 2% of soil in the Southern Appalachians and is the perfect combination of clay, silt, sand, and organic matter. Bottom land is flat terrain located in just the perfect place between water and mountains and is blessed with the rich soil needed for growing vibrant and healthy crops.
Mountain Meadows is a small subdivision of 30 home-sites on 58 acres in the beautiful farming community of Madison County. Some folks call us a Eco-Friendly Community, Holistic Community, a Green Community, an Intentional Community, a Sustainable Community, a Conscious Community, and some folks even call us a Survival Community. Bernie & Sandy consciously approached Mountain Meadows’ development as a new paradigm of sustainability while keeping the following in mind:
- Workers and Materials:
- Graders Bo & Les Burnette took personal responsibility in helping to determine the best possible route for the new roads (we used a lot of the old logging roads). The brothers: cut and preserved the trees; removed all the brush and debris efficiently; graded, packed, and graveled the roads, all with responsiveness to the lay of the land and the design of the Developer
- Grader Clifton Hamlin added a couple lots and refined grading on some of the roads in 2013. His personal and positive touches are enhancing the look and feel of Mountain Meadows
- Landscaper Jack Jarvis is a neighbor and of Cherokee descent. Jack displays the feeling for his native land through the brush of his well known landscaping art in the selection and arrangement of boulders and plants
- Sign guy Carl Chesick always manifests quality; in the wood, the preparation, the design, the painting, and the installation
- Culverts – diameter from 12″ to 60″, durable, double walled, black, high density plastic with smooth inner wall and corrugated outer wall that will last generations
- Heavy black cloth underlayment – Terra Tex Woven Textile EP 25 filter fabric was used on the brunt of the Main Roads to cover the packed dirt prior to placement of two inch rock, as needed, and finish gravel. This 15′ wide cloth and the rock provide the best possible base for a long lasting road with minimal maintenance. Terra Tex is a high strength, highly water permeable geotextile designed to fit this structural purpose and is used only when the highest quality subsurface is desired
- Gratitude for Crooked Creek running through the entire frontage of Mountain Meadows with the headwaters only about 1 mile away – appreciation that the spring on the farm has never gone dry in more than 90 years and has always been considered some of the best drinking water in the area (so say the “old-timer” neighbors), leading credence to the quality and amount of water on the land
- Heartfelt resonance with the environment of the forest and pastures; the flowers, the trees, the streams, the birds, and the bees. They welcomed all wild animals to the farm in 1995 and promised a safe haven to drink, eat, and have fun and asked for safe haven from them, too. A third generation brood of about 31 turkeys now call this land their home
- South facing land for solar advantage and the benefit of its own watershed (ridges surround the land)
- Thankfulness for a verdant combination of various types of land: bottom land of healthy soil by the Creek for growing; pasture land for grazing and haying; tractor land for easy vehicle access; forest land for the embrace of so many different woods along with the fauna & flora; and mountain land for the depth of beauty that elevation offers
- Trees. Determination to remove as few trees and flora as possible in the construction of roads and home-sites. Here is a known list of trees at Mountain Meadows: White Oak, Red Oak, Silver Maple, Sugar Maple, Red Maple, Beech, Chestnut Oak, Iron Wood, Wild Cherry, Sourwood, Tulip Popular, Cucumber Popular, Slippery Elm, Hickory, Carolina Hemlock, White Pine, Yellow Pine, Black Pine, Evergreen, Cedar, Birch, Dogwood, Sassafras, Ash, Spicewood, Black Gum, Locust, Apple, Pear, Cherry, Black Walnut, White Walnut
- Saving as much of the pasture land as possible by constructing the entrance road, Mountain Meadows Lane, to the side of the property
- Protection of the soil and water resources by laying mulch on some of the banks, replenishing ground cover quickly, and placing the highest quality culverts in appropriate areas to move water efficiently and by non- erosive means
- Mulching stumps, brush, and unusable trees for some of the road banks
- Preserving and storing most of the trees 8″ or larger
- Most of the Meadows and pastures to remain open and unencumbered for visual beauty though garden use is welcome
- Saving Homeowners some money by designing and constructing driveways for 19 homes (rarely done in developments because of cost) to Turnarounds that provide ideal separation between home-sites along with ideal location and separation of wells and septic systems
- Pre-percolated 19 home-sites to guarantee minimum 3 bedroom home septic systems when building (approximately) at the Turnaround and to ensure recovery areas in the event septic systems need to be modified in the future. Due to prevailing conditions, additional perking may be required by the new owner.
- Mountain Meadows is the first subdivision in Madison County to “perk” the first time, according to the Madison County Health Department – this proves greater soil permeability, therefore better soil structure for growing food, along with less erosion
- Our road construction process (private roads in private subdivision) involved continually re-packing all dirt, laying heavy landscape cloth on the bottom of the roadway (where needed to reduce settling), placing the bigger two inch rock on top of the cloth and under the finish gravel in the areas where soil composition wouldn’t compact enough, adding adequate finish gravel, and ensuring that the best erosion control practices were always in place for the benefit of future Mountain Meadows Homeowners
- Hand seeding grass, fertilizer, and pelletized lime along with hydro-seeding on banks and on all the disturbed areas that weren’t mulched
- Common area of 5.4 acres, with most alongside Crooked Creek, for flower gardens, vegetable gardens, fruit orchards, a Poultry Patch for chickens and eggs, and a planned Pavilion & Patio gathering place & games
- Our Minimum standard is GreenBuilt NC or LEED Certified homes and all appliances to be Energy Star rated
- High speed Internet through Country Cable, Frontier telephone, and electric from French Broad Electric, all underground
- Respectful Covenants that protect against “excessive noise,” reduce outside light nuisance, minimize cutting of trees, and promote responsible participation in fees for road and common area maintenance (see SUMMARY of Covenants and Association Agreement)
- No maximum or minimum square footage (small is beautiful too) for homes