“I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer,
who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”
― Paul Newman
Imagine Full Sustainability
100% self-sustainability for any business is darn near impossible, but we have some pretty hefty goals that drive our daily decisions as well as our long term strategies. In fact, we have created our own Sustainability Standards to adhere to, which break down into 9 elements: Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Nourishment, Movement, Mind, Energy and Materials. We are pulling from some of the more enlightened programs such as LEED, Living Building, and WELL. Read on to see the first published draft of our Sustainability Standards. Please feel free to reach out and let us know if you have any other suggestions or ideas on this plan. Our goal is to continually strive for the unattainable 100%, and we appreciate any ideas and thoughts from our community.
NO SMOKING TOBACCO
VENTILATION & FILTRATION
AIRFLOW & PREVAILING WINDS
NO SMOKING TOBACCO: In order to provide a clean air environment to our patrons, smoking tobacco indoors is prohibited and outdoors is only allowed in designated areas that are clearly marked.
VENTILATION & FILTRATION: Our restaurant will utilize a split system heat pump that extracts heat from the air just like a geothermal system does, as well as in reverse. In addition, we utilize ultra allergen air filters from 3M to ensure clean, pollen free environment indoors.
AIRFLOW & PREVAILING WINDS: In order to encourage the flow of fresh air through our structures, all of our windows are operable. When ambient temperatures are highly comfortable, we design our spaces to have large openings to maximize the interaction with fresh air.
CLEAN WATER TREATMENT
COLLECTION: We are integrating rooftop water catchment systems that will help support our irrigation needs.
CLEAN WATER TREATMENT: In order to provide the cleanest and purest water possible, all fresh water is filtered through an ultraviolet process as opposed to the use of chlorine or other chemical treatements. Our UV filtration system is the second system of its kind to be approved in the state of Montana.
CONSERVATION: In order to conserve water, we use low flow fixtures in all of our restrooms.
MONITORING: We have our own well and operate it as a public water source. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has strict regular testing requirements that require us to send water samples to the State Environmental Laboratory for Drinking Water Compliance testing in accordance with EPA and State regulations.Once the system is approved & installed, we will begin posting our annual test results here.
DISPOSAL: Our onsite wastewater system treats all water on property and safely returns it to the ground. Our system was designed so that in the case that our demand grows to a certain capacity, we can add a phase II treatment wetlands system. A wetland engineered system uses natural functions vegetation, soil, and organisms to treat wastewater.
HEATING & COOLING
ORGANIC GARDENS: Our mid term goal is to obtain our Organic Certification for our gardens and produce. For the near-term, we are going to operate under a self governed organic plan that adheres to all of the rules set forth buy the Organic Certification Program. Please click here to see more details on our published organic gardening report by year. We believe that the Organic Certification Program deserves all of the credit for this amazing consumer trend and forced transparency of producers to avoid unethical practices. This has created widespread knowledge and supporting industry products to support organic production accross our country and the world. We also believe and wish to educate the public that with these best practices now established, small farmers can follow our lead and begin their self governed programs based on transparency and regular publishing.
RECYCLING: We provide labeled recycling receptacles next to all waste receptacles. The recycling company we use is able to recycle: Glass, Cardboard, Mixed Paper, Aluminum, Tin Cans and Plastic Containers #1-7.
HEATING & COOLING: We utilize heat pumps to condition the temperature of our air in our primary buildings and all appliances operate from electricity with zero fossil fuels.
COMPOSTING: We provide labeled compost receptacles next to all waste receptacles and in all of our cooking areas. We compost or feed our animals 100% of the organic food waste we and our guests generate. Our composting program leverages on site aerobic composting.
PERMACULTURE: Our gardens are designed to live in a harmonious balance through permaculture design practices. Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive systems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of the landscape with people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.
PLASTICS: We do not purchase or allow any of the following plastic consumable/single use items; flatware, plates, cups, bowls, straws, balloons or any other plastic consumables.
WASTE: We provide labeled trash receptacles for all waste destined for the local landfill and minimize all waste that is destined for the landfill through our recycling and composting programs as described above. All trash is deposited in a landfill by Republic Services.
FUEL: We use wood fire to cook nearly all of our food. Some of our food is cooked with electricity, but no fossil fuels are used in the cooking of our food. Our ancestors cooked over fire and we believe that in order to truly unveil the flavors hidden in foods, they must be kissed by fire.
LIGHTING: All lighting is LED throughout the entire property, but when the conditions are safe, we use fire for lighting in our fireplaces and fire pits throughout the property. All interior lighting is automatically adjusted in oder to support the natural circidian rythm.
WARMTH: When the conditions are safe, we use fire for warmth in our fireplaces and fire pits throughout the property. We only burn locally sourced woods. For heating our spaces, we only use electrical heating solutions as opposed to gas or other fossil fuels. Initially, as we implement new green technology to heat our tents when in use, we are using a limited amount of natural gas.
ONSITE FOOD PRODUCTION
ONSITE FOOD PRODUCTION: Our goal is to grow 100% of the produce we consume on site. We will obtain this by having our farm manager and restaurant manager work very closely to optimize our produce through menu adaptations and specials. Also, we leverage a large greenhouse to grow produce year around as well as a root cellar to extend the life of certain fruits and vegetables. When we must purchase produce, we only do so from farms within a 25 mile radius.
ARTIFICIAL INGREDIENTS: We prohibit the use of any artificial ingredients in the preparation of any of our foods.
SPECIAL DIETS: In order to accommodate special diets, we will offer multiple gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian menu offerings at our restaurant.
LOCAL SOURCING: Other than our produce grown on site, there are other ingredients that we must source. For breads, meats and cheeses, we stay within 25 miles. For liquor and beer, we stay within the great state of Montana. For wine, we source within 800 miles. All other dry goods are sourced within 500 miles.
YOGA & WELLNESS
YOGA & WELLNESS: Our tipi yoga shala hosts weekly yoga classes during the summer and fall months as well as occasional yoga and wellness workshops. Our meditation island is a natural space with benches made from fallen trees on the property.
WALKING: Our property includes an abundance of walking paths and trails that guests are encouraged to explore. We will also have a labrynth for meditative walking.
GARDENING: We encourage the community to take part in our gardens as gardening is a great way to not only enjoy the outdoors but to also stay active. Through our Farm Club, volunteers can be a part of the team that operate our gardens in exchange for free produce.
WINTER ACTIVITIES: In our geographic climate, it is imperative to stay active over the cold winter months. We provide a convenient location for our guests to cross country ski on our trail system as well as an ice skating rink on our pond.
ACCESS TO NATURE
ADULT EDUCATION: We maintain a calendar of adult educational events that focus on yoga, wellness, permaculture gardening and culinary training.
CHILDREN'S EDUCATION: We maintain a calendar of childrens camps during the summer that combines fun activities with educational focus on nature, yoga, food and gardening.
ACCESS TO NATURE: We believe and fully support the 'Biophilia Hypothesis' that suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. Our property is designed to surround our guests with the natural environment and embrace the outdoors and earth elements.
RESPONSIBLE ENERGY USE
ENERGY PRODUCTION: Our long term commitment is to produce 100% of our energy consumption by creating three different energy generation resources on property: wind, solar and hydro. Solar panals will be used as shade structures in the parking areas. Hydrogereration will be facilitated by a modification of the waterfall on Cottonwood Creek. A small windmill will be placed in a logical location. Currently, we derive all of our energy from NorthWest Energy and you can see their generation resources here: http://www.northwesternenergy.com/our-company/about-us/where-your-energy-comes-from
FOSSIL FUELS: We purchase biodiesel for our tractor. No other fossil fuels are used on our farm other than by the visitors and vendors that choose to use fossil fueled vehicles.
RESPONSIBLE ENERGY USE: LED lights will be utilized in all lighting. Landscape lighting is provided through solar powered LED lights. In our restaurant, we use a heat recovery ventilator, which captures outgoing heat to pre-condition the incoming ventilation air to decrease energy demands.
CARBON REDUCTION: We offset all company air travel through TerraPass. We have planted or facilitated the growth of hundreds of new trees on our property by protecting reclamation areas previously overgrazed by livestock.
MATERIAL REPURPOSING / UPCYCLING
RESPONSIBLE MATERIALS: As we begin construction on our new buildings, we will update this section to further describe the materials we use in our new construction projects. We will utilize an alternative building material called HempWool®. HempWool® is a sustainable, bio-based insulating material with a low carbon footprint that we believe will have a huge impact on building trends in our country & we look forward to educating the public on this product.
CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS: All of our parking lots, roads, pathways and patios are created with mostly gravel that we were able to obtain from our property. All of the landscaping stones and stone work come from rocks gathered from our property. Deadfall trunks are converted into benches and planters you see around the property.
MATERIAL REPURPOSING / UPCYCLING: After purchasing our property, we carefully dismantled five dilapidated wooden structures, salvaging nearly all of the materials. We saved and de-nailed all reusable wood and lumber. We maintained the integrity of all metal roofing so it can be re-used. We saved and repaired all reusable hardware and fixtures. We recycled all unusable metal including all nails, screws, and hardware. As we begin construction on our new buildings, we will update the 'Responsible Materials' section to further describe the materials we use in those projects.