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Centered in the oldest mountains on the planet, Asheville, NC is considered one of the greenest towns in the United States. Find out why….not from a brochure, but directly from the people who are making it happen. Ashevillage Tours are guided and personalized, exploring the greenest projects and people Asheville has to offer.

Please join us! Walk through the homes and gardens of people on the leading edge of natural living. Visit their flourishing edible landscapes. Taste fresh herbs and homemade fermented treats. Explore beautiful hand-sculpted earthen buildings and meet the designers who created them. Discover how you can use these innovative practices in your own home after experiencing them firsthand, and explore other examples of sustainability in action. Check out urban homesteads, community gardens, and more. At the end of your tour, your guide will provide a list of local hot spots, organic restaurants, cafes, and more.

GardenLoveFeatured Tour options

Site A) The Ashevillage Sanctuary Permaculture Demonstration Site: A 1.33 acre eco-urban paradise of edible landscapes; gravity-fed rainwater ponds; recycled courtyard ampi-theatre; earthen retrofitted homes; and a woodland sanctuary connected to 60 acres of trails. Meet our staff and residents.

Join Ashevillage Sanctuary Site Director for a hands-on, interactive, tour that encourages kids to smell and taste some of our edible plants, hold the red wiggler worms while learning about compost systems, and much more. Open to kids of all ages with parents. $10/child, $15/adult, includes fresh mint to take home! The tour will take place rain or shine.

Site B) Bixby Cottage: The first modern earthen building in the state of North Carolina. Built in 1998. This sweet little hand-sculpted cob dwelling features beautiful arches, niches, and a mud bench. We’re talking 100% local red dirt, straw and sand.

Site C) Pearson Community Garden: Imagine turning an old dumping ground into a thriving source of healthy food and community gatherings. Pearson Garden has been around for several decades. Featuring two earthen-built structures, a large meeting pavilion, dry toilet, organic gardens, bees, a greenhouse, and a tiny natural pond.

Site D) Yardie Homesteads: What are people doing in their own backyards to grow food, harvest water, save energy, and live the good life? Visit any of five of Asheville’s living laboratories, aka: urban backyards + vision + action.

Site E) Vance Elementary School: Teachers, students and parents at this public school encourage growing food and being outside. Gardens, chickens and bees, compost and mud structures…all are student created. They even built a wood-fired baking to make homemade pizza!

Site F) Green Sage Cafe or Sunny Point Cafe: Learn about how the greenest restaurants in Asheville set up their extensive recycling and compost systems, energy systems, and food-sourcing.

Tour Guides

Janell Kapoor1Founder, Designer & Chief VisionaryJanell Kapoor is the founding director of the Ashevillage Institute and Kleiwerks International. She is an avid mud mama, international activist, designer, teacher, and community organizer who’s work has generated natural building movements of hundreds of thousands of people from over 52 countries. Janell led the first earthen building trainings in Thailand, Argentina and Turkey. Many of her students have established natural building and permaculture education centers, businesses and collectives, programs and projects, as well as regional legislation reform and documentary films, including El barro Las manos La Casa. Janell has been featured in numerous articles, radio shows, and in the documentary, First Earth: Uncompromising Ecological Architecture. In 1998, she built the first modern earthen building in the Southeastern United States. Janell has been enjoying her home in the oldest mountains on the planet since 1996. She currently lives at the Ashevillage Sanctuary.

Kate HanfordAshevillage Sanctuary Garden Manager: Kate Hanford is a farmer and a local foods advocate. Passionate about contributing to thriving local foods systems, she focuses on creating ecologically and financially viable farm systems. Kate was the Marketing & Production Manager at Growing Power, an international urban farming training center in Wisconsin, where she led sales, workshops on mushroom cultivation and year-round vegetable production, as well as oversaw maintenance of the large-scale vermicompost, compost and aquaponics systems. Kate was also Production Manager at a herb farm, where she tended perennial gardens and co-created a medicinal value-added herbal product line. 

Tour Packages & Fees

We have suggested package tours, but if you prefer something else, please let us know. We will be happy to customize a tour to meet your needs. Tours begin between 10am – 1pm, Monday thru Saturday. For off-site tours, your guide will travel with you in your vehicle.

Tour Options Personal/Small Group Tours (Minimum 6 people or
equivalent in tour fee)
School/Organizational Tours (Minimum 15 people or
equivalent in tour fee)
1.5 hour – Site A:
Visit our eco-urban demonstration site

$12.50/person

$10/person

3 hour – Sites A, B and C:
Includes the above + 1 earthen building
+1 community garden OR 1 school project

$25/person

$15/person

Full day – Sites A, B, C, D, E, and F:
Includes the above + more sites
$65/person $25/person

Reservations

Tours are by reservation only. To make a reservation or for questions, please contact tours@ashevillage.org. Please give as much advance notice as possible- at least a week is ideal.

A $50 nonrefundable deposit is needed to book a group tour.
Payments can be made via check or cash.
Tour proceeds support local solutions in action.

We want to hear from you

Please let us know how we can serve you further. If you are interested in a workshop or consultation, let us know.