October 6, 2021 - What makes Kaluna a unique retreat destination?
After years of relying on farm production to support our family, we began hosting guests on our farm in 2017. In the 5 years since our start, we have had the pleasure of welcoming hundreds of families and outdoors enthusiasts. What began as an experiment with income diversification, has become a unique business model that helps support our family and our love of life on the land. It has also afforded us the opportunity to share our land and our way of life with our guests.
Our 92-acre family property is a diverse mix of forested land, riparian zones, pasture and gardens. We are committed to being conscious stewards of the land, which has been farmed using organic practices for 20+ years. Over time, we have seen a dramatic increase in the quality of our soils and watershed, as well as an increase in the diversity of wildlife who call our farm home. The richness of the ecosystem is palpable to all who visit and immediately restores the sense of wellbeing that is often undermined by the rigors of modern life.
Since the beginning, we have found that our proximity (relative to Atlanta and other major cities in the Southeast) makes our farm a popular destination for those seeking mountain adventures or a break from the routines of daily living. Despite the increase in the number of vacation rentals in our area, we continue to see a trend of increased bookings, occupancy rates and return guests. We believe the reason for our success is not just found in the location of our farm. It is also the result of our unique rentals, ecological stewardship of our land and a personal approach to hospitality that isn’t found anywhere other than Kaluna Farm Retreat.
After living on land for the majority of our adult lives, my husband Ben and I have a deep understanding of the importance of sense of place and its relevance to the human experience. In essence, it is the lens through which people perceive and find meaning from their personal life experiences. The ever changing, innately tranquil and nurturing qualities of our farm offer each guest a unique opportunity to engage their senses in a positive and meaningful way.
The dynamic scenery of our farm is one of the first pathways for our guests to connect with the land. It begins with trading the pavement for our long (and mostly) gravel driveway. The pace slows as the road meanders through the canopy of a diverse forest. Upon reaching the bottoms of our mountain valley, the landscape opens to a scene that is described by many as “bucolic.” Each day and each season offer a different view of the farm, but the raw natural beauty is a constant.
The sounds of our farm are another way that guests can immediately relate. Like the scenery, the sounds change throughout the seasons. At present, the crickets are a constant companion as they sing their songs throughout the day. Numerous bird species, including native song birds, owls and our egg-laying chickens, can also be heard throughout the day. There is also the sound of gently babbling water, as multiple creeks gracefully flow through the farm.
Taste and smell go hand in hand in a place that caters to local, seasonal eating. There are many unique perennial plants and food-bearing crops throughout our property, both wild and cultivated. We grow a diverse set of vegetables, fruits and herbs, which feed our family and local community. Guests also have the opportunity to purchase fresh produce, fermented foods, fruit preserves & herbal remedies, that are grown and produced on our farm. Throughout the year, produce and product availability is always changing, which adds an exciting element to meal preparation.
Last, but not least, is the sense of touch. Taking the time to feel the warmth of the rising sun, while enjoying a cup of morning coffee outdoors is often high on the list of things to do for our guests. The feel of a cool, gentle breeze on a warm day, thick dew on the grass in the mornings/evenings, or the refreshing sensation of wading in the spring-fed creeks are also ways that guests can get a true feel of our home.
A visit to our farm, though fleeting for many of our guests, is sure to engage the senses, refresh the spirit and leave a lasting impression. Book one of our spaces today and experience the magic that makes Kaluna Farm Retreat special.