THE ATTRACTION OF BEING “OUTSIDE”

What Chris McCurry, Bark House, sees at Appalachian Trailhead
Saturday morning found me moving quickly through a little-known mountain pass that connects North Carolina to Tennessee.  The pavement has never met across state lines, and to this day, a strip of gravel poses special challenges in wet or dry weather.  This narrow road climbs from the valley floor to a pinnacle point where the … Continued

The Bark House Legacy – est 1990

Bark House Natural Bark Products: Trees
Bark House founders wanted to increase the vitality of the Appalachian Region that they call home.  This would require creating livelihoods for people born of a gentle culture that revered nature.  The work had to honor ancient traditions and values of the whole-community, something that local people could take pride in.  Growing its viability would … Continued

Finding Grace In A Changing Environment

The Bark House: McCurry Farm in Winter
At dawn I headed out to feed the animals.  On cold January mornings its particularly important for the horses because eating the hay warms them.  In the dim light, I was having an internal dialog about the efficiency of movement in space.  I have been planning a remodel and eventual addition to the old farm … Continued

The Laurel of Asheville

From the article: Highland Craftsmen Repurposes Unwanted Tree Bark When they started fashioning tree bark into decorative wall coverings two and a half decades ago, Chris and Marty McCurry were not seeking to merely carve out a niche in the design world.  Instead, the innovative couple built what was to become a venerable Western North … Continued

What 8th Graders Know

  At the end of September, The Bark House participated in a river sweep with the Toe River Valley Coalition and Mrs. Sirois 8th grade Science class.     Some of the things that the students discovered were: Whoever made kayaking “a thing” was pretty smart. “This” does not belong in the river. I got … Continued

B Corp Best for the World x 10

The Bark House® at Highland Craftsmen, Inc.® is honored in the Best for Community list for 2016, which includes businesses that earned a Community score in the top 10 percent of more than 1,800 Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment . The full assessment measures a company’s impact on its workers, community, customers and the environment. … Continued

Centennial Celebration – 100 Years of NC State Parks

Throughout 2016, North Carolina’s state parks system will celebrate its centennial . One of the nation’s first state parks was created 100 years ago at the summit of Mount Mitchell, and since then, the system has grown to nearly a quarter-million acres set aside for conservation, recreation and education. The occasion offers North Carolinians an opportunity to celebrate this achievement and to rededicate themselves … Continued

Designing a Business – Inspired By Nature Part 3

Water Stewardship No water is used in the manufacturing of Bark House® Poplar Bark Shingles and Wall Coverings.  This is a big deal given that the Industry sector uses 5% of US fresh-water according to the EPA  and the manufacturing of wood is a major part of that.   The US Department of Interior Geological Survey website states:  “The industries that produce metals, wood and paper products, chemicals, gasoline … Continued

Mountain Mist at 6,683 Feet

There are reasons for the lore that surrounds mountain life.  Just like the mists that shroud us at high elevations, the mystery of life unfolds to the quiet observer and through the biggest of characters. It seems illogical that a group of people who work together – especially the long hours we put in during … Continued