Frequently Asked Questions

Structure of Earthaven

Where is Earthaven?

We’re located in the culturally rich, biologically diverse mountains of western North Carolina–part of the Katuah Bioregion–about 45 minutes southeast of Asheville. For further details see Directions.

What is Your Land Like? How Many Acres?

Our 329 acres of forested mountain land consists of three converging valleys with abundant streams and springs, flood plains, bottom land, and steeper ridge slopes, varying between 2000 and 2600 feet in elevation. Our site plan includes areas for residential neighborhoods and compact business sites, as well as areas suitable for agriculture sites, orchards, market gardens, and wetlands.

Much of Earthaven is still under construction. Physical infrastructure so far includes roads, footpaths, bridges, campgrounds, ponds, constructed wetlands, off-grid power systems, farms and gardens, our Council Hall, a kitchen-dining room, many small dwellings, and several full-sized homes and multi-family dwellings.

How Many People?

Earthaven has about 75 adult residents and 25 children. We intend to become a village of at least 150 people on about 55 homesites.

What is the Weather like?

Please see our weather page for current conditions, forecasts, and historical data.

What is your Mission and Purpose? What are your Values?

Our mission is to create a village which is a living laboratory and educational seed bank for a sustainable human future. Our vision is: “In the midst of planetary change the Earthaven experiment helps inform and inspire a global flowering of bioregionally appropriate cultures.” We hope to become empowered, responsible, and ecologically literate citizens, modeling bioregionally appropriate culture for our time and place. We value sustainable ecological systems, permaculture design, elegant simplicity, right livelihood, and healthy social relations. We are spiritually diverse. We have both vegetarians and omnivores; some members raise livestock.

What is an Ecovillage?

We like Robert and Diane Gilman’s definition: “Ecovillages are human-scale, full-featured settlements in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world in a way that is supportive of healthy human development, and which can be successfully continued into the indefinite future.” Robert has more recently stated that the definition should specify that an ecovillage must have multiple centers of initiative.

Are you an Ecovillage yet?

No. We’re an aspiring ecovillage.

Who owns the land?

We own title to our common land through a Homeowners Association (HOA). Our residential areas are organized into Pods and each Pod owns the land for its Parcel.

How do you make decisions?

We govern ourselves with a consensus decision-making process and a Council and guild structure. The HOA has a board.

Visiting

Do you host visitors?

Yes! Please call first to make a reservation (please don’t arrive here without contacting us first)! We offer tours every other Saturday. We do not currently offer overnight accommodations. See Visiting.

Do you have internships or work exchange opportunities?

Yes! While Earthaven is not offering formal internships at this time, we have work exchange and apprenticeship opportunities through our members. See Live & Work.

Can I charge my electric car while visiting Earthaven?

No, Earthaven is an off-grid community and our community power system does not produce enough electricity to charge an electric car.

Can I bring my Pet to visit?

No, do not bring your pet to visit.

Joining Earthaven

Is Earthaven seeking new members?

Yes. We’re seeking hardworking, visionary people of all kinds to join us in creating our ecovillage dream–including (but not limited to) organic growers and raisers of livestock, people with mechanical and engineering skills, healers, artists, and young families with children. See Membership.

What does it cost to join?

There is a one-time Joining Fee and a one‑time Commons fee. See What it Costs. Our annual dues and fees currently range between about $800 and $1,100 a year, depending on the facilities used and whether or not a member has a car on the land. Each Pod has its own membership process and fees. See Membership.

How do people make a living at Earthaven?

We encourage small, ecologically sound businesses at Earthaven. So far these include a permaculture plant nursery; carpentry and home construction services; tool rental; solar system installation; plumbing and electrical installation; and consultants and courses. See Making a Living.

Are Pets Welcome?

It depends. It’s possible to have a dog or cat at Earthaven; however, we do have restrictions on pets. While Full Members may have dogs or cats on their homesites under certain conditions, New Roots may not have a dog or cat unless a Full Member takes full responsibility for it. A Provisional Member who wants to bring a pet to Earthaven must get permission from the Pod and comply with all rules regarding pets in Pods and in common areas.

Beliefs and Culture

Does Earthaven have a spiritual practice?

We don’t have a single, community-wide spiritual practice. Rather, various individuals celebrate Spirit (or don’t) as they wish. What many of us have in common is a reverence for the Earth and our land, and the belief that our land is alive and conscious and it’s our sacred duty to honor and care for it. See Spirit and Culture at Earthaven.

Do you share meals as a community?

Yes and no. Some residents are members of the Hut Hamlet, Medicine Wheel, or Village Terrace neighborhood kitchens, sharing meals and food expenses with other members of those neighborhood kitchens; some members cook their own meals in their homes. Once a week (and sometimes more) Earthaven residents and neighbors gather for potlucks, including a cook-out every Tuesday. Members hope to construct a community-wide kitchen and dining room building. See Spirit and Culture at Earthaven.

Are you Vegetarians?

We have many diet choices at Earthaven. Some are vegetarians; some have been vegans; most are omnivores. Some members raise livestock. We encourage our members to buy organic, locally grown or raised food. See Spirit and Culture at Earthaven.

Does Earthaven support cultural transformation around gender roles and feminism?

Yes, Earthaveners generally share values around the independence and autonomy of women (as well as the interdependence of all of us); the appropriateness of deep feeling and flexible emotions in men; and the opportunity for women and men to share natural and cultivated skills and talents in a respectful way that honors each individual’s interests and desires. See Women and Men at Earthaven.
What will you find here at Earthaven? Men and women being typical of men and women everywhere, yet also highly creative and experimental in thought and action. Support exists here for traditional families and non-traditional relationships, and the expectation that the two will exist well side by side. It’s especially when we travel into the mainstream that most of us return with renewed appreciation for how much room to grow and be truly ourselves Earthaven culture allows us!

Do homeschooling families at Earthaven do enrichment activities together?

 Yes! Parents collaborate on homeschool enrichment activities appropriate for their children.

These are exciting, turning-point years for Earthaven!

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Mailing Address

Earthaven Ecovillage
5 Consensus Circle
Black Mountain, NC 28711

Get In Touch

About Us

Earthaven is an aspiring ecovillage in a mountain forest setting near Asheville, North Carolina. We are dedicated to caring for people and the Earth by learning, living, and demonstrating a holistic, sustainable culture.

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