Frequently Asked Questions
Structure of 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.
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.
Earthaven has about 75 adult residents and 25 children. We intend to become a village of at least 150 people on about 55 homesites.
Please see our weather page for current conditions, forecasts, and historical data.
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.
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.
No. We’re an aspiring ecovillage.
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.
We govern ourselves with a consensus decision-making process and a Council and guild structure. The HOA has a board.
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.
Yes! While Earthaven is not offering formal internships at this time, we have work exchange and apprenticeship opportunities through our members. See Live & Work.
No, Earthaven is an off-grid community and our community power system does not produce enough electricity to charge an electric car.
No, do not bring your pet to visit.
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.
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.
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.
In August 2022, Earthaven adopted a policy that only Provisional Members, Full Members, and HOA full members are welcome to apply to have a pet dog at Earthaven. This excludes visitors, renters, and New Roots from having a pet dog.
Indoor cats are allowed. A renter/New Root may have an indoor cat if their neighborhood agrees and their host takes responsibility for it remaining indoors.
Earthaven has historically been a community of majority middle-class, heteronormative white people, with variety and diversity in smaller numbers, and we want to be open about how we are growing and learning in these areas. Earthaven strives to create a welcoming environment for all who are in alignment with our mission and vision. In 2019, we added the following goal to our strategic plan: “To work towards partnership culture, towards racial and gender equity, and against oppression in all its forms.” See the Statement of Transparency.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, our local currency (sometimes referred to as CurrentSee) is called a Leap. Members exchange goods and services for Leaps, as well as barter and cash.
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 people of all genders to share natural and cultivated skills and talents in a respectful way that honors each individual’s interests and desires.
What will you find here at Earthaven? People being typical of people 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 all 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!
Yes! Parents collaborate on homeschool enrichment activities appropriate for their children.