Making a Living

Earthaven is an independent-income community, which means each community member is responsible for earning their own living. Below are some of our businesses and other ways some of our members earn a living.

We are in the process of developing our own village-scale economy, and so encourage Earthaven members to make a living here in the village, by operating their own small-scale ecologically sound businesses, by hiring each other whenever possible, or by telecommuting to outside jobs. We also encourage members, when possible, to invest in other members’ homesite development projects and businesses. We would someday like to establish our own small credit union, through which we could deposit funds and make loans to our members for homesites, home construction, on-site business development, and so on.

Meanwhile, many of our members do earn a living here at Earthaven, often with various part-time incomes.

Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community. Written by Earthaven member Diana Leafe Christian with a chapter by longtime Earthaven member Sue Stone. Based on personal experiences of community seekers and communities seeking new members, the book includes how to research communities online; find those that match your vision, values, preferred climate and location, employment needs, and affordability needs; get the most out of your community visits; intelligently evaluate what you’ve seen; and join your chosen community gracefully. Published by New Society Publishers, 2007. Available from independent booksellers, locally or online, or from New Society Publishers.

School of Integrated Living (SOIL) teaches whole-life skills aimed at cultivating self-reliant, interdependent, and nature-connected people who are deeply engaged in their local and global communities. We bring together an experienced team of permaculture practitioners, conscious communicators, and unconventional leaders to provide classes that transform participants' inner and outer worlds. Based at Earthaven, SOIL has the unique ability to host hands-on, skill-building learning journeys, in which participants learn to make informed and responsible choices for their basic needs, understand their impact on society, forge real connections with themselves and others, and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable and just world for all. 

Sunworks Electric specializes in off-grid and grid-tied with battery back-up power systems, as well as conventional electrical services. Sunworks is owned and operated by Chris Farmer, an Earthaven Member, who has lived off-grid for over 20 years, and on sunny days can run his welder and plasma cutter on his off-grid solar system. Learn more about their work and team on their website. Available for start to finish services as well as professional consultations.

Useful Plants Nursery. Lyndon Felps. Hardy perennial trees, shrubs, vines, and herbaceous perennials for food, medicine, and other uses, specifically adapted for soil and climatic conditions of the Katuah Bioregion and surrounding regions. www.usefulplants.org; 828-669-6517.

Village Arts Co-op (Furniture Magician and Menagerie Woodworking). Paul and Rob have over 75 combined years of building custom furniture, restoring and refurbishing antiques, and repairing damaged furniture. Their workshop is powered by a micro-hydro system. During the 1990s, founder Paul Caron helped design and build many of the buildings at Earthaven. In the early 2000s, construction of the Village Arts Building began. Current renovations will culminate in the creation of the Village Arts Co-op--including ceramics, woodworking and other artisanal trades. An apprenticeship program is available under master woodworker, Paul Caron. furnituremagician.com. Contact 

Teachers and Consultants

A number of Earthaven members make their living by teaching classes on various aspects of natural and community living, and by offering consulting services. The skills these experienced and visionary teachers brought to Earthaven are part of what makes Earthaven the success it is today. Nationally recognized, most of these teachers offer their services both at Earthaven and at other locations.

Diana Leafe Christian

Diana Leafe Christian. Sociocracy Training, “N St. Consensus” Training, Community Consulting. Author, Creating a Life Together and Finding Community. Consulting and workshops: (1) Creating successful new ecovillages and other kinds of intentional communities. (2) Effective self-governance methods (Sociocracy, N St. Consensus Method). (3) Ecovillage projects worldwide. www.DianaLeafeChristian.org; 828-669-9702; .

Mollie Curry

Natural Building. Mollie has been teaching natural building since 1998, including cob, strawbale, straw-clay, wattle and daub, and earth- and lime-based plasters and paints. Consults and contracts home-building projects, with a special focus on natural paints and plasters. Teaches natural building at Earthaven and regionally, with MudStrawLove. 828-775-4823.

Arjuna da Silva

Consensus Training. Sixteen years’ training folks and facilitating consensus and group processes. A recent testimonial: “We were impressed with Arjuna’s capacity to assess the group, ask the right questions, and deliver the required information in a way most useful for the group.” TL/GVP. References available. 828‑669‑0114; .

Steve Torma

Compassionate Communication and Body-centered Psychotherapy Training and Counseling. Twenty-five years’ experience leading personal growth workshops, integrating ideas and practices from sources including Body Electric School, The Body Sacred, Radical Honesty, and Nonviolent Communication. Certified Cuddle Party facilitator. Training and counseling for individuals, couples, and groups. 828‑664‑0628. ; theREALcenter.org.

Corinna Wood

Herbal Medicine and Women’s Health. Director of Southeast Wise Women and founder of Red Moon Herbs, Corinna has opened the hearts of thousands to the wisdom of the plants, the earth, and their own bodies. Specializes in herbal medicine, women’s health and NVC, based in the Wise Woman Tradition of honoring women and the Earth. www.sewisewomen.com.

Other Goods and Services at Earthaven

Alternative Electric and Water Systems. 

  • Sunworks Electric.
  • Greg Geis, alternativesystems~at~bellsouth.net.
  • Darren Geffert, kudzubasket~at~aol.com.

Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities (New Society Publishers, 2003).Diana Leafe Christian. Available from intentional communities store.

Earthmoving. Paul Caron. 828-669-4625. 

Energy Efficient Appliances. Greg Geis, alternativesystems~at~bellsouth.net.

Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community (New Society Publishers, 2007). Diana Leafe Christian. Available from intentional communities store.

Fine Woodworking. Furniture Magician. Paul Caron. 828-669-4625.

Hypnotherapy. Arjuna Da Silva. 828-669-0114; arjuna~AT~earthaven.org.

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Earthaven Ecovillage
5 Consensus Circle
Black Mountain, NC 28711

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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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