Interview with Brandon Greenstein – Neighbor, friend, and former member
by Arjuna da Silva
Brandon came to Earthaven in 1998 in pursuit of meaningful connection to Earth and Spirit. “When I discovered permaculture in Communities magazine, I realized organic farming, natural building and ecovillage lifestyle were what I was after.”
The following year, he returned to Earthaven with his partner, Brandi, and her daughter, Aurora. Along with two other young families, they settled into the pioneer life. “I wanted to live with people taking responsibility for our individual and collective impact on the world—socially, politically, energetically, spiritually. Also,” he admits, “I came for the Hut Hamlet, as unkempt as it was, because it felt like a fairy-tale place. It still does!”
“I got what I came for and a whole lot more: I got an education. Though I had the permaculture concept, I’d never reckoned with what it takes to build a house or create a farm from a standing forest, let alone provide infrastructure for a neighborhood. I learned so much about so many systems we all depend on.”
“What I learned at Earthaven, I maintain as a focus in my life. Being able to assist people in managing power and other home systems is a way of being of service that nourishes me. The lifestyles here represent many of my priorities, and my love and appreciation for the diversity of people has helped me work things out with most everyone.”
Though now living up the road, Brandon is an active part of Earthaven in many ways, meeting social and work-related needs among the members and community at large. He probably visits more neighborhoods in a single day than any resident.