Our Friends at Stone Mountain
by Peggy Austin
My family and I live as neighbors to Earthaven at a place called Stone Mountain. Over the last decade, nine families have built their homes here. Three years ago, when I first moved here, there were twelve children on our road. Now there are seventeen.
The location is great for walking by trail to the four connected communities in this valley and the attraction of one family after another to this land has created a series of “unintentional” communities around Earthaven. My most immediate neighbor is my sister, which makes living here even more worthwhile.
Before moving here, I lived at Earthaven for five years, single, but having a vision of “family life”—not nuclear family but birthing a child within community. I learned many essentials during my time there but for many reasons decided to move nearby.
Last year, I fell in love and we brought a child, Heron, into the world. Heron is one of eight children who arrived within the larger community last year. As there had been a long dry spell with no children being born at Earthaven for many years, some believed it would continue that way. Even now more babies are on their way as they serve to strengthen the roots of our collective community.
To my great delight, I have been living my dream to design and steward a permaculture farm, build a home, and raise a child with a partner in community. My goal has been to bring back the important traditions of farming with natural rhythms, physical and mental health by eating whole foods (thus avoiding the trash that processed foods leave inside and outside the body), conscious childrearing and birthing.
Peggy Austin grew up in Yellow Springs, OH, studied architecture and natural building at Pratt Art Institute in Brooklyn, University of Texas at Austin, and San Diego City College. Peggy moved to Earthaven in 2003 and then moved nearby three years ago. She is enjoying motherhood and finishing her home with her partner and many helpful friends.