A living laboratory for a sustainable human future.

What Is Earthaven?

“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 and Diane Gilman
Ecovillages and Sustainable Communities, 1991

Founded in 1994, Earthaven is located on 329 acres in culturally rich, biologically diverse western North Carolina, about 45 minutes southeast of Asheville. We are dedicated to caring for people and the Earth by learning and demonstrating a holistic, sustainable culture.

Earthaven Ecovillage is located on the traditional lands of the Catawba and Cherokee (Tsalagi) people, who have stewarded this land since time immemorial. Living within our mission and vision statement is the goal of working “towards partnership culture, towards racial and gender equity, and against oppression in all its forms.” In support of this goal, and for our collective liberation, we are in the early stages of healing and being in right relationship with the local Catawba and Cherokee people.

Varying between 2000 and 2600 feet in elevation, our forested mountain land consists of three converging valleys with abundant streams and springs, flood plains, bottom land, and steeper ridge slopes.

In recent years, our community has consisted of about 75 adult residents and 25 children. We intend to become a village of at least 150 people on 56 homesites. As the village grows, we would like it to become more racially and culturally diverse. More Information.

Our permaculture site plan includes residential neighborhoods and compact business sites, as well as areas suitable for farms, 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 a growing number of free-standing and commonwall homes.

We govern ourselves with a consensus decision-making process and a Council and committee structure, with a Homeowners Association board. The HOA owns title to our common land, which we financed with private loans from members.

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.

Our small ecologically sound businesses include a permaculture plant nursery; carpentry and home construction; tool rental; solar system installation; plumbing and electrical installation; and consultants and courses in permaculture design, natural building, creating new ecovillages, herbal medicine, and women’s health. See Making a Living.

Earthaven is a living seed in which we store the best of our cultural heritage, and an incubator in which we will embrace our responsibility as humans during the impending chaos.

We will pass our mythology, technology, and community skills on to our extraordinary descendants, who will plant a polyculture of survival strategies and help cultivate a sustainable renaissance.

Through cultural exchange between tribes, they will create a world more abundant, beautiful, and peaceful than ours.

The success of our efforts today shall be measured in these terms.

—An inspirational statement written by a small group of members during our 2008 strategic planning process

Get an inside look at THREE Earthaven Ecovillage homes.

Sign up for the newlsetter and get an exclusive video tour.

* indicates required

Upcoming Events

Kimchi Rylander with the women who helped her prepare her end-of-life documents

Conscious Living, Conscious Dying — Preparing for the End of Life

FIVE FRIDAYS: 4-6 PM EST: NOV 12, 19, DEC 3, 10, 17

Contemplate important end-of-life questions and prepare the necessary documents in a supportive group process.

This workshop is based on our integrated village experience from several deaths in our ecovillage, help from our mentors, wisdom from the dying, and a synthesis of the celebrations of an intentional end-of-life process and challenges when papers aren’t in order. 

Virtual Earthaven Tour

Wednesday, December 8 @ 2 – 4 pm EDT

There’s nothing like experiencing ecovillage life first hand, but taking a virtual tour of Earthaven is a close second! 

The tour highlights ways in which Earthaven is striving to be a holistic, sustainable culture. The introductory overview tour examines the concept of sustainability at Earthaven through social, ecological, and economic lenses. Not only will you get a glimpse of what has worked through time, but also hear about what has been challenging. And you will have a chance to ask questions!

Flowing creek with statue at Earthaven Ecovillage

Nature as Medicine — Gaia and Your Health, Vitality, and Spiritual Unfoldment

FIVE MONDAYS: 3-5 EST: DEC 6, 13, 20, 27; JAN 3

Learn how to take care of your body in a way that enables spiritual unfoldment and supports joyful living.

As our lives have become more complicated and organized around technological advances, our health has faltered. This series will look at how interlinked the health of our bodies is with the health of Gaia, and the ways in which genuine healing can address both.

 

Earthaven Ecovillage Visitor Weekend

May 27-30, 2022

This service-learning program introduces participants in the community life of Earthaven Ecovillage. The class gives participants an inside look at the radical social and ecological experimentation that has taken place in this land-based community over the past 27 years.