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Early Autumn 2012 Newsletter

Celebrating in Community

by Sue Stone

I wanted my 70th birthday to be a gift to myself, as well as to my community, and to celebrate it with my friends here at Earthaven. It began with a work party and open house, then a potluck and celebration.


So many people came to help. I was amazed by how much work got done here at our Earthship, and by the joy and generosity of those who participated. Two members, Bob and Alice, came a day early to prepare our tool shed for painting. The day of the party, the shed was painted, railings and stairs were sanded and treated, firewood was collected and stacked and flower beds were weeded.


One work exchanger, Deb, dug a ditch along the front of the house so Geoff could repair the stucco, and another, Lindsay, entertained our two grandchildren, taking them to the orchard to pick strawberries.


People kept coming with small gifts and food for the dinner, and the day ended with songs and hugs and Eli’s famous carrot cake.


It was a wonderful way to celebrate a milestone birthday, and a reminder of the many benefits of living in community. Several people said, “We should do this more often. Who is next?”


Sue Stone and her husband Geoff have lived at Earthaven since 1999. Sue has served the community in many leadership and committee positions, in addition to helping Geoff build their 1200 sq. ft. Earthship. She also enjoys gardening, reading and playing piano, and her passion is creating beauty.

Steve Torma ~

Keeper of the Flame

by Debbie Lienhart

“My whole life has been leading toward me doing this role.”


Steve Torma is guiding Earthaven through the awkward teen years as Earthaven’s FireKeeper. As FireKeeper, Steve seeks to honor and value the community history while accepting change and valuing transformation.


Steve has a strong appreciation for “the value of the group mind and synergy of the collective intelligence.” As FireKeeper, he is the leader of the FireKeeper Orbo, which is responsible for the overall well-being of the community, including peace, safety, spirit, and community process, and he is also the President of the homeowner’s association. He is supported in this role by his co-FireKeeper, Kimchi Rylander, and a committee of FireTenders.


See the full blog entry.


Steve offers classes and consulting through the REAL Center.




Debbie has been a full member at Earthaven since January 2009. She lives in the Village Terraces neighborhood with her husband Bob and their two fuzzy cats. She is a co-owner and nursery manager for Useful Plants Nursery, and also does some technical writing and website development.

Eye Thrive

by Karen Savage Taylor

Running my own healing and teaching business (Eye Thrive), partially from Earthaven, partially from Asheville, has its perks and pitfalls.


I practice Bio-Optic Holography, a healing modality that combines iridology, body language and word pattern translations, Nutrition-As-It-Relates-to-Consciousness, and Law-of-Attraction Techniques. I also teach various healing classes in scientific/spiritual self-healing.


And I adore it! This, along with the task (and privilege) of juggling the homeschooling of my 8-year-old son, Aura, and my involvement in my village community, can be tricky. Yet I'm doing exactly what I choose to be doingmy highest choice life.


Being at Earthaven has helped me become confident enough, rooted enough, and communally supported enough to do my business full on, even when it's terrifying. (I'm new at this teaching/workshops part....)


I heard myself telling a neighbor child recently, in encouragement, "Terrifying automatically shifts into thrilling simply by saying, 'Yes, I'm in!'"


Whew! I am so grateful to live in such an amazing, authentic community.





Karen Savage Taylor is a mom, business owner, healer, and communitarian. You can check out her upcoming classes and sessions at her website.



The New LEAP Directory

by Michael Whitmire


The LEAP is Earthaven’s complementary currency note.





In order to find out who within the community accepts LEAPS for payments (towards goods and services), we created a directory.


Recently I decided to create the directory as a shared, online document so that anyone with the link can view and edit it. This meshes with my values of open-source collaboration and public contribution.




We decided to expand the directory to include leaps, dollars, trade, barter, and giftessentially, anything anyone wants to sell, trade, or offer.


My own entry lists "Macintosh computer consulting services for a sliding scale of dollars or leaps with the option to negotiate other trades."


I am anticipating adding a “Wanted” section as well. My hopes are that this format will take some of the burden of updating the directory off of a central “manager” and spread it out over those who will benefit from the listing service.


I am also hoping this directory can connect the ecovillage to local neighborhoods, the larger rural area, and to our extended community of alumni, ex-residents, and friends of the ecovillage, wherever they may be on the globe.




Michael Whitmire has lived at Earthaven a total of three years. His interests include organic farming, loving people and nature, talking with folks one-on-one, his daughter and family, the Mankind Project, community networking, and Gaian metaphysics. His plans are nebulous and razor sharp at once, depending on factors still being uncovered.


Photo of the Season



The McLeod Family: Dad Johnny, Mom Mana,

Luka (left) and Max (right).

About Us



Lee Warren is the editor of the Earthaven newsletter. She is an herbalist, a writer, a cofounder of the Village Terraces Cohousing Neighborhood, and the manager of Imani Farm.









Arjuna da Silva is the assistant editor of the Earthaven newsletter and a founding member of Earthaven. She is now living in her earth-and-straw home, "Leela House."






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.



Visit our website.

Opportunities & Events

Live and Work at Earthaven positions are available.


Check out the current opportunities.







View our Classes and Event Calendar.



by Debbie Lienhart

 New Baby



Congratulations to Johnny and Mana McLeod on the birth of their second son, Luka Vermeulen McLeod. Luka was born April 7 at Earthaven, weighing 8.1 pounds.


Naming Ceremony



Earthaven members Rudy Ballantine and Norm Self, and resident Banyan Fierer renamed their neighborhood Dancing Shiva to align with their intention to participate in the ongoing creation of pleasure, joy and fulfillment. They named the neighborhood after Shiva, the dancing deity who brings forth manifest creation in Tantric mythology.


Safety First



Each summer the Safety Committee trains residents on the perils of ecovillage living, including fires and snakes. In this photo, Earthaven resident Dylan McBridewood demonstrates the use of a fire extinguisher under the watchful eye of Broad River Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bruce Cook.


Boiling Up a Feast




Matthew Walker hosted a crawfish boil for the community at Village Terraces neighborhood. The boil featured fresh Louisiana crawfish, Andouille sausage, corn, and potatoes, cooked on a wood stove and served family style.

Coffee & Trade

photos by eli Swiftcreek

Tuesday mornings are turning into a downright farmer's market. Our regular Coffee and Trade now features produce, artwork, and other products from members and neighbors. Here's what's been on display this summer:


Fresh Baked Bread



Earthaven-grown Blackberries


Muffins for Sale


Spicy & Mellow Kimchi


Purple Potatoes


Squash Flowers & Squash


 Bunches O' Carrots


Mushroom Log filled with Shiitake's


 Cherry Tomatoes


Artwork by Blackwolf


Fresh Garlic


 And of course.....Coffee


 Thanks to eli Swiftcreek who also organizes the Coffee & Trade!

Earthaven Ecovillage • 5 Consensus Circle • Black Mountain • NC • 28711
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