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Winter 2013 Newsletter

The Trading Post is


On October 5, 2012 at 10 a.m., sounds rang through the village as a group of Earthaven Middle Schoolers rang bells, banged on drums, sounded the didgeridoo and shook tambourines for a full five minutes. At the end of the five minutes they shouted, “The Trading Post is NOW OPEN!”


Folks from all around the village cheered in response.



A group of homeschooled Earthaven residents ranging in age from 10-13 (and a mom) have spruced up, stocked up, and re-initiated the retail shop at Earthaven.


The young folks have been learning inventory, purchasing, cash handling, stock rotation, accounting, merchandising, customer service and teamwork, all of which has been a part of their hands-on learning curriculum.


Julie’s organic ice cream bars, organic chips, and chocolate seem to be the most popular items, but we carry from apples to Zevia sodas, to personal care items, books, camping gear, and more.


We are also open in cyberspace featuring handmade goods from our very own ecovillagers.


Supporters of sustainably made goods can purchase items at:

Overcome the Stress of Sitting

by Nick Nicholson

When I was a youth, I noticed how some people tilted when they walked. Not the natural way that our spines curve forward and backward, so that our vertebral disks do not compress, but the tilt that happens when one side of the body stretches muscles to balance the other side.


I now refer to this as upper cross or lower cross syndrome. It is one of the first signs of fascia and muscle stress.


The normal desk sitter will build up this fascia and muscle stress and the cross syndromes indicate that fascia is becoming bundled up. Stretching out every hour for a few minutes helps the body reverse the damages caused from sitting.


Simple tricks:

      • Rolling on an exercise ball
      • Deep breathing
      • Twisting while exhaling
      • Tennis balls in a sock along the spine
      • Tai Chi and Chi Gung
      • Relaxing the body


You can easily and successfully venture into a greater life potential with just a simple awareness of how the body sits, stands, and moves. And remember that stretching really can cure much body stress. Enjoy your healthy vibrancy!




Nick Nicholson was born in 1985 in Tallahassee Florida. At the age of 25 he moved to Gainesville to study massage. He now a lives near Earthaven Ecovillage. Nick has one child named Adia, 8, and a wife named Edwina. He continues to practice and teach massage.

Member Profile:

Gaspar Robles

by Rae Jean

A couple of days ago I had a most pleasant visit with Gaspar. We sipped hot herbal tea, munched on pecans and exchanged some wonderful stories at his cozy space in the Bellavia Gardens neighborhood. Gaspar came to Earthaven in the summer of 2003 and became a member soon after. He is a wonderful force of positivity, healing, and beautiful energy that he shares with members and visitors continuously.


Gaspar has over forty years' experience as a practitioner of chiropractic healing arts. He’s often known to give out flower essences to those in need of personal healing, and to everyone during difficult community meetings to bring ease to all involved.


He teaches “Magical Passages” twice weekly for energy enhancement, shares “Brain Gym” techniques, offers a variety of other healing modalities, and hosts collage picture-making parties.

Gaspar with Earthaven friends, NikiAnne and Mana.


Gaspar is passionate about the local Earthaven currency (known as Leaps), which is earned by community service work and often traded for goods and services. He has instigated several barter fairs and has been instrumental in extending the Leap system beyond Earthaven to include neighbors. He also established the “Free Store,” where folks can drop off items no longer wanted and, perhaps, pick up something that is needed.


And this is just the tip of the iceberg about one member who gives and receives in this wonderful and amazing community!





Rae Jean has always lived on the edge one way or another. For the last seven years it has been at Earthaven. Along with raising heritage chickens, ducks, veggies and herbs, she designs and creates knitting patterns.



by Debbie Lienhart


In December, the residents of Village Terraces Cohousing Neighborhood planted a new grove of hazelnut trees on the edge of their neighborhood.


We planted the European hazelnuts for their improved nut quality.


The nuts are high in oils, tasty with chocolate, and can be harvested up to a month before they are ripe so we can beat the squirrels to the nuts!


The trees came from Useful Plants Nursery, which is located at

Earthaven and sells over 200 varieties of edible and medicinal plants.

Earthaven's New Decision-Making Method

by Diana Leafe Christian (An excerpt from the Earthaven Blog.)

Because increasing numbers of members over the last several years have been dissatisfied with our consensus decision-making method, in October 2012, Earthaven agreed to modify its consensus process.


For 18 years we used consensus-with-unanimity, which requires 100 percent agreement to pass a proposal.


We had no recourse if someone blocked, no criteria for what constituted a valid block, nor a requirement that blockers meet with proposal advocates to draft a new proposal.


Learn how the new method works. Read the full blog article..... here.

Op Ed: Sorrow for the Dying Children

by Lee Warren, Editor

Deep sadness, regret, and grief for the children and families of Newtown, CT. This tragedy  captured our attention with its tale of innocence, violence, and heartbreak.


According to Global Issues, some 21,000 children die every day around the world.


UNICEF counts 92 million as the number of children under 5 who died between 2000 and 2010.



The causes of death include poverty, hunger, war, and illness.


According to the Dissident Voice Newsletter, American foreign policy, financial policy, and military policy around the world account for millions of deaths. The Iraqi death toll alone numbers over 100,000 since 2003.


The US is now hotly debating gun control, mental illness, and security in schools, and is trying to make sense out of the Newtown shootings. Yet why are the international stories not in the headlines? Are these death-toll numbers too massive for us to comprehend? What will it take to make the conversation a global one?


Blessings to all the suffering families in Newtown and worldwide.

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.


What is Earthaven?

Mission & Goals

Making a Living

Families & Children


Classes & Events

Live & Work



What it Costs


Earthaven People

Newsletter Team

Lee Warren is the editor of the Earthaven newsletter. She is an herbalist, writer, 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."


Archives of our newsletters can be found here.

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