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Summer 2013 Newsletter

Field Day

at Cove Creek Farm

by Rae Jean

On a Saturday in mid-June, several folks from Earthaven went to our neighbors' farm. It was a great day filled with many chores to assist Cove Creek Farm in planting and to learn more about where our local food comes from. Alvin Lytle, his father, Therman, sister June, and daughter Alexis’s family have been farming in this area since the late 1700’s.



We took turns sitting on Alvin’s modified tobacco planter, dropping seed potatoes, which were then covered with soil by the cleverly crafted blades of the planter. Not sure how many potatoes we actually planted, but we cut up four 50-pound boxes of seed potatoes earlier.



Then came the sweet potato slips, and melons, all planted by hand…lots and lots of them. In the meantime, other folks were helping plant a large field of crowder peas (hence the name field peas).



After all the hard, sweaty, hot sun work, we sat around in a cool forest setting and had a good ole fashion feast of barbecue, beans, and of course watermelon….yum, oh yeah, and cool sweet tea to wash it all down.



It was great to bring back farmers helping farmers, and neighbors helping neighbors. Getting done what needs to be done in order to eat.



Alvin wishes to thank everyone who was involved in this day. He and his family are very grateful for the help and the strong relationship developing between us all. Best I can say to this is Ditto!


Alvin has been bringing his produce to the Coffee and Trade here at Earthaven every Tuesday morning for over a year. So now we can say when we eat those potatoes…hey we helped plant them…now that’s connection to your food!



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


Field Day photos by Stephanie Usery.

Sociocracy Workshop

July 6 & 7 at Earthaven

with Diana Leafe Christian

Sociocracy (also called Dynamic Governance or DG) — a whole-system governance and decision-making method, is the topic of a workshop, July 6-7 at Earthaven.


Presented by Earthaven member Diana Leafe Christian, author and international communities consultant, the workshop will give a thorough introduction for intentional communities or community-like organizations.


“It’s based on the values of equivalence, transparency, and effectiveness, and includes built-in feedback loops for improving things,” Diana says. “So it can work especially well in communities.”


At Diana's Sociocracy workshop at Ängsbacka Ecovillage in Sweden. Frands from Denmark, Fredjan from the Netherlands, and James from England.

Diana specializes in making complex information fun and easy to learn, and will present Sociocracy/DG’s “circles and double links” structure through lively verbal, visual, whole-body, and other kinesthetic exercises. Through musical skits and small group practice sessions, participants will learn Consent Decision-Making and how to implement Sociocracy/DG in their own community or project.


Diana has taught Sociocracy in five countries, and just returned from being keynote speaker for the Swedish Ecovillage Network and UK Cohousing Network’s annual conferences.

Participants in Diana's Sociocracy workshop in Sweden in June present a possible reorganization of their ecovillage using Sociocracy's circles and double links. 

She presented Sociocracy at Findhorn Community in Scotland, and will return to Findhorn in October to co-lead a full workshop in Sociocracy.



The July 6-7 Earthaven workshop is exceptionally affordable — $125 per person—with meals and lodging additional. More info.


Photos courtesy of Diana Leafe Christian.

The Wedding of

Kaitlin & Bruce

by Arjuna da Silva

It seems the whole month of May was taken up with the preparations for THE wedding. The village was abuzz with excitement and anticipation for the May 25th event.


It was one of those times when everyone comes together to celebrate the same wonderful thing, and old friends and new ones show up to add to the yummy extended family feeling.


Praise and thanks go to Kaitlin and Bruce for creating a beautiful weekend charged with excitement, laughter, joyful tears and a loving honoring of many traditions.


And praise also to our  budding entrepreneurs whose impeccable presentations made an elegant, natural, locally-sourced reception and dinner.





Photos courtesy Kaitlin Johnston

Classes at Culture's Edge

Tricia and Arjuna at Culture's Edge want to remind everyone to check out their new website, where you can connect with botany classes in the Forest Garden, permaculture classes at Medicine Wheel, and a Fall lineup of one-day natural building "exposures."



Michelle takes her students through the Five Elements of Healing Dance on Saturday, September 7, from 9 am to 1 pm.

Earthaveners Teach at Firefly Gathering

by Debbie Lienhart

Earthaven members and residents shared as instructors at the 2013 Firefly Gathering. The gathering is aligned with Earthaven’s sustainable culture and sustainable living goals and offers a time to step away from everyday distractions and get grounded through learning and practicing earth skills.


Steve Torma taught:

Relationship 101 & 201

Sacred Sexuality


Chuck Marsh taught:



Lee Warren taught: Family Cow Basics

The Joy of Humanure

Sustainable Economics


Debbie Lienhart taught:

Fruit Tree Grafting


Patricia Allison taught:

Designing the Energy Descent Culture

Home System Design



“I teach at Firefly because people are going to need these skills,” says Chuck Marsh.


The Firefly Gathering is held each June near Asheville, NC.

Photos of the Season


Baker eli swiftcreek laid the finishing touches on her multi-tiered castle of a cake for the Kaitlin & Bruce Wedding.



Catering neighbors Allie & Griffin showed up to the May wedding in style, knowing how to satisfy the spectrum of tastes and diets.



Matron of Honor and wedding guest converse on the village green.


Below are photos for the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new combine at Cove Creek Farm.





Wedding photos by Arjuna da Silva and ribbon cutting photos by Stephanie Usery.

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?

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