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Late Summer 2013 Newsletter
Harvest Time
See our 2013 harvest photo gallery on the Earthaven blog.
Summer salad with wild flowers--red clover, elder flower, and daylilies. All are edible and delicious.
New School in Town
SOIL Sprouts at Earthaven
The School of Integrated Living (SOIL) is an educational organization and social enterprise focused on promoting life-skills and sustainability education through residential service-learning programs. SOIL is cultivated by co-founders and co-directors, Lee Walker Warren and NikiAnne Feinberg, both of Earthaven.
The mission of SOIL is to inspire and empower people to live responsible and creative lives, by providing experiential education in integrated living and regenerative systems.
SOIL's main programs are the Farm & Ecovillage Immersions, semester-long, residential, service learning opportunities where participants are immersed into the village, homes, farms, and businesses of their hosts and faculty for a hands-on, skill building, life-changing experience. The immersions take place at the farms and off-grid neighborhood homesteads within and near Earthaven.
Enroll in the Spring Session (beginning in January 2014) by October 15th to receive the early bird discount.
SOIL is certified by Gaia Education as an Ecovillage Design Education site
Upcoming Event
This fall, November 8-10, SOIL is hosting a Grief Ritual with Sobonfu Somé, a renowned teacher and one of the foremost voices of African Spirituality to come to the West.
This is a transformational and soul-invigorating ceremony designed to break through our cultural barriers to grief. This event will be held in the Asheville, NC area--venue to be determined. Please see the website for more details and to register.
whole-life skills for a radically different future
Slowing Down for Turtles
by Marjorie Vestal
While bicycling to the Zendo for early morning sitting practice, I encountered a box turtle on the trunk road in my neighborhood. Stopping to get a closer look, I became enchanted with the rugged, bearded old critter. I thought it would make a good totem animal for Earthaven, symbolizing long life and slow measured movement in a variety of habitats from wooded swamps to dry, grassy fields.
Like many of us, box turtles are omnivores. Favorite foods include almost any insect (although they seem to particularly relish worms and slugs), virtually any fruit or berry, mushrooms, and a variety of vegetables. Everything they eat is local food.
Box turtles model localization since they do not travel far, and often live within an area less than 200 meters in diameter. While homesteading and localizing is an ideal Earthaven folks value, many of us still travel and depend on fossil fuels far too much.
Placing their vital energy carefully, turtles do not begin mating until they are 7 to 10 years old. With an expected lifespan of 25 to 30 years, they are sexually abstinent until well into their adulthood.
If we seek to live sustainably, there are many lessons we can learn about the slow and steady lifestyle of the turtle.
Marjorie Vestal is a Community Health Professional, beekeeper, blackberry farmer, mother, and recent grandmother. She lives at Earthaven Ecovillage where she cultivates woodland medicinal herbs and enjoys an ever-deepening connection to the natural world.
Documentary Night
by Suchi Lathrop
We have recently added a new regular activity – documentary night. We gather suggestions far and wide, which gives us a chance to learn what our community members are interested in, and then we gather to watch.
In our selection process we try to see things that are ‘meaningful’ and also mindful of the times we live in, in order to advance our understanding of current events. Further, we try to balance serious with interesting and fun. A little education AND a little amusement. This is what we have come up with so far:
  • On the lighter side – Dr. Bonner’s Magic Soap Box is a delightful look at the soap product we have become accustomed to, how it came to be and how it has evolved since the ‘hippies’ made it a big seller.
  • Life in a Day is a cross cultural look at life, especially how many people have good lives with little.
  • Kumare is a thoughtful look at transformation through a rather peculiar methodology.
  • Being an intentional community, we, of course, saw Wanderlust and in that same vein we will be seeing Random Lunacy, a look at a family’s very adventurous and fulfilling life on the fly as well as Choice Point, a young couple’s bicycle tour in search of community.
  • Happy is a highly recommended international look at what makes life satisfying.
  • On the more serious side we have seen Carl Sagan’s look at our precious earth in the last of a seven-part series, Who Speaks for Gaia?
  • Queen of the Sun, on the dangers of hive collapse, soon to be followed up with Vanishing of the Bees.
  • Zeitgeist Three; Moving Forward has been recommended but it is a bit long but not as depressing as one and two.
  • Life and Debt is a look at the manipulation of the poor by international banking.
  • On the savory side – Dirt, which contains some depressing parts and Botany of Desire, which  is a juicy look at the plant and human relationship.
  • On our ‘to watch list’ is Searching for Sugarman, The Gatekeepers, Favela Rising, Five Broken Cameras, Life after Life, Chasing Ice.
I would love to hear your suggestions, particularly on the meaningful light side but any will do. Contact me at suchi at earthaven.orgwith your suggestions.

Suchi has been living at Earthaven since 2002. She resides at the Tribal Condo in the Hut Hamlet neighborhood. Suchi created the Peace Garden and has been a leader in social organizing. She is currently studying Nonviolent Communication, Body-Centered Psychotherapy, and Zegg Forum. Everywhere she looks there are new opportunities to learn.
Earthaven Fire Warden Starts Fire
by Arjuna da Silva
Who better to start a fire than the “fire warden” of your local safety committee?
My neighbor, Marjorie, stood firewoman duty around a burn of dead and diseased tree stock and other brush that she and neighbor Gaspar recently set on an overcast day that promised to rain … sooner or later! (It did finally begin to drizzle as the sun set.) The next day came a downpour.
When the charcoal that remained from the well-burned, pre-ash wood was dry enough, neighbors began collecting the precious bio-char to help nourish our orchards and fields for generations to come.
Council Hall Face-Lift
by Arjuna da Silva
Our Council Hall was built in the late 90's with limited experience and the unskilled labor of hundreds of volunteers. Happy with imperfect yet functional, we’ve chosen more often to develop new systems rather than improving imperfections. For example, we completed the radiant floor heating system, installed a temporary office and internet lounge, and built a kitchen and lavatory.
Finally, after fifteen years, the Council Hall is getting a face-lift. Over the next months, a team of natural rebuilders will chip, scrape, slice, trowel and paint the outside and inside walls.
Five Elements of Healing Dance with Michelle Dionne, September 7, 2013 9 am - 1 pm at Earthaven Ecovillage Council Hall. Details
The 9th Annual Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference, October 11-13, 2013, in Black Mountain, NC.
Learn about herbal medicine and women's health, celebrate earth-based healing and wisdom, and connect with the web of wise women.
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.
Newsletter Editor
Lee Warren is a communitarian, homesteader, food activist, writer, and Earthaven member since 2001. She is a founding member of the Village Terraces Cohousing Neighborhood (a sub-community within Earthaven) and an owner of Imani Farm, an organic and pastured-based homestead farm.
Earthaven Ecovillage • 5 Consensus Circle • Black Mountain • NC • 28711
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