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Autumn 2013 Newsletter
Rural Academy Theater
Horse-pulled Theater, Bicycle-powered Cinema, & Live Orchestra at Earthaven!
 
In horse-pulled wagons stocked with a bicycle-powered silent cinema, an Appalachian-balkan-brass-klezmer-dixieland-string ensemble, kinetic sculpture and their signature low-tech theater appliances, the Rural Academy Theater stages their innovative performances in the town greens, theaters, college campuses, and pastures of Western North Carolina.
 
“By not relying on gasoline powered propulsion or being dependent upon electricity and the typical expensive gadgetry associated with professional theater, we will be traveling and performing at a much more human pace, one that will allow for a more thorough integration into the communities and lives we visit,” said Gabriel Harrell, the theater’s co-founder.
 
Central to the theater’s mission is to celebrate and call attention to the rural, in opposition to the global urbanization of our culture, economy, food, media, education and art. 
 
The 2013 tour officially began on September 19 on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, NC and made many stops before and after the trip by horses, wagons, and bicycles to Earthaven on October 15.
 
The eager and supportive Earthaven crowd spread out on blankets under the stars for a chilly evening performance following our weekly Tuesday-night potluck. The wagon theater is small and required the crowd to huddle in close for a view of the stage. It brought to mind rural villages receiving traveling bards and wandering minstrels in days (maybe not so) long-gone.
 
Thank you Rural Academy Theater for honoring rural life, horse-drawn travel, and good-old-fashioned entertainment. We loved having you at Earthaven!
 
 
 
All photos courtesy of the Rural Academy Theater.
VT Gets a Solar Upgrade
by Bob Lienhart
 
4th Generation of Solar Panels spanning both roof faces of Village Terraces Building 1.
Village Terraces Cohousing Neighborhood just completed a multi-faceted upgrade to their power, heating, and domestic hot water (DHW) systems and the neighborhood is now enjoying the results. Domestic hot water for the main building had been provided by a wood-burning stove. The system lost one of its three water heating coils three years ago due to an unrepairable leak, which has made providing hot water quite challenging.
 
Several designs were considered over the last 2 or 3 years with none of them really being all that workable. Then one day Chris Farmer came along and suggested that we use solar-generated electricity to heat water in an ELECTRIC hot water heater. This sounds pretty silly until one remembers that electricity is 100% efficient at producing heat. Farmer had read an article 10 years ago that said when solar PV panels come down in price to $1 per watt then it would make sense to heat water with solar electricity. Well that day has come. And that is the approach that VT decided to take.
 

2007 view of the same building with the 1st generation of solar panels.
The final design allows VT’s existing wood-fired boiler system to provide ample domestic hot water during the cooler months at which time the new solar PV panels will keep their batteries more fully charged and their heating systems running. During the warmer months the solar electric power will be diverted to the new electric hot water heater.
 
For the short time this new system has been running, VT has cut its summer wood burning in half--if not more. Their hydro use and their gasoline generator use have also been significantly reduced. And their batteries are healthier than they have ever been. For a more thorough description of the system, including a tour, see Bob Lienhart.

 
 
Earthaven member and bookkeeper since 2008, musician and computer expert.  BS in Computer Science.  Treasurer for two homeowners associations and the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society--also CBMS president, 1998-2000.
Diana Leafe Christian
Teaches at Findhorn
In October Earthaven’s international community researcher and advocate Diana Leafe Christian gave workshops and consultations to several intentional communities in England, and co-led a workshop on Sociocracy at Findhorn Community in Scotland with her teacher and mentor, John Buck, the man who brought Sociocracy to the English-speaking world.
 
Sociocracy, which means “governance by peers,” is a governance and decision-making method. Earthaven uses Sociocracy’s “Selecting People for Roles” process to elect annual officers.
 
“Teaching at Findhorn was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done,” Diana says. “It was an honor to co-lead a workshop with my own teacher and mentor. And do it at Findhorn — one of the oldest and most famous intentional communities in the world. I loved it!”
 
Findhorn was famous in the 1960s for growing unusually large vegetables on poor sandy soil with apparently channeled gardening advice, and soon became an international spiritual educational center, attracting thousands.
 
Diana and John led their two-day workshop at Newbold House, a Findhorn-affiliated conference center in the nearby town of Forres, and gave many small introductory workshops to groups of trustees, managers, council members, staff, and others affiliated with the Findhorn Foundation in the wider local community.
 
The Sociocracy workshop was so popular John and Diana will return to Findhorn to lead it again in May, 2014.
Garlic Plantin' Time at VT
On a crisp fall morning last Saturday, we planted our neighborhood garlic. It's one of our favorite garden crops because we all eat garlic, it's easy to plant and harvest with a group, and we can watch it grow in the early spring before planting our other spring crops.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Halloween & Lunar Samhain Events
Friday, November 1
Adult Halloween Party, 8pm at Medicine Wheel House
 
 
Saturday, November 2
Kids Halloween Party & Trick or Treating
Party at 5pm at White Owl
Trick or T’ing leaves WO at 7pm
(ending with hot cider at WO)
 
 
Sunday, November 3, Lunar Samhain
Labyrinth Meditation,
9pm at the Labyrinth
 
Late September Wedding
Congratulations to Karen Savage Shane (Karen Taylor) of Earthaven who married CoreyPine Shane of Asheville. The wedding and festivities took place at the White Owl Lodge in late September.  Many blessings to you both.
 
 
 
 
Sheep Shearing
The sheep got sheared at Gateway Farm in Late October....
 
Shearing the Sheep
 
Skirting the Fleeces
 
The Fleeces
 
The Shearers
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.
 
 
Earthaven Ecovillage • 5 Consensus Circle • Black Mountain • NC • 28711
http://www.earthaven.org
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