Local Economy, Ecovillage Style
Being out in “the boonies,” the concept of a local economy is a major focus for us. And as an independent incomes community, each of us is responsible for creating our own livelihood. In addition to over 70 Earthaven residents, about 100 neighbors are part of our local village economy.
Some folks work for companies located at Earthaven, including Useful Plants Nursery
and the Southeast Wise Women
. Others work for the community doing maintenance, bookkeeping, or office administration. A few skilled builders and technicians help keep our systems running, while a few folks work outside the community - commuting or consulting.
Many of us provide goods or services for each other, including farm products, baked goods, herbal medicines, elder care, window washing, and recycled or upcycled goods.
These goods and services are exchanged informally and through our Tuesday morning Coffee and Trade Hour, and at special events, such as the Bizarre Bazaar
, which is highlighted in this newsletter.
Some of us are looking to 2014 as the year of the entrepreneur, so if you’ve been thinking of setting up a business in a community setting, let us know what’s in your idea box and we’ll see if we have any collaborative ideas to share.
Local Economics at Work: Earthaven's Bizarre Bazaar
by River Otter
Earthaven’s annual holiday Bazaar is one of our community’s focal points for creating economics on the village scale. Each year in December, Earthaven members, neighbors, friends and visitors gather in the Council Hall for an afternoon of food, fun, games, and holiday vending.
This is an opportunity to bring out our wares — experimental new products or eagerly awaited old favorites — for sale or barter. Folks come to replenish their favorite herbal medicines or aromatherapy sprays, or to get a new hand-made hat or knitted scarf or an item of stylish and creative upcycled clothing.
Members and neighbors offer everything from beeswax candles to jewelry, art, chocolates and baked goods. Some serve wintertime soups and ciders, and other delectable treats. Kids of all ages enjoy the Kids’ Crafts table at the center of the ring of vendors, making ornaments, popcorn and cranberry chains, and the Very Very Long Paper Chain, which this year was long enough to circle the hall four times!
We welcome visitors and new friends each year. Save the date — next year’s Bizarre Bazaar is Saturday, December 13 from noon to 4 pm.
River Otter — also known as Melissa Lemoing — has been at EH since 2007 and is a major supporter of the Bizarre Bazaar. She is a village herbalist, a massage and Reiki therapist, an avid gardener, the current organizer of the Bazaar, and the EH Office Manager and Outreach Coordinator.
Farm & Ecovillage Immersion
July 4 - August 16, 2014
This summer the School of Integrated Living (SOIL) hosts its first six-week residential program, where participants are immersed into the village, homes, farms and businesses of their hosts and Ecovillage faculty for a hands-on, skill building, life-changing experience.
This summer's faculty features Diana Leafe Christian, author of Creating a Life Together and Finding Community, and publisher of Ecovillages newsletter, and also includes many Earthaven members and neighbors.
The curriculum is based on the “three-legged stool of sustainability” and approaches the topics of social, ecological, and economic issues through organic food, regenerative systems, community living, and mindfulness. The Farm & Ecovillage Immersion promises to be profound and dynamic, combining ancient and modern wisdom, and empowering people of all ages to become stewards, mentors, entrepreneurs and leaders.
The program is open to college students and lifelong learners over 18 years old. Apply by April 15th.
Sacred Landscapes, an emerging venture
One of the newest entrepreneurial ventures at Earthaven is Sacred Landscapes, offering all-organic landscaping in all forms, including gardening, design, and planting. The company is focused on making human-oriented changes to the landscape blend with the beautiful mountains in a timeless way.
Earthaven member, Bruce Johnston, is leading the new venture. Bruce builds on four years in various roles with Useful Plants Nursery. "Because of my past nursery experience and orientation I have strong skills with planting and gardening with local food and medicine plants," says Bruce. He says that he is looking forward to learning about more plants.
This winter our educational non-profit, Culture’s Edge, offers several events to keep us warm and connected. These events are open to the public.
Saturday, Feb. 15
10 am - 5 pm
Got a secret wish or an impossible task ahead of you? Come join us for a truly stunning workshop with storyteller Pana Columbus. Follow Pana “into the woods” to meet your own archetypal guides with story, ritual and song.
Saturday, Feb. 22
For a totally new treat at Earthaven, come out for an evening of Improv Comedy. Directed by Robby Boyer, Ph.D, who did part of his dissertation in village planning at Earthaven two years ago, the cast will be Earthaven folks honing their improvabilities for a hilarious evening performance. Y'all come!
Saturday, March 1
1:00 - 5:30 pm
7:30 - 9:45 pm
The first Saturday in March brings dance leader and Sufi mentor Saraswati Rain to Earthaven for an afternoon and evening designed for us to Meditate... Contemplate ... and Celebrate! the uplifting mysteries of communal song and ritual dance. Musicians and celebrants create magic together — no experience necessary — so come join the dance!
Thank you Alex & Violetta
Last month our friends and favorite facilitators Violetta Ilkiw and Alex Bulkin left after a 10-month internship as our bi-monthly weekend “group conflict and organizational change” cross-mentors.
We’re “cross-mentors” because we were mentoring them in the challenges of doing their humble work in the field of an intentional community while they were teaching us about (and modeling) patience and forbearance under many levels of stress.
This past summer, long-time Earthaven member Mollie Curry and her partner, Steve Kemble, supervised the final plastering of Bellavia Gardens’ neighborhood composting toilet, known as the Ojo de Conejo (eye of the rabbit) Lounge. Folks from around the village, eager to get muddy, joined Gaspar and Travis for a day of plaster pleasure. Most of this work was paid for by neighbors in "leaps" our community service currency.