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Earthaven Ecovillage
Autumn Equinox 2016

Indian Summer in WNC

After many weeks of hot weather, the Sourwood leaves began turning red in August, and we could begin anticipating the cooler breezes of the long WNC Indian Summer, which can last till Thanksgiving in recent years. Thank goodness for cool mountain nights!

Now as the season changes, we stop to treasure the delights of Summer—gorgeous flowers and ambitious pollinators, days that start early and end late—the magic cycle of change. Harvests rich with the love of the land and animals that provide well-being in so many ways. 

Gratitude for farmers and tenders who make it possible.

Seasonal celebrations honor the community’s founding and arrival of the Equinox. Then come stirrings of excitement over October’s Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference (at nearby Camp Rockmont), plans for Thanksgiving feasting, and speculations about the Bizarre Bazaar in December. What new goodies will folks bring out this year?
Wishing all our readers and friends a blessed finale to the year, with hopes to see and share with you in the next one. Blessed be!
Earthaven Turns 22!
Earthaven celebrated our 22nd birthday on September 11th. We held a community-wide check-in, giving new and long-term members a special opportunity to sit together in a big circle, catch up with each other and touch hearts. 
The annual parade down Another Way stopped to celebrate completion of the stone-and-crystal side walls built on the Second Bridge by Travis and Gaspar. Birthday cake at the White Owl and, for many who didn’t know Founder Valerie Naiman, her fascinating story of life on the way to Earthaven and beyond.
Reflecting on these 22 years, members offered these sentiments and wishes:
A Great Dream
Dear Earthaven,
I remember conversations of the dream of you before you were born. From the news of your birth I packed my bags to live closer.  I have been nourished deeply as I've witnessed the ups and downs of your growing maturity, and a freedom that has a life of its own. I give thanks for your influence on my life and am forever grateful to be a member of the tribe.                                               Love, Tara

The Joy of Participation
Earthaven is the place where my dreams about community have been coming true in community, full of delicious gifts and profound challenges to my way of living and being. What a blessing!   ~ Arjuna
(left) Tara and Arjuna, friends since '97.

Commitment to Vision

Living at Earthaven 22 years ago, in a 1967 Airstream, when there was only a dilapidated hunting cabin and an outhouse, was a commitment to vision. Members began to camp and we built a tiny prototype Council Hall with a post & beam yurt frame, and an iron ring for the center of the roof symbolizing our union. Last year the community disassembled the old frame and mud walls, and I was thrilled and grateful to be presented with the ring on Founding Day this year. The ring and I both have a few dents and rough spots, but are strong and re-purposing. ~ Valerie
(right) Valerie gets her ring back on Founding Day.
Living in Place
Three Big Blessings of Living at Earthaven
One: Taking charge of time
All it takes is a few hours out in town or on the road to re-realize how differently we live out here at Earthaven. So many basics of daily life are different; time is different. Priorities have to be different—so we’ve made quite a bit of room in our relationships and organizational expectations for a slower pace, whenever possible. Committed to an environmentally responsible lifestyle, while staying in touch with our world, we need extra time for details this less automated life requires.
We need time to nourish our relationships, neighbors included, as we learn they’re what make the whole experience hum. Needing all this time means showing up late is less the affront we thought it was!

(above) Johnny McLeod, Julie McMahan and their respective young'uns chilling at the Hamlet playground, midday and midweek.
Two: Living in Place
We live in a beautiful forest! The majority of our land is protected by a forestry plan that seeks to nurture forest health and create mutual benefits into the future.
That means most land around our homes is undeveloped and designed to stay that way. We can walk trails and find new ones, discovering spots that touch us in almost mystical ways. Though we aren’t all farmers or gardeners, we live close to those who farm and garden. They’re our stars, bringing blessings to land and table, helping us live closer to the nature they care for.

Three: Living in Space
Blessing number three is the significant amount of open space. It’s not a National Forest or a private wilderness, but veer off the roads in any direction to encounter a spacious shift in perspective.
Ever lie down on the Earth and look up at the night sky? Aren’t people all over the globe also looking “up?”—in other words, isn’t “up” everywhere? Starry nights at Earthaven are a particular invitation to reach out and sense the spaciousness all around us, all the way to the edge of the cosmos!
Most of us at Earthaven are descendants of non-indigenous people (to this continent and even this area), which means we’ve become unrooted in our very bones, unlike the way folks in the land of their ancestors feel connected to place. But we are learning. 
Our bodies and natural minds become more connected to the land every day, season by season, year by year.
How to Get the Most out of Being a Guest at Earthaven!
It's true: visiting isn't always easy. Maybe you came to see someone you know, and they’re hardly available. Or you’re camping for a few days yet hardly see anyone but the sheep. Maybe you came to Coffee & Trade on Tuesday morning, or the potluck Tuesday evening, and met a few folks, but you want more connection.
Earthaven residential neighborhoods are relatively spread out and many of us live away from the Village Center. Plus we’re usually involved in community projects, homestead management, or business or family care, and may not know what a joy it would be to meet you!
Here are a few tips to help make your visit more socially satisfying:
  • Check out our website for special events and calendar listings. Most are open.
  • Send a message through the contact form on our website before you come. Introduce yourself and any special interests, skills or experience. Request a reply! Our outreach coordinator will forward it to our listserv.
  • Post a notice when you arrive on a prominent post or bulletin board. Include where to find you, what you hope to do or learn, and who you’re interested in meeting (families with children, elders, farmers, healers…).
  • Get introduced! Ask your host to introduce you to the folks you’d like to meet. At potlucks and Council meetings, visitors are encouraged to introduce themselves. Then don’t be shy at the break!
  • Send a voicemail. This is more challenging and you’ll need guidance. Ask your host or a friendly resident to show you how. Tell us how to find you and how long you’ll be around.
  • Get involved. Ask about community or personal work parties. We can usually use an extra hand.
Chris Farmer, left, leads a tour of his
Microhut during a recent sustainable
building workshop sponsored by SOIL

(BACK) TO SCHOOL. This school year, Liefke Carwyn, 13, Aidan O’Hare, 12, and Luna Carwyn, 11, all chose to go out to school after years of homeschooling at Earthaven. Their Moms agreed to put their names on applications to local charter schools, and they wound up in ones where they all already knew kids their own age. We of course hope their sensibilities will remain basically intact despite exposure to more mainstream peers who live with television, processed food, and the like. However, these schools have established reputations for high values and positive temperaments. While we’ll miss their constant presence in our midst, it’s sweet to know “our girls” get the chance to develop their social and intellectual intelligences and meet the world with their own generation. Aidan (pictured above left), with the basket she made at the Wild Basketry class at Earthaven on Saturday, September 3rd.
Upcoming Events
Making Southeastern Style Moccasins
Workshop with Jeff Gottlieb
Saturday, November 26th (9-5)
These buckskin moccasins may be the most beautiful, quiet, comfortable footwear you have ever worn! Learn how to choose hides, measure feet, lay out patterns and cut and stitch. Make them for yourself or a loved one! $100-130. Registration open now!
Primitive Skills Instructor and Outdoor Educator Jeff Gottlieb teaches widely at rendezvous, gatherings and historic fairs.  
Quantum Wisdom
Weekend retreat with Whapio
January 20-22

Last year, Whapio introduced us to neo-quantum perspectives on life, consciousness, health, and the joys of sexual fulfillment. This longer version will allow for more in-depth exploration and practice.
Follow the Culture's Edge website for updates.

Sex and Intimacy: 
Moving through Conflict
Michelle Dionne & Steve Torma 
Saturday, February 11
Explore practical,
approaches to healing conflict in your relationships through intimacy exercises, movement and self-inquiry.

Healing Dance is the focus of Michelle Dionne's work. Find out more at
Steve Torma teaches compassionate communication and relationship skills through The REAL Center in Asheville.
Also mark your calendar for these exciting 2017 events:
SOIL & Earthaven present…

Earthaven Experience
May 25-30     Want to feel fully alive and more connected to the world around you? Immerse yourself in an eye-opening and supportive learning environment where you'll see regenerative systems in practice, permaculture and food production in action, and community living on an up-close and personal level.
Early bird rates available. Register now!

Restorative Culture Conference
June 1-5    Restorative Circles, Non-Violent Communication and Spiritually-based Economics woven into three tracks of mini-workshops and Open Space sessions to discover, network and support each other in creating restorative culture and communities. More on Culture's Edge's website
Permaculture Design Course
June 2017 

The full Permaculture Design Course at a permaculture-based ecovillage in the Southern Appalachian Mountains in June! See the SOIL website for details.
Permaculture & 
Ecovillage Immersion
June - August 2017
Weeks of skill-building, fact-learning, life-affirming study and practice with folks from all walks of life. More details soon on the SOIL website.

Sweet Times at Earthaven
(Send us your favorite moments. Here are some of mine. ~Arjuna )

Geni setting up White Owl dining room.

Travis & Joe framing a new apartment
in Bellavia Gardens.

Arjuna's espresso moment!

Useful Plants Nursery in autumn.
Visit us online at

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
This issue of the Earthaven e-newsletter was brought to you by Arjuna da Silva, NikiAnne Feinberg, Debbie Lienhart, Julie McMahan, and Andy Bosley. We hope to greet you again next newsletter! Please send us your comments and your ideas for future issues.

Earthaven Ecovillage  |  5 Consensus Circle  |  Black Mountain, NC 28711  |

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