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Earthaven Ecovillage

In this issue we’ll…
  • Learn how the Medicine Wheel Collective is rebuilding their kitchen
  • Hear how one group is centering Black voices in equity work
  • Enjoy one of the heritage varieties of corn we grow
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Announcing the October Virtual Village Tour
 
Join Earthaven Member and School of Integrated Living Director NikiAnne Feinberg for an introductory tour of Earthaven Ecovillage. The tour examines sustainability at Earthaven through social, ecological, and economic lenses. The two-hour session will include a presentation followed by Q&A. 
 
When: Sunday, October 18, 2-4 pm EDT
Cost: $20
 
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Build it, and They Will Come
By Deborah Clark, Medicine Wheel Collective
 
Greetings from Medicine Wheel Collective!
 
As summer rolls into fall, and wave after wave of change sweeps the wider world, we find ourselves deep in a season of change at Medicine Wheel. As the pandemic prohibited us from hosting our normal summer crew of work exchangers, visitors, and renters, it’s a bit wilder in our garden than usual. 
 
Inside the house, it’s a bit wilder too. We are living in a construction zone.
 
 
We are rebuilding Medicine Wheel’s heart and hearth: the kitchen. Having sustained and nurtured residents, students, and Earthaven visitors for nearly twenty years, it desperately needed an overhaul. Lyndon and I—along with our advisory board—have paused with gratitude to consider how many thousands of meals have been cooked and eaten here.
 
As we rise to meet this challenge, we’re searching our hearts for answers to a couple of big questions: What are Medicine Wheel’s most authentic expressions of service? How does that service mesh with our individual personalities, needs, and visions for the future? 
 
Ever since Patricia Allison—Medicine Wheel’s founder, and our beloved teacher and mentor—passed on more than two years ago, we’ve been examining and refining our purpose and goals, while striving to honor the depth of her commitment. 
Lyndon is enthused about continuing the Medicine Wheel tradition of hosting permaculture classes and inspirational events. I am especially excited about the interplay between the bounty of the garden and that age-old question: What’s for dinner? 
 
One thing we’re both sure of: we desire to serve those who want to learn to live more sustainably, for generations to come. That’s what gets us out of bed in the morning.
 
The kitchen is the hub of the Wheel. We envision being able to serve larger groups, with more ease and grace. When we ask you to contribute to our campaign to fund the Medicine Wheel kitchen renovation, we are asking you to join us in that prayer.
 
 
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Listening and Learning
 
As awareness of long-standing racial injustice takes front stage in the United States, many people in residential intentional communities are asking questions about the imbalance of people of color in the communities movement. Out of a similar inquiry, a group of five people at Earthaven created the Racial Equity Task Group (RETG). 
 
The intention of the RETG is to move forward on Goal 8 of Earthaven’s mission: “To work towards partnership culture, towards racial and gender equity, and against oppression in all its forms.” The first order of business for the committee is to create a strategic plan, which will inform the equity work at Earthaven over the next five years. 
 
In an effort not to perpetuate more harm to Black and Indigenous peoples in this process, RETG has initiated a listening and learning project. The project will center the voices of Black people who are familiar with daily life at Earthaven. Participants will come together—without white folks—to share their experiences.
 
The RETG acknowledges the emotional labor involved in such a project. Participants will be paid for their contribution. The pay rate was based on the results of a survey to gauge willingness and to determine the kind of compensation for this precious work.
 
The project will launch over the next month. RETG is currently discussing how best to share the results of the conversation. The insights gleaned through the project will inform and shape the committee's identification of the issues that are most urgent for the white people of this community to address. 

For more information about Earthaven’s long-term vision for creating a partnership culture, please read the Statement of Transparency. It includes a breakdown of Goal 8 of Earthaven's mission.

 
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Harvesting Heritage Corn
 
Around this time of year at Earthaven, you might see several varieties of heritage corn being dried, including Oaxacan Green, Carl’s Glass Gem, and Bloody Butcher. These are used, respectively, for tortillas and hominy, popcorn, and cornmeal. Twelve-year-old resident, Stone, grew the Bloody Butcher corn pictured below; his fifteen-year-old sister, Gaia, arranged and took the photographs.
 
 
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Earthaven Ecovillage  |  5 Consensus Circle  |  Black Mountain, NC 28711  |  http://www.earthaven.org

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