Last updated: March 3, 2014 (1 year ago)
Listing created on: August 30, 2013

School of Integrated Living

(Black Mountain, North Carolina, United States)

Mission Statement:

Experiential Education Program

Community Description:

Summer Immersion: July 4-Aug 16, 2014
Application Deadline: April 15, 2014

School of Integrated Living’s (SOIL) mission is to inspire and empower people to live responsible and creative lives by providing experiential education in integrated living and regenerative systems.

Based out of Earthaven Ecovillage, SOIL offers Farm and Ecovillage Immersions, in which participants are immersed into the village, homes, lives, businesses, and farms 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, a 19-year-old developing ecovillage. This village and farming community has the unique ability to host hands-on, skill-building immersions with the physical, economic, agricultural, and social infrastructure necessary for featuring some of the most exciting aspects of whole-life education. Through work and study participants become intimately familiar with the three-legged stool of sustainability: environmental, social, and economic with a specific focus on organic food production, regenerative systems, and community living.

The Farm & Ecovillage Immersion is intentionally designed for a maximum of 12 students. Small groups enable us to provide a high quality learning environment in which we can best address the personal needs, interests and goals of each student. The flexibility of small groups enables us to take advantage of a myriad of unique opportunities, like circling for around a campfire or piling into the back of a tractor. All experiences are more personal, interesting, and fun.

Farm & Ecovillage Immersion are offered three semesters per year–fall, spring, and summer. All Immersions are designed for young adults and life-long learners alike.

Certification and College Credit:
SOIL, in partnership with Gaia Education, offers Certificates in Ecovillage Design Education upon completion of all requirements for the Farm & Ecovillage Immersions. These Certificates of Completion verify that students have received training in sustainable design of human settlements and organizations.


  • Adult Members: 80
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes

Social Factors


  • Decision Making: Consensus + (everyone agrees, except for up to 3 people.)
  • Identified Leader: Yes, multiple identified leaders
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes

Land and Buildings

  • Housing Provided: Yes, for all or most members.
  • Location: Rural
  • Area: 329 acres
  • Land owned by: The Community
  • Current number of residences: 80

Labor and Money

  • Shared Income: Members have completely independent finances
  • Shared Expenses: Little or no share of expenses
  • Required Labor contribution: 0
  • Join Fee: 0


  • Shared meals: Approximately all meals
  • Current food produced: Between 25-50%
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat important – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals)

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Global Ecovillage Network (GEN)

Community Affiliations

Earthaven Ecovillage, Village Terraces Cohousing Neighborhood


community farming, life skills, gap year programs, service learning, study away, cooperative living

We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network
Special thanks to the sponsors of our Art of Community Events.