Bethlehem Farm

Talcott, West Virginia, United States

  • Last updated: February 17, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: September 9, 2011

Mission Statement

Bethlehem Farm is a Catholic community in Appalachia that transforms lives through service and the teaching of sustainable practices.

Community Description

Bethlehem Farm is a Catholic community in Appalachia that transforms lives through serving with the local community and teaching sustainable practices. We invite volunteers to join us in living the Gospel cornerstones of community, service, prayer, and simplicity.
Caretakers live and work in intentional Christian community year-round and provide service retreats for youth and adults through community service (primarily low-income home repair, but also including organic farming). Caretakers live out the four cornerstones of prayer, community, simplicity and service as members of the Summers, Monroe and Greenbrier county communities, while also fulfilling the various administrative roles that keep a nonprofit going. Opportunities include: rural Appalachian ministry, construction, home repair, retreat planning, youth ministry, office management, hospitality, gardening, and community building.

About

  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling), Spiritual or Religious Community
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience, Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship
  • Location: Rural

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 47.5 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 2
  • Housing Provided: Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: leased from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling Charleston

Membership

  • Adult Members: 8
  • Child Members: 3
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    We would love to hear from you and share about life at Bethlehem Farm! You can learn more about us at www.bethlehemfarm.net. Please call (304-445-7143) or email ([email protected]) with questions and to arrange a visit.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    We are currently accepting new members. Applications are available at:
    http://bethlehemfarm.net/bf-community/become-a-caretaker

    Once a completed application (including references is received);
    -the community discerns an invitation for a phone interview
    -following a phone interview, the community discerns an invitation for a week-long on-site interview
    -the onsite interview is an opportunity to get to know the Caretakers, Bethlehem Farm, and the local community
    -at the end of the onsite interview, a sit-down conversation is arranged
    -community discerns inviting the applicant to join the Caretaker Community

Government

  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    As we live and work together, community decisions are made by consensus and work decisions are made by the individual responsible, in consultation with the director.

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Caretakers generally live at Bethlehem Farm and work here full-time. Bethlehem Farm provides room, board, $125 monthly stipend (which rises over time), retirement benefits after 12 months, medical, dental and vision insurance, and local transportation for volunteer Caretakers. Training, staff development, and staff retreats provided. Up to $200/mo student loan stipend available for monthly payments. $5,815/yr AmeriCorps education award available pending funding.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 50-75%
  • Energy sources: Solar, rainwater harvest for gardens and animals
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: Between 26-49%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all meals
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Paleo (no grains, dairy, processed foods, or legumes), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian, Mostly Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Meals are provided. Emphasis on local food. Generally organic, paleo, or vegetarian diets can be supported. Individuals can purchase other special food with their personal finances.

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  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Christian, Catholic
  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Community Plan

Community Affiliations

Nazareth Farm, Jerusalem Farm

Keywords

Catholic, farm, sustainable, sustainability, home repair, construction, rural