Earthaven Ecovillage

Black Mountain, North Carolina, United States

  • Last updated: December 31, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Mission Statement

Learning sustainable culture

Community Description

Earthaven is an aspiring ecovillage founded in 1994 on 329 acres in the mountain forests of western North Carolina, about 50 minutes from Asheville. We are spiritually diverse, and value sustainable ecological systems, permaculture design, elegant simplicity, right livelihood, and healthy social relations. We have both vegetarians and omnivores, and some of us raise livestock for food. We hope to become empowered, responsible, ecologically literate citizens who model bioregionally appropriate culture for our time and place.

We intend to become a village of at least 150. We use a modified form of the N Street Consensus Method for decision making, and have paid for and own title to our land. We are in the process of restructuring our legal arrangements, and we pay annual dues. As of 2016 we have 51 members. We have built roads and bridges, community buildings, members’ homes, multi-household residences, gardens, constructed wetlands, and off-grid power and water systems.

We are developing a small village-scale economy. Some of us work in small, onsite businesses or nonprofits owned or run by members, including Useful Plants Nursery; Culture’s Edge, an educational nonprofit; the School of Integrated Living (SOIL), an educational nonprofit); or by offering services such as tours, campground lodging, carpentry and home construction, home care, child care, and healing arts.

As a learning community dedicated to sharing our resources with the public, we offer workshops in Permaculture design, natural building, consensus decision-making, Sociocracy, creating new ecovillages, herbal medicine, health and healing, and women’s mysteries. We also host large events such as the Continental Bioregional Congress (2005), the annual Southeast Regional Permaculture Gathering (2002-04), and a Village Harvest Festival (2008-2009) We welcome students and other learning groups, and support homeschool parents of children at Earthaven and nearby. We are seeking hardworking, entrepreneurial people, including but not limited to organic growers and farmers; people with solar system, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical skills; healers, artists, and families with children.


  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1994
  • Start Living Together: 1996
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Website address:
  • Contact Name: Visitor Outreach Coordinator
  • Phone: 828-669-3937
  • Community Address:
    5 Consensus Circle
    Black Mountain, North Carolina, 28711
    United States
  • FIC Membership

    Since 1993
    This Community is an FIC Member
  • Location


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling)
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience, Neighborhood, Community Housing, or Homeowner’s Association
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 329 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Natural built structues
  • Current Number of Residences: 44
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental, Work-exchange
  • Land owned by: combination of shared and individual group ownership
  • Additional Comments:

    One of our neighborhoods is based on the cohousing model.


  • Adult Members: 50
  • Child Members: 10
  • Non-member Residents: 8
  • Percent Women: 51-60%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Contact us at Earthaven. We have regularly scheduled tours. Visits are by appointment only.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    People live here as guests, non-member residents, and work exchangers. They can apply to become Exploring Members. Exploring Members can later apply to become Provisional Members. Provisional Members can apply to become Full Members. We also have Sustaining Members – people who used to be members and no longer live here but we still consider them members of the Earthaven family.

  • Additional Comments:

    Spiritually eclectic. Most members share ecospiritual values.

    Most elementary-aged children are homeschooled at Earthaven; some parents collaborate on homeschooling programs.


  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No
  • Additional Comments:

    Our decision-making method is a combination of the N St. Consensus Method and an 85% supermajority method, and we choose annual officers in a process derived from Socicoracy’s “Selecting People for Roles” (elections) process.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Additional Comments:

    Community labor requirements are 2-4 hours/week; 1500 hours total in first 10 years.

    The joining fee amount has been changed and will be divided between an amount to the community itself ($8,000 total), and another amount, depending on which neighborhood a new member joins.
    Annual dues & fees range between approximately $600 to $900 per year.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are totally off grid.
  • Energy sources: Solar, Hydro-Electric
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned food produced: From 50-75%
  • Food produced locally: Almost All, around 90%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Outbuilding(s), Tractor & Farm Equipment, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas
  • Internet Available: Yes, both the community and individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: No, it is slow.
  • Cell Phone Service: Not good for most people.
  • Shared meals: About once a week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Most members eat some dinners sometimes with others in their neighborhood; we currently have about five different neighborhoods with some shared meals.

    Most members are omnivores; a few are vegetarians.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Buddhist, Wiccan, Quaker, Unitarian Universalist, Paganism or Earth Religions, Mixed Eastern Philosophy or Practice
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Expected Healthcare Practices:

    Most Earthaven members choose holistic health, complimentary medicine methods, and also Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and so on. Few members use regularly allopathic doctors, perhaps except for emergency room care when needed, or help with broken bones, etc.

  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Photo Gallery

Video Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Ecovillage Network of the Americas, GEN-US

Community Affiliations

School of Integrated Living, Village Terraces Cohousing Neighborhood, Culture’s Edge


organic, sustainable agriculture, work exchange, internship, students, organic farming