Hygieia Homestead

Sterling, Michigan, United States

  • Last updated: June 30, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: January 28, 2007

Mission Statement

The mission of Hygieia Homestead is to promote peace by caring for the earth and focusing on the health of humanity.

Community Description

We are a self-sufficient farm focusing on the health of the planet and all her inhabitants by learning and teaching sustainable farming, high raw vegan food philosophy and lifestyle, spiritual practices, peaceful honest communication, and ecological building. We are making a positive response to the present social condition and plan to be part of the solution by offering to share our land and profit with other like-minded people becoming a worker-owned organic vegetable farm We have recently purchased a corner property across the road and hope to establish a farm stand there. We have established a growing schedule that works and a market. We currently sell to seed companies, health-food stores, restaurants, and cooperatives. We want the farm to live on after us.
About one acre is wooded and we are expanding the woods. We planted 3 orchards in fall of 2006 – a nut orchard, a stone fruit orchard and what we call a “papple” orchard with apples, pawpaws, persimmons and pears. We prune and plant every year and are starting to get fruit. We also have perennial berries, herbs, root crops and flowers. Other adjacent lands available. We want to offer classes in raw vegan food preparation and philosophy and sustainable agriculture.


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling)
  • Programs & Activities: Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, Ethical Business, Investment Group, or Alternative Currency, WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 55.3 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 1
  • Planned number of residences: 2
  • Planned Residence Types: Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Natural built structues
  • Housing Provided: Work-exchange, Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: Individual community member(s)
  • Additional Comments:

    With an eye on becoming a worker-owned farm, we built a 30- by 100-foot earth-sheltered, passive-solar heated building with a hip roof and a loft above where we currently live. One end is a 900 sq ft root cellar with with 3 rooms insulated and covered with 3 feet of earth. We have a composting toilet and constructed graywater oasis with health department’s blessing! Our plan is to eventually build a large house with guest rooms and turn this building into a harvest barn. We use propane and electricity now but are prepared to live off the grid if necessary. Would love to live off the grid.


  • Adult Members: 2
  • Child Members: 0
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Read the description to see if they want to work on a co-operative farm and eat a vegan diet. Then Email or telephone to arrange a visit.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    After talking on the phone a visit should be arranged to compare goals and see if we are compatible.

  • Additional Comments:

    Earth and nature based. Law of attraction.
    Personal growth and achieving higher consciousness. We believe in honesty with kindness (respect and compassion) will be an important step to world peace.


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

    There are only two of us, so far.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: All or close to all
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes (some debt)
  • Additional Comments:

    We are married. Open to other arrangements with others.
    This is a farm so labor arrangements are basically whatever needs to be done. As a cooperative we all have a stake in the success of the farm business. We earn income by growing and selling certified organic fruit, vegetables, honey and value added products such as dried fruit.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 50-75%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Biomass
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Current food produced: Almost All, around 90%
  • Planned food produced: Almost All, around 90%
  • Food produced locally: Almost All, around 90%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: No, it is slow.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all meals
  • Dietary Practice: Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Vegan Only (plants only, no animal products) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegan., Raw or Mostly Raw
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Yes – we all share a common diet.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Preparing food and eating together is a joyful sacred time for us!
    Live vegan diet is very important to us. Eventually we want to hold classes in live food philosophy and preparation and feel all members must be earnestly working in this direction. Janet has written two books on the subject of why and how to eat raw vegan food.

    Unpasterized wine for special occasions only.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Buddhist, Paganism or Earth Religions
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Expected Healthcare Practices:

    Our focus is on daily habits such as diet, yoga, meditation, and exercise that prevents most chronic illness.

  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Additional Comments

It is in a beautiful remote area of Michigan. We are 7 miles from a store or gas station. There is a lake beach nearby and a river for canoeing. We mow cross country ski trails every year.

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance (MOFFA), Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS)


cooperative farm, sustainable agriculture, vegan food, organic produce