Living Energy Farm

Louisa, Virginia, United States

  • Last updated: September 18, 2017 (1 second ago)
  • Listing created on: January 8, 2012

Mission Statement

sustainability agriculture

Community Description

The Mission Statement of Living Energy Farm
The Living Energy Farm is a project to build a community, education center, and farm that demonstrates that a fulfilling life is possible without the use of any fossil fuel. Our mission is to serve as an example and actively promote lifestyles and technologies that are truly sustainable, and to make these sustainable technologies accessible to all persons regardless of their income or social position.

LEF is a zero fossil fuel school and community. Our goal is to demonstrate that it is possible to live a healthy joyful life without the use of any fossil fuel, and to promote this lifestyle far and wide.

We operate an organic farm that grows vegetable and grain seeds for income. We produce all of our own electricity with photovoltaics, and we run our tractors on woodgas, a low-grade biofuel. We heat our homes and cook our food with solar energy. We grow a large percentage of our own food, and preserve the harvest by drying and canning.

We also host interns and volunteers in an educational program covering diverse areas of modern sustainable living, including organic gardening and orcharding, green building, solar water and space heating, solar electricity, woodgas, composting toilets, bicycle repair, and other subjects. Most importantly, LEF teachs about the importance of sustainable technology in context, about when and where such technologies are effective and when they are not. The most powerful sustainable “technology” we employ is cooperative living.

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 2010
  • Start Living Together: 2012
  • 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: Debbie Piesen
  • Phone: 540 205 9815
  • Community Address:
    1022 Bibb Store Rd
    Louisa, Virginia, 23093
    United States
  • Location


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling)
  • Programs & Activities: Transition Town (post-petroleum and off-grid communities), School, Educational Institute or Experience, Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming
  • Location: Small Town or Village


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 127 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Multi-family homes
  • Current Number of Residences: 10
  • Housing Provided: Rental, Work-exchange
  • Land owned by: A subgroup of community members


  • Adult Members: 5
  • Child Members: 4
  • Non-member Residents: 4
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    You must e-mail or call us in advance if you want to visit. If you drop in unannounced, we will send you away. We accept visitors for two days or less without process other than calling us to schedule. If you wish to schedule a longer visit or internship, please send us a letter about yourself, your background, why you are interested in LEF, and how long you would like to visit.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Process to become a resident or intern of LEF begins with a one week visit. Current residents decide by positive consensus to accept a new resident or intern. Positive consensus aims to make decisions with the input of everyone in the group, but does not emphasize the right to block. A member may call for a vote if a decision cannot be made by consensus.


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

    The residency makes decisions about community membership cooperatively. The board of directors make decisions about the school and outreach programs.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: Partial share of income
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 20
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Residents may contribute either cash or work in exchange for housing and food. Personal expenses beyond room and board are left to the individual. Work exchange arrangements are made on a case-by-case basis.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are totally off grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Biofuel
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 100%
  • Current food produced: From 50-75%
  • Planned food produced: Almost All, around 90%
  • Food produced locally: From 50-75%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Swingsets & play areas
  • Internet Available: No
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all meals
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Mostly Vegetarian, Dairy-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Quaker, Paganism or Earth Religions, Agnostic
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Video Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)

Community Affiliations

Acorn, Twin Oaks, Mimosa, Cambia


ecology, sustainablility, organic farming, orchards