Our Campus at Earthaven Ecovillage
Many of SOIL's courses take place among the homes, kitchens, cottage industries, cozy neighborhood homesteads, sustainable homesites, small farms, forests, and daily lives of our residents and neighbors at Earthaven Ecovillage and the Taylor Creek Watershed. This permaculture-based community offers a unique living classroom where students directly engage with regenerative food systems, eco-infrastructure, and the intimate experience of community living.
Founded in 1994, Earthaven Ecovillage is located on 329 acres in culturally rich, biologically diverse western North Carolina, roughly 50 minutes southeast of Asheville and 30 minutes southeast of Black Mountain. Surrounded by like-minded, ecologically oriented neighbors, Earthaven is home to 80+ residents, including students and visitors.
Earthaven’s mission is to create “a living laboratory and educational seed bank for a sustainable human future.” Earthaven members seek to become empowered, responsible, ecologically literate citizens, modeling a bioregionally appropriate culture and valuing sustainable ecological systems, permaculture design, elegant simplicity, right livelihood, and healthy social relations.
Check out Earthaven's location on Google Maps.
What is an ecovillage?
A widely used definition is a “human-scale, full-featured settlement in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world in a way that is supportive of healthy human development, with multiple centers of initiative, and which can be successfully continued into the indefinite future.” — Robert and Diane Gilman
Western North Carolina’s Appalachian Culture
The Western North Carolina mountains are home to the urbane and artsy city of Asheville, known for its culinary, dance, and music scene and its thriving artistic community. The North Carolina mountains offer breathtaking beauty—its section of the Appalachian Trail is among the most scenic of the whole hike—and hold unique ecological diversity in their subtropical, temperate, and boreal habitats. The area around Asheville also offers outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting and rock climbing.
If you'd like to visit Earthaven before enrolling or attending class, we encourage you to take a tour, camp, or attend a potluck. The camping season runs from April to November. In season, the campground is open to the public by reservation only. The cost is $15 per night per adult or $20 per night for two adults on one site. Supporting members are entitled to one week of free camping per six months of membership and discounted rates throughout the year. To make a reservation, call the Earthaven Office at 828-669-7271 or email information~at~earthaven.org. Visit Earthaven's rentals page for indoor lodging options or contact us.
A plethora of lodging options are also available in the nearby town of Black Mountain, a 30-minute drive from Earthaven.