Earthaven Ecovillage Experience Week

Live, Work, and Learn at Earthaven

July 30 – August 5, 2023

Earthaven Ecovillage
Near Asheville, NC

Earthaven Ecovillage Experience Week is a residential service-learning program that immerses participants in the life of Earthaven Ecovillage.

Our ecovillage provides the ideal living laboratory for a whole-life skills curriculum—a place to see regenerative systems in practice, food production in action, and community living on a personal level. Participants connect with the people, businesses, and farms of the Taylor Creek Watershed community for a hands-on, skill-building, life-changing experience.

The Earthaven Ecovillage Experience Week curriculum encourages participants to examine sustainability through social, ecological, economic, and eco-spiritual lenses. The learning journey weaves large-group discussions and classes together with intimate hands-on experiences in the village and farms alongside community members. SOIL instructors, together with the community at large, support participants to build important skills, foster awareness for global issues, empower the self, increase connection, and develop the resources required for daily life.

Experiencing day lilies at Earthaven Experience Week

Eco-Explorers Adventure Camp

Day camp for 6-12 year-olds during Earthaven Ecovillage Experience Week. Give your kids an age-appropriate Earthaven experience during the days while you learn about the Earthaven experiment.

Alternative energy expert Chris Farmer leading a biochar workshop at Earthaven Ecovillage

Curriculum

Classes, discussions and activities will explore the following:

Organic Food Production and Natural Buildings

  • Green homes (tiny houses, stud-frame, cob, straw-bale, earthship)

  • Small-scale farms and home gardens (permaculture gardens, integrated farms, compost)

  • Service-learning projects and farm harvest work parties

  • Nourishing, local, sustainably-grown, organic, and wild food

Renewable Energy and Off-Grid Utilities

  •  Off-grid renewable systems in practice (photovoltaic, micro-hydro, radiant-floor heating, hot water diversions, wood-fired boiler)

  • Biochar, a charcoal fertilizer with energy-positive production

  • Development of energy alternatives to meet the world’s impending energy crisis

Dr. Monique Mazza explaining the soil food web

Resilient Community and Regenerative Culture

  • Earthaven and other successful ecovillages and land-based endeavors (both rural and urban)
  • The social, environmental, and economic factors necessary for sustainable projects to succeed
  • Earthaven legal structure and governance 101

Personal Growth and Empowerments

  • Personal goals and resources through Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects
  • Connection to yourself, others, and the natural world
  • Designing an authentic, meaningful, and responsible life in the modern world

In addition to classes, discussions, and activities, you’ll enjoy meals and rituals with community members as well as the option to participate in yoga, meditation, and hiking.

Tidying the Earthaven Peace Garden
Woman tending Earthaven Ecovillage Peace garden
Happy gardener at the Earthaven Peace garden
Earthaven ecovillage market

Program Schedule

This week-long program consists of expert lectures, fireside conversations, community celebrations, hands-on projects, journaling, tours, and interactive activities to provide an intimate, well-rounded, and powerful learning experience.

Sunday
1:00 Arrival
2:30–6:30 Welcome, Orientation, and Village Tour
6:30–7:30 Dinner
7:45–9:30 Opening Circle

Monday through Friday
8:00–8:30 Breakfast
9:00–12:00 AM Session
12:15–2:15 Lunch and Independent Time
2:30–5:30 PM Session
5:30–6:30 Independent Time
6:30–7:30 Dinner
7:30–9:30 Evening Activities

Saturday
8:00–8:30 Breakfast
9:00–12:00 Final Session and Closing Circle
12:15–2:00 Lunch and Departure

The Group

This program is primarily designed for adults. However, mature young adults under 18 years old are also welcome. Please contact SOIL to discuss the enrollment of passionate individuals under 18.

We welcome families with children to attend. This year we’re offering a youth camp called Eco-Explorers Adventure Camp for 6-12 year old children that will run concurrently with Experience Week, Sunday-Saturday. This camp will allow your children to have an age-appropriate experience during the day with other children while you are learning the ins and outs of the Earthaven experiment. When the Adventure Camp is not in session, the Experience Week participants’ children will be with their parents and the Experience Week group.

Sliding Scale Tuition

Because some people have more financial means than others, we have created a sliding scale fee system to accommodate a range of economic realities. The high-end of the scale reflects the value we believe the program holds, and the low-end offers a more accessible entry point.

By choosing a higher price point, you are helping make the program more accessible to others for whom the low-end may be cost-prohibitive. Please consider your needs and resources to determine what might be a stretch, but not a strain.

Cost

Adults
Tuition Sliding Scale: $700-800 per adult

Youth

  • Toddlers and young children (0-5 years): free
  • Children (6-12 years): $575-675 includes kids day camp Monday-Friday, materials, and all meals. Register and pay for each child separately on the Eco-Explorers Adventure Camp page.
  • Teens (13-17 years): $450

What’s Included

Tuition includes meals, instruction, and all materials. Accommodations as well as transportation are available for an additional cost.

Scholarships
We offer partial scholarships (50% of the middle of the sliding scale) to black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) with financial needs who otherwise would not be able to afford to attend. We understand that BIPOC experience more financial and institutional barriers to participation, and this is one way we are able to create more access. If you identify as BIPOC with financial needs and would like to receive a scholarship, please contact us.

Logistics

Lodging
Several accommodation options are available at Earthaven Ecovillage and in the surrounding area.

Camping
Cost per person: 6 nights $95

Campground Cabin Shared Lodging
Cost per person: 6 nights $130

Shared Indoor Lodging
Cost per person: 6 nights $170

Private Indoor Lodging
Cost for 1 person: 6 nights $260
Cost for 2 people (shared bed): 6 nights $390

Off-Site Options
Various options in Bat Cave, Black Mountain, and Asheville.

Read More About Accommodations

Food

Examples of food served at School of Integrated Living programs

Delicious, omnivorous meals are prepared by talented culinary artists from the Earthaven community. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options available. Snacks and beverages (tea, coffee) are provided. Participants are invited to help with meal clean-up. Many hands make light work.

As much food as possible is sourced from Earthaven and its surrounding farms and gardens, with some ingredients sourced from local grocery stores. Our meals are created with seasonal, local, fresh, wildcrafted, humanely-raised, and organic ingredients.

***If you have dietary needs beyond the ones listed here, please be prepared to bring supplemental food to support your nourishment and well-being. Our kitchen simply cannot accommodate all diets.

Program Specific Info

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included, Friday dinner through Thursday lunch.

Cancellation & Refunds

If you cancel your registration, you may:

  • Donate your tuition to support our continued work
  • Request a refund per our policy:
    • 90% refund for cancellations prior to 30 days before the start of the program
    • 50% refund for cancellations prior to 10 days before the start of the program

If SOIL cancels this program for any reason whatsoever, you would receive a 100% refund.

Contact us at info@schoolofintegratedliving.org with registration questions.

Crowdfunding & Fundraising

Check out our Crowdfunding & Fundraising page for creative ways to engage your community and launch a "Community Supported Education" campaign. This approach can help support your investment in yourself, your community, the planet, and future generations.

Location

This program takes place at Earthaven Ecovillage. This permaculture-based community offers a unique living classroom where participants will engage with the natural world, eco-infrastructure, and the intimate experience of rural community living.

What to Expect at Earthaven

Instructors

Photo of intentional communities expert Diana Leafe Christian

Diana Leafe Christian

Earthaven Experience Programs Faculty

Diana is author of Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities, about forming successful communities and ecovillages and Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community. She speaks at conferences, offers consultations, and leads webinars and workshops internationally on starting successful new intentional communities, how existing communities can resolve conflicts and become more healthy and thriving, and sociocracy, a self-governance and decision-making method she finds especially effective for communities.

Off-grid energy system expert Chris Farmer

Chris Farmer

Earthaven Experience Programs Faculty

Chris has cleared his own farm field, designed and built passive solar homes using the wood from the trees he has killed (including his own Microhut), held leadership positions at Earthaven Ecovillage, raised turkeys, grown vegetables, co-founded the Forestry Cooperative, designed and installed multiple off-grid energy systems, and a few other things.

Monique Mazza ND

Dr. Monique Mazza, ND

Faculty

Monique is a Naturopathic Physician, regenerative biodynamic gardener, homesteader, mother and dedicated community member who has lived at Earthaven Ecovillage since 2016. Her passion for food as medicine fuels her efforts to sustainably grow and raise much of her family’s food including a diversity of vegetables, fruits, berries, laying hens, broiler chickens, turkeys, and even rainbow trout!

Wild foods expert Dimitri Magiasis

Dimitrios Magiasis

Earthaven Experience Programs Faculty

Dimitri is a naturalist, natural builder, and naturopathic doctor, one who teaches that wellness comes from cultivating a deep connection to the natural world.  His other passions are nature awareness, foraging for food and medicine, gardening, and supporting bonds that engender a tightly-knit community.

NikiAnne Feinberg

NikiAnne Feinberg

In-person Programs Director, Faculty

Throughout the last two decades, NikiAnne has been immersed in community and in service to a wide range of educational endeavors focused on nature connection, personal empowerment, and community resilience. No matter what she’s teaching, NikiAnne is always on the same mission: to raise awareness of our whole selves – gifts, passions, blind spots, shadows – and help those whole selves find and fill niches in their communities.

Becky Boisvert

Becky Boisvert

Program Coordinator

An inveterate adventurer, Becky (she/her) has grown to see life itself as the adventure. That life is made richer in community at Earthaven where Becky, her daughter Willow, and her co-parent Sanne moved in 2018. She loves bringing lofty, creative visions to life. In her first career as an educator, she taught at an arts-integrated charter school, mentored gap-year students in India and Guatemala, and created a holistic middle school. Since then, she has produced two documentary films, coached individuals and couples toward greater wholeness, and begun holding mediations.

Earthaven Ecovillage Co-founder Arjuna da Silva

Arjuna da Silva

Faculty, Earthaven Co-Founder

Writer, editor, designer, process-oriented educator, Arjuna turned 75 in October 2021 and is celebrating having landed at Earthaven, helping to build a sustainable community and non-profit education center. She designed and helped build an amazing natural house, and is still evolving ideas and programs for The Natural Building School and other regenerative methods and tools.

Elizabeth Díaz

Elizabeth Díaz

Earthaven Experience Programs Faculty, Farmer

Elizabeth has been getting her hands dirty in Western North Carolina since 2004. She runs a small subsistence farm at Earthaven, tending to a variety of animals and plants, including milk and beef "cows," pigs, laying hens, broiler chickens, turkeys, livestock guardian dogs, as well as grasses, cover crops, and silage crops of many varieties.

Headshot photo of community expert Debbie Lienhart

Debbie Lienhart

Online Programs Director, Faculty

Debbie has a lifelong passion for learning, including university degrees in geography, computer science, and technical communication. At Earthaven, she has been involved in governance, promotions, and partnership culture, and was a partner in the Useful Plants Nursery for eight years. She is currently drawing on her technical and management background to develop and promote SOIL online learning programs. Her current interests include growing fruits and nuts.

Registration

Complete the registration form once per participant. It takes 5-10 minutes, and you will complete your enrollment with a credit card authorization.

After your enrollment is processed, you will receive several confirmations…

  1. An automatic confirmation of receiving your registration form
  2. A payment confirmation from our card processor
  3. Confirmation that your registration has been processed
Participant Info - Step 1 of 3

Earthaven Ecovillage Experience Week

July 30-Aug 5, 2023
Given what's alive for you in life right now and where you want to go in your life, how would participating be most valuable to you?