Earthaven Ecovillage Experience Week

Exploring social connection and off-grid systems for community living

July 21-27, 2024

Earthaven Ecovillage
Near Asheville, NC

Experience Week is a residential immersion into the community life of Earthaven Ecovillage. Experience Week will give you an inside look at the radical social and ecological experimentation that has taken place in this land-based community over the past 29 years. This is a rare opportunity for deep, focused time with cultural creatives who can reveal what has worked and not worked. Save precious time in your own journey of creating community by building upon lessons we’ve learned rather than starting from scratch.

Alongside an ecological crisis of rising sea levels, polluted air, toxic oceans, and mass extinction of species, many people are also experiencing a social crisis of disconnection, isolation, and loss of meaning and purpose. Although Earthaven doesn’t have ready-made solutions for healing all these problems, we are engaging in thoughtful, practical strategies that attempt to merge ancestral wisdom and technological innovation with earth- and community-centered ethics. As a community, we are grounding our visions in authentic connection to spirit and the land, in an effort to bring some order and beauty into this fragmented world.

For these reasons, this ecovillage provides the ideal setting for a whole-life skills curriculum — a place to see regenerative systems in practice and food production in action, and experience community living on a personal level.

In addition to experiencing some aspects of the daily village life of Earthaven, participants can also experience community within their cohort by sharing meals, social activities, their experiences, and hearth-tending tasks. Many participants come to the program during or while preparing for a life transition — questioning aspects of their current lifestyle and curious about their options. Others come to the program for a retreat from their daily life —  a chance to be in a different place around different people while enjoying wholesome food prepared by someone else.  In the words of a past participant… “The community building we did as an Experience Week group was a wonderful surprise to me, and I made life-long friends and important contacts for my future as someone seeking intentional community.”

This is a unique and powerful opportunity for learning in a compassionate community setting with the intention of forging meaningful connections with ourselves, each other, and the natural world. Now, more than ever, the work of coming together is essential. Together, we discover creative and effective ways to act responsibly where and when we can.

Registration Closed.


Hands in a circle in the Earthaven Council Hall
Learning about holistic farming


The 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. 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 an embodied life.

Organic Food Production and Natural Buildings

  • See inside eco-friendly and consciously-built homes (tiny houses, stud-frame, cob, straw-bale, earthship, earthen plaster).
  • Learn where our food comes from. See permaculture and agricultural experimentation in action on small-scale farms and homesteads.
  • Connect with and give back to the land through service learning projects and work parties.
  • Be nourished by local, sustainably-grown, organic, and wild food.
  • Identify, harvest, and eat wild edible plants

Renewable Energy and Off-Grid Utilities

  • Learn about off-grid renewable systems in practice (photovoltaic, micro-hydro, radiant-floor heating, hot water diversions, wood-fired boiler).
  • Make biochar, a charcoal fertilizer with energy-positive production.
  • Explore the development of energy alternatives to meet the world’s impending energy crisis.
Feast ingredients

Resilient Community and Regenerative Culture

  • Learn about successful ecovillages and land-based endeavors (both rural and urban)
  • Work with the three-legged stool of sustainability — the social, environmental, and economic factors necessary for sustainable projects to succeed
  • Get an introductory understanding of Earthaven legal structure and governance.
  • Learn how conflict and loss build intimacy and are essential to community survival
  • Hear about the realities of community living straight from the mouths of Earthaven’s members and residents.
  • Get introduced to our local, community-supported commerce and creative economies.

Personal Growth and Empowerment

  • Identify your personal goals and resources through Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects.
  • Connect to yourself, others, and the natural world.
  • Explore what it means to be a responsible human living an authentic and meaningful life.
  • Be supported in moving from inspiration and motivation into embodied and awakened action.

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.

This is hands-down the most authentic and interactive experience regarding ecovillage structure and regenerative living that I’ve had in 20 years of my interest in the subjects.


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.

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

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

Families and Youth

We welcome families with children to attend and will do our best to support you and your children. For Experience Week families, we offer childcare for children 4-12 years old during our morning and afternoon sessions. The village setting of Earthaven offers a safe and fun place for people of all ages and stages to explore. Parents are responsible for their children for all other portions of the program, such as during meals and evening activities. Note: The childcare program is closed. Parents will be responsible for their children during all portions of the program.

Some of the Experience Week curriculum involves focused, sit-down presentations, so attending with a young child will likely mean being less able to participate fully in the program.

Experience Week 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 who would like to attend without an adult.

Financial Co-responsiblity and Scholarships

Because some people have more financial means than others, we have created a sliding-scale fee system to accommodate a range of economic realities. We offer several price tiers and leave it to you to select the most appropriate tier. The price range aims to take into consideration economic disparities, historical injustices, and personal circumstances. The system is designed for those with more resources to support those with less.

At Earthaven and through the School of Integrated Living (SOIL), we strive to practice a culture of financial transparency, authenticity, and generosity. Trusting each other to assess their needs, what is within their ability, and when to ask for help. We are excited to include you in our experiment with financial co-responsibility. 

We are now offering self-selected scholarships for many of our programs. No proof of need, no questions asked. Just the clear intention of trust that registrants can assess whether the cost of a program is truly a barrier to attendance and the growth of self and community our programs seek to foster.

In addition, 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, even with the self-selected scholarships. We understand that BIPOC may 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 deeper scholarship, please contact us.

SOIL endeavors to support the healthy flow of all resources; whether that be monetary or the skills and information that seed cultural change; and widen the doors of accessibility to what we offer.


Tuition Sliding Scale: $675 – 875 per adult. $500 scholarship rate.

Young adults: $500 – $700. $400 scholarship rate. (contact us for approval code)


  • Toddlers (0-3 years): free
  • Children and teens (4-17 years) attending with an adult: $500 Note: The childcare program is closed. You will be responsible for your child during all portions the program. Please contact us to discuss the options.

What’s Included

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



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

Cost per person: 6 nights $95

Campground Cabin Shared Lodging
Cost per bed, including bunks used by children: 6 nights $130

Shared Indoor Lodging 
Cost per person: 6 nights $215

Private Indoor Lodging
Cost for 1 person: 6 nights $285
Cost for 2 people (shared bed): 6 nights $427.50

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

Sleeping bags and pads are available for rental for $15/set for adults and children. Cleaning supplies to clean mats are available before and/or after use. SOIL launders the sleeping bags once a year. 

Read More About Accommodations


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 cannot accommodate all diets.

*** Although we would like to know if you have any allergies, we cannot provide an anaphylactic safe meal. There is always the chance of cross contamination.

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 [email protected] 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.


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


Photo of intentional communities expert Diana Leafe Christian

Diana Leafe Christian

Earthaven Experience Programs Faculty

Diana 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. She is also an author and editor focused on these areas, and a Member of Earthaven Ecovillage.

Off-grid energy system expert Chris Farmer

Chris Farmer

Since his arrival to EH in 1997, 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 in the community, raised turkeys, grown vegetables, co-founded the Forestry Cooperative, designed and installed multiple off-grid energy systems, and a few other things. His newest excitement is dabbling in small-scale biochar production and wood gasification at Gateway Farm.

Monique Mazza ND

Dr. Monique Mazza, ND

Monique is a Naturopathic Physician, founder of Elements Naturopathic Medicine, 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!

Rachel Fee

Rachel Fee

Experience Programs Faculty

Rachel is a trauma-informed herbalist whose professional interests include infectious disease and bioregional herbal practices. She came to Earthaven in 2017 with her four children. She has a family farm with an egg CSA, goats, and pigs. She participates in community governance as a Council facilitator and an officer. She is passionate about very local and wild foods. For SOIL programs, she leads plant walks and work parties with the Veggie Ladies. She also cooks some of our delicious meals.

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

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

Elizabeth has been getting her hands dirty in Western North Carolina since 2004. After graduating from Warren Wilson College in 2006 with a made-up degree in “Social and Activist Theater,” she began pursuing a life more deeply connected to food and other basic human needs. She began a love affair with cows in 2010 while work-exchanging on a neighborhood farm at Earthaven. Since 2013 she has been running a small subsistence farm operation in the community, where, along with the support of many others, she tends to a variety of animals, along with the plants and land that feed them.

Intentional community governance and financial expert Carmen Lescher

Carmen Lescher

Assistant Director, Bookkeeper, and Faculty

Carmen is dedicated to learning how to be human on this planet at this time. She considers herself a generalist and has owned and operated a pasture-based poultry farm; worked on construction crews building passive solar, off-grid houses; and supported many small businesses with online marketing, administration, and bookkeeping.