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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Earthaven: Week 3

Green Acres (Earthaven) is the place to be
Farm living is the life for me
Land spreading out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan (VA) just give me that countryside!

Merry meet friends.  Michelle here sending lots of love and light.

Does anyone remember the show Green Acres from the sixties?  When I first drove up to Medicine Wheel, that song is what was playing in my head.  There are eleven (11) neighborhoods in Earthaven.  Medicine Wheel is a neighborhood but it doesn't have other homes as yet.  Medicine Wheel is a chaotic beauty.  There is a lot of potential for the house, the garden and the orchard.  It reminds me of Green Acres because it's not completed.

There is a greenhouse attached to the front of the house.  One enters through the greenhouse into the kitchen, dining and great room area.  There is a propane stove for cooking which we try not to use for dinner because of the cost of propane.  In the great room there is a wood stove for heat and further back there is a wood stove for cooking.  To the left of the wood stove is the storage area for wood and what is called the "back 40".  Appliances are stored there, along with seasonal fruits and other useful items. To the back of that is the root cellar where onions, potatoes (white and sweet), all bulk grains and extra supplies are kept.  There is a cabinet in the great room for containers of grains, raisins and corn for popping.

There is an area for coats and shoes near the front door.  To the left of that is the stair case and across from the staircase is a family room.  A door from the family room leads to three bedrooms and a bathroom which houses the shower and a sink.  On the second floor there is another family room, four bedrooms, a tool room, and a bathroom with a compost toilet and sink.  Patricia and another owner of the house have bedrooms on this floor.  A married couple and their child have the other two bedrooms.  There is a door that leads outside to the back of the house. There is another set of stairs leading to the third floor.  There is a family room where movies are watched.  There are five bedrooms and a sixth is being built.  All work exchangers live on the third floor. 

As you can see, the house is quite large.  It is however, a work in progress.  It takes money and workers to finish Medicine Wheel.  Over half a million dollars has been spent so far. Exchangers come from March - November but can choose to stay longer.  Most of the work is in the garden and orchard though, planting and preparing beds.  The house and land will be beautiful when completed.  There is a solar shower outside and two compost toilets.  They are both in the orchard and one is closer than the other.

Earthaven sits on 320 acres of land.  I don't know the names of all of the neighborhoods and I have only visited two of them.  These are the names I do know: The Hut Hamlet, Bellavia, Village Terrace, and Dancing Shiva.  There is a large house called The White Owl.  There is also the free store where people drop off unwanted items and anyone can go get them.  The Council Hall is where meetings, Coffee and Trade, Pot Luck, classes and dances are held.  Hut Hamlet was the first neighborhood.  Most of the homes look like huts and are one story.  I believe a few have lofts.

In the Hamlet, there is a unit called the Tribal Condo.  It has three stories and three families live there.  It has its own gardens and greenhouses.  The compost toilet is enclosed and not far away.  I had lunch there on Thursday.  They have internet service in the condo.  The Hut Hamlet has the Hamlet kitchen for those living in the huts and they eat communally.  Village Terrace is the most expensive neighborhood.  Chickens are raised free range there for eggs.  I have visited there.  I'm told that one of the founding members lives in Bellavia in a beautiful house.  I will visit her soon.  Before I leave I will visit all neighborhoods and take pictures.

Each person in Medicine Wheel takes a turn cooking and being sous chef.  On last Sunday I cooked.  I made an apple crisp and whipped cream from raw milk.  The best whipped cream ever!  All food in Medicine Wheel is organic and local.  Local meaning from NC down to Florida, although Patricia did let me get mushrooms from Pennsylvania for my meal of lima beans and mushrooms over polenta and a huge salad.  For the longest time I've said I wanted to eat seasonally.  This is how we eat but let me tell you, I AM TIRED of beans, grains and potatoes.  Eating seasonally is not too feasible on the east coast!  We eat what's grown and it's been a long winter.  Hurry spring weather, please!

I am learning how to live intentionally and I appreciate that. for at some point I would love to grow my own food and live off the land.  I do think, however, I will have flush toilets. (Shh, don't tell my community)  I'm all for composting and will have a compost toilet but I WILL ALSO HAVE A FLUSH TOILET!  Don't judge me until you've turned your behind to the cold! I'm just saying.

Until next Sunday, Merry part and merry meet again.
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle

P.S. I think I like the name "A Wild Woman Gypsy Journey" as stated by my daughter, Kiya.  What do you think?  Leave me a comment. Holla!


  1. Lol at the toilet...

    Yes. Use the wild name. It adds a kick to the documentation of yhe journey.

    Continue to happily soak it all in.

  2. Hi Michelle, I enjoyed reading your post and trying to visualize Medicine Wheel and Earthaven. Good seeing you the weekend and watch you enjoy the "flushing of the toilets"

    Take care till me meet again.

  3. Hi Debbie Thanks for your words. Yes I believe the movement is modeled after the book which I have read. Love the red tent movement.