As a community, we felt it would be helpful to share some background about our daily routine and a few of the things to consider before visiting. We especially encourage visitors to be self motivated and to ask questions, to lend a hand during meals and on community projects. Some of these things include gardening, helping to carry water, gather and cut firewood, start morning and evening fires, prepare meals, wash dishes, gather food, etc. All of our cooking is sone over an open fire.
Aside from dumpstering, our food is gathered seasonally and grown in our small garden. We ask visitors to be prepared to help gather and preserve food – usually greens in the spring, greens and fruits in the summer, fruits, nuts acorns and meat in the fall. Our community spends weeks processing these foods, and it helps us to be able to share with others if visitors help with these projects during their stay.
Somethings to be aware of during your stay:
Please stay home if you are sick – even with a cold. Any germs you bring in with you tend to get spread throughout the community. None of us likes to be sick, and we all hate to change our plans and postpone visits, but please do yourself and all of us a favor and stay home to listen to your body and take care of youself.***
-Please come prepared to camp during your stay. We do have a limited number of cabins, but we keep these available for people with kids, or other needs. There are lots of camping spots down by the stream or in the forest, and people are also welcome to build their own debris huts if they are motivated to. So, please come with a tent, hammock or tarp and sleeping bag or blanket. Be aware that it can be rainy at any season. **Don’t forget the rope to put your stuff up with. Hammocks are especially useful here during the summer, and tarps are almost necessary to put over the tent, so if at all possible, bring an 8×10 tarp to use.
-We are a very small community. Photos on the site tend to give a distorted picture of how many residents are usually here, and the number of permanent residents tend to fluctuate year to year, due to transience, etc. We also have a large number of visitors and guests from Spring to Summer, so it is impossible to give a real answer to the question of how many people live at *******. However, the number of permanent residents tends to be from 2 – 8 at any given time. Guests can be anywhere from none to 10 at any given time.
-******* is not an anarchist community, though it originally had its roots in the green anarchist movement. Many people who come to visit identify themselves with this label, and sometimes even residents, however as an intention, the community is not anarchist. While we do not wish to be labelled politically with any movement or group, this is due to the wish to not have any particular identification label or ‘box’. However, no judgement is levelled at any person who wishes to label themselves this way.
-We close to visitors during winter. This generally is from November to March. We do sometimes make exceptions for people who are coming through the area and just want to visit for a day or 2, but we generally have very little going on during the hibernation period, and space is limited, not to mention weather issues and our own need to rest. So, we ask that, unless you really really want to visit during this period, that you try to plan visits during the other 3 seasons.
-Bring a few things with you to help you work on various projects. We do have some tools, but it is difficult to be constantly having to provide basic things such as scissors, needles, thread, etc. So, it you think you will be working on sewing or leatherworking projects, bring a small sewing kit, a knife, etc. Your sewing kit should contain needles, scissors, maybe some artificial sinew or glovers needles and an awl, if you are going to work on buckskin projects. Most of these things can be bought at crafts stores, or in Asheville at Earth Guild. A good knife is almost essential – and don’t forget a sharpening stone. The knife should be of good quality, but doesn’t need to be expensive. A good, inexpensive knife to consider is the Mora brand fixed blade knife. If you need to, we can show you how to sharpen the knife, or make an awl, make a knife sheath, etc.
-We do keep deer hides for people to use if they want to learn to tan hides. We have some for sale for $15.00 apiece, and we also have some available for trade. You are also welcome to bring hides of your own if you have some.
-Visitors are asked to donate a minimum of $15 a month towards a community expense fund. This goes towards such necessaries as canning jars, taxes, tool replacements, etc. We have been approached about work trade in place of the $15 a month and unfortunately we just can’t accommodate that. In such a small community, everybody works avery day – though not on a timeclock – and it is impossible to try to figure out what ‘more’ would be. As a compromise, we do offer the first 2 weeks free to everybody who wants to stay as a short term visitor.
-Cell phones don’t work here.
-Bring some personal eating and drinking utensils. We do have a limited supply, but it is easier if you bring your own.
-There are no electrticity, computers, or running water here. We do have a land line phone.
-Bring some projects or have an idea of some things you would like to learn or accomplish here. Some ideas are: friction fire making, hidetanning, edible and medicinal plant uses, buckskin projects, deadfalls, etc. There are sometimes extra deer hides for guests to use to learn hide tanning.
-We ask people to bring a bit of extra food with them to offset the food they use. We will often during the summer have 10 or 15 people visiting and staying, and trying to feed that many people is something that we just can’t do by ourselves. You don’t have to feed the community but a couple of bags of the below would be greatly appreciated: fresh produce – store or garden, brown rice, black beans, sugar, honey, nut butters, granola, cornmeal, teas of various kinds, amaranth, quinoa, molasses, maple syrup, coconut milk. Dumpstering is great. Food stamps are fine, bought or gardened are great too. We are not absolutist, but we do try to stay away from overly processed foods with lots of artificial and partially hydrogenated whatevers.
-We do understand that people hitchhiking in, in particular, have a hard time bringing any or much food with them. To help with this, for hitchhikers who are staying for longer than a few days, we also offer the option of paying a bit more towards community expenses. While we can’t put an exact number on it here, it might generally be $5 or $10 dollars, more if you are staying for more than a week or so.
-We do not have a hard and fast rule regarding things such as coffee, smoking, etc. However, be aware that if you do have addictions such as the above, that you are responsible for bringing your own. Stores are pretty far away, and we only go in ourselves once a week or so. Bring enough if you do drink coffee regularly or smoke.
-While we are not straight edge, we do discourage more than occasional use of addictive substances, including pot, while staying here. We have found that heavy use of drugs while here tends to deaden a person’s self motivation and self awareness and can be fairly disruptive.
-We have a very limited parking area. If possible, hitchhike. If not possible, there are a couple of extra spaces for cars. In addition, our driveway, while not too long, is very rough. If your car is low or even normal clearance, it will not make it up, and will have to be parked across the street. Also, RV’s, busses, vans, etc. will not be able to be parked up the driveway. In some cases, they could be parked in the pullout across the street.
-Children are welcome. We are trying to encourage a greater age diversity and life experience diversity. Be aware though that currently there are not other children in residence.
-We are not vegetarians, vegans or straight edge. We do mostly eat wild meat, though occasionally dumpstered. People who are vegans, etc. please be aware that you may have to provide for yourself at meal times. Also, be aware that you should plan to bring more of your own food with you.
-We generally eat twice a day. If you are used to 3 meals a day, or feel you need snacks during the day, please bring your own snacks with you. We do occasionally have crackers, etc. but it should not be counted on.
-If you, or your kids, are sick, please consider postponing your visit until after you are no longer sick. Listening to ones body is a skill we can learn more of, and it helps to not pass it around our community as well.
-We do not ‘live off the land’. Our goal is to be always moving more and more in that direction, as we learn more and more skills, and are capable of more and more independent thought and living. However, we are a ‘work in progress’ as well. We are still to an extent dependent on the system, in many ways. Practicality is the argument here, but we are always working towards less and less of those things, and moving more towards gathered and grown.
-Whether or not to have domesticated dogs as a presence here at ******* has caused many discussions and problems in the past. There are no dogs living on the land and there is a general consensus that we don’t want dogs or cats to live here, in order to encourage wildlife to continue repopulating the area, and to discourage domestication. We are occasionally willing to work with visitors who have dogs and are willing to take responsibility for them. But we do wish for people to be aware that there have been some very serious arguments surrounding this particular issue and to not ask to bring dogs unless you have no other way of visiting without them and you are truly willing to take responsibility for them. (which means generally not allowing them to run around chasing wildlife, not get into pots, bowls, etc. Listen when you tell them to do something and generally be well behaved. Also, please let us know before you show up that you have a pet.
If you would like to visit, please email us and tell us a bit of yourself, what you would like to experience, and when you would like to visit. We generally encourage visitors to arrange a short term visit the first time, but are open to longer term visitations if you let us know ahead of time. We only get to the computer once a week or so, so don’t worry if it takes a bit to get a reply.