Earthen Heart is a community homestead that is guided by permaculture principles. It is a re-learning center located on a 20 acre parcel of land in Bangor, Michigan, United States of America. 10 acres are wooded and connected to hundreds of acres of wilderness that is used for hunting, camping and recreation. Much of the land is “unfit for agriculture” according to the USDA web soil survey but we grow many types of berries, fruits, nuts, greens, garlic, squash, corn, asparagus and countless edible and medicinal plants. We continue to build up the soil with leaf mulch from the forest, black soil from the bog and generally dropping green and brown matter back into the ground.
Earthen Heart is a Community Homestead. As such, it is a prototype. Click here to read a one page Manifesto on the Community Homesteading imperative. Although the land is currently privately owned by Julian Lauzzana, it is Julian’s belief that humans cannot ever own Mother Earth and the intention is to offer very inexpensive living for others in reverence to all Creation. Cooperative ownership is a possible future given the right dynamics.
Formed in 2011, visitors can stay in the downstairs of the main house, in outbuildings, a pop-up trailer, campers, and campsites, hammocks…
Shared meals occur daily if all are interested and opportunities for visiting exist throughout the year primarily as a work trade option for room and board. There are other possible arrangement as well, just get in touch to discuss.
Earthen Heart is an experiment in the creation of a regionally and culturally relevant model of collective life and eco-spiritual living. We are humbled by the vast network of global efforts of intentional communities and ecovillages of which we are a part and are working to create an improved “village” mentality in this area of Southwest Michigan, USA and beyond. This village creation ideally happens on-site (micro-locally) through connection with area farms (regionally) and with the vast network of sustainable communities in development (globally).
The Community Homestead is thus a process of striving towards a lean rural alternative to the single family homestead. The single family claiming a piece of land and defending it against others (Native Americans in particular) is an old model that is in need of healing and evolution. We open our doors to others who share a similar vision and wish to participate short or long term in a collective process of manifesting the village on this piece of land.
Earthen Heart is a Re-Learning Center — a place to collectively reclaim skills and ways lost over the last couple generations as modern industrial man has chosen to trample on Mother Earth and impose the industrialization model. Earthen Heart is a place to learn about the medicinal and nutritional value of our plant teachers, that are generally considered “weeds,” such as: Yarrow, Mullein, Dandelion, Nettles, Amaranth and Plantain; a place to sow, harvest and consume high quality, no spray foods cultivated in the gardens and foraged in the woods; a place to reclaim our sense of taste which has been corrupted by GMO foods, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils and other such atrocities that are the staple of life in the USA. A place to learn together how to live in accordance with our values and ideals.
Earthen Heart is a food processing center that creates various “value-added” foods for homestead consumption and also sold under the Cottage Food Laws of Michigan (allowing $25,000 in sales within the household). We sell these no spray, nutrient rich, hyper-local products through open houses, farmers markets and direct sales.
Earthen Heart opportunities include:
Blueberry Collaborative and/or Adopt a Row. Share the work of pruning and harvesting blueberries. Enjoy half the fresh berries you pick for yourself and leave half. These are plentiful in mid-August but begin in late July. Stay in touch for more on the current season outlook. Pruning takes place in late Winter and early Spring (late February-mid March).
Farm Visits (advance notice required). Value added products can be purchased by visiting the farm. We currently have many items, including but not limited to: sumac salt (sumac berries, salt and herbs), blueberries (frozen, dehydrated, leather, jelly, jam), dried apples, garlic (cured, powder, salt), dried herbs (yarrow, mullein, catnip).
Farm Stays. We have modest accommodations for short to long term stays and have hosted many people since 2010 (mostly WWOOFers). Generally the arrangement is work 4-6 hours/day for a room and meals. There are possibilities to create income for those who wish to stay longer and are entrepreneurial and driven to create a micro-enterprise and market products.
We Hope to See or Hear from You Soon!