Land and buildings at Forest Moon would be based on the ‘tiny house’ model of less than 1000 square feet per home. Most homes could be built comfortably at 400 square feet or less, especially if the ecovillage contained outbuildings that shared the needs of all within one building. For example, a village laundromat instead of each home having a washer/dryer or a community kitchen and dining hall instead of each home having a dining room/kitchen.

Several members of the Black Mountain Druid Order have had experience with using natural materials to build, so our vision of Forest Moon would include using earth, clay, sand, stone, wood, and straw to build homes. We worked with a natural-building architect in the Carolinas to come up with a basic design that could be modified to accommodate needs of residents. It consisted of a strawbale shell covered in earth plaster on a stone foundation. Such a structure has a great deal of thermal mass and insulation. The average stick-built home has an insulation factor of about R15 to R20, while a strawbale home has an insulation factor of R45 to R50!

Using strawbales means building with sustainable materials, and as opposed to cob, adobe, or stick built homes, a smaller (400 square foot) home could be built over a weekend by a dedicated crew of 6 to 12 people.

The model we planned to use for Forest Moon was to build the infrastructure first. That means the ‘town hall’ which would be a council house, community dining hall, and meeting center. Next would be the bath house, and finally the laundromat. These facilities would then be available for all future residents to use while their homes were being built.

The model we planned to use was that we’d teach natural building while building our infrastructure. Given the huge and rising amount of interest in natural building techniques, we could charge people a small fee to come to Forest Moon and learn how to build using natural materials. They would then help us build our infrastructure. We’d get free labor and they’d get knowledge.

As the community grew the plan was to continue to teach natural building, and as residents were added we could have workshops to help them build their homes. As residents were added they would have help in building their homes in the form of natural building students. The workshop fees could also help to pay for the materials required to build their homes. The cost wouldn’t be much, as most of the materials could be harvested from the building site.

The following is a list of buildings we planned to have at Forest Moon before we abandoned the project. Most consist of preliminary sketches that were made for concept. We’re including them here so that any groups with more resources and interest than we could muster might benefit from the work we put into the project.

Hopefully one day Forest Moon or something like it could become a reality, but for now, after working on it ten years and not being able to achieve the critical mass necessary, it must remain a dream. We’re keeping this information on the website so others with a similar vision might benefit from the work we did. Hopefully one day there will be enough interest to make it a reality.


The Amphitheater would have been an outdoor solar-powered stage based on the same at Bonnaroo (see photo). It would be located within the community, but far enough away from the residential section that noise and crowds wouldn’t be a nuisance for residents. The Amphitheater would be in the center of the Artists Village (see below). In addition to concerts, the Amphitheater could also produce plays and other outdoor productions.

Artists Village

One of the visions for the future of Forest Moon was to have an open-air artists market at least once per month. There would have been a special section of the village containing booths, an outdoor stage, and concessions. Artists who were either residents of the village or visiting friends could display their wares. There was also the possibility of having permanent spaces for artists from the community.

Bath House

The bath house would have been built next. It would feature showers and toilets for residents and guests. It would also serve as the facilities for the campground guests. Depending on the number of residents and the size of the ecovillage, there may have been more than one bath house, but they would have all used the same general design.


The campground would have been available for major events like concerts or rites for the High Days, but also available for visitors who just wanted to come and check out the ecovillage. It wouldn’t have been large, having no more than 12 to 25 camping spots, but it would have provided camping for visitors. It might have also eventually expanded to include small cabins that could have been rented. One function of the campground would have been that it could have provided a place to stay for new residents as their homes were being built.

Coffee House

The Coffee House would have been last on the infrastructure list in terms of priorities; however, it would still have been an important structure because of its potential for community outreach. Depending on the location of Forest Moon, the Coffee House could have acted as an access point for the larger community, allowing visitors from the surrounding area to come to the village, have a cup of coffee, enjoy some musical entertainment, and see what the village was all about.

Council House

The Council House would have been the first building we built. It would be the heart of the village, where residents elected the village council and voted on matters concerning the village. It would have also doubled as the community kitchen and conference center.

Eco Art Walk

The Eco Art Walk would be a sort of ‘hiking trail’ throughout the village that features installations by artists from the community. Most, if not all, of the art exhibits would be either made from natural materials or repurposed materials. The trail would have benches for meditation, rest, and contemplation, plus water fountains or waterfalls and landscaping that respected the biodiversity of the location.


A necessary part of the ecovillage. Having a centrally located laundromat that all residents of the ecovillage could use minimizes water waste. It also means that residents don’t have to take up square footage in their homes for laundry rooms, making tiny homes a possibility. This laundromat could also be used by campground visitors. The machines could even be card-operated so that non-residents (campers) would pay a minimal fee to do their laundry to help offset operating expenses.

Wedding Chapel

A Wedding Chapel could be an outreach to the larger community, plus a space for Rites of Passage for residents. It wouldn’t be strictly limited to weddings, and could be used for dedications, ordainments, birthday celebrations, funerals, or any other rite of passage a resident would like to celebrate. It could also be rented out to non-residents for similar purposes.

Forest Moon Ecovillage | Art & Music | Cascadia | Cohousing

Food | Government | Land & Buildings | Shops | Spiritual Practices