From NomadicScribe

Main Page > Places > Acorn
 (540) 894-0595
 1259- Indian Creek Road
 Mineral, VA 23117

Cost: $65

visiting info:

  • three-week visits for people considering membership

To take part in our Visitor Program we request that a letter of introduction be sent before finalizing plans, even if you would just like to stay overnight. After establishing initial contact with us we will ask you to write a detailed letter that will be posted for our community members to read. It is from this letter that we will decide to invite you to stay in our home.

Suggestions of what should be included in an introduction letter are:

  • why you are interested in visiting Acorn and intentional communities in general
  • previous community experience (tell us about positive or negative experiences)
  • job experiences and skills
  • work preferences and any physical limitations
  • education or field of study
  • hobbies & interests
  • political, dietary, or religious beliefs, if you feel comfortable sharing
  • your general background and what you're currently up to.
  • Also please let us know the dates you would like to visit.

The more details you provide to us about yourself, the more likely community members will feel comfortable inviting you to visit.

When we write or talk to you we may list the dates that are open as of that moment. However, things change fast, and until there is a clear confirmation of dates, a slot is NOT reserved. Once we have confirmed your visit, please let us know if your plans change so that we may offer that spot to someone else. We limit the number of visitor we take in at a time in order to provide a quality experience for both you and the members of the community.

Contact Log

9 Jul 2006 - e-mailed a letter of introduction including Benjamin's resume: Hello, I'm interested in visiting Acorn sometime this fall. I'm taking time this year to travel around the U.S. to visit several intentional ecological communities to learn about their experiences and possibly find one to move into. I have already visited Lost Valley in Oregon and Dancing Rabbit in Missouri. By the time I reach you, I hope to have visited East Wind and Earthhaven Ecovillage, and possibly Twin Oaks as well!

I hope that this is not too informal, but since I have put together this information several times already, I have created a "community resume" which answers basic information about my intentions, beliefs, experience, current situation and future plans, and have added some more info as requested on your website.

I was wondering if Acorn has specific visitor periods scheduled for the fall. Please e-mail me back with any questions you have or feel free to give me a call at 512-565-6217, or e-mail me and I can call you back.

Cheers, Benjamin

with special extra section:

POLITICAL, DIETARY and RELIGIOUS BELIEFS Political beliefs... I would much prefer to discuss issues of politics over a cup of tea rather than trying to explain what I believe in words. I would say I'm somewhere between republican and anarchist, and probably have aspects of both. Dietary beliefs - I believe in taste and nutrition! Since staying at Dancing Rabbit, I have striven to eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but that's a hard thing to maintain when living with relatives in Dallas, TX! I consider myself an omnivore with an emphasis on vegetarian dining. Religious beliefs - see answer to "political beliefs" - I admire the buddhist philosophy a great deal, although I would not consider myself a buddhist. --Benjamin 03:33, 9 July 2006 (PDT)

10 Jul 2006 - received reply from Stacie:

Hello Benjamin,

Thank you for the interest in Acorn! I suspect it will be fine for you to come for a 3 week visit. I would need to know the exact date you'd like to come (or a range of dates when you are free). Probably what we would have you do is a work exchange visit, rather than a membership visit, since you plan to travel to different communities. I'll paste info about work exchange/internship visits below, including a short list of questions that need answered by you if you want to come. Let me know if this would work for you, and when you think you'd like to come, and I'll be happy to write you into our calendar.

Here's the info:

We do not charge interns/work exchange folks to live here - we provide room, board, and full access to food and resources. For anyone staying over a month, we also offer a small $50 monthly allowance. We generally like to have at least a couple weeks' notice before an internship starts, though we can also accommodate folks on short notice if we have space. We can usually let people know within a few days of receiving internship requests whether we can invite them to come or not.

A little about being an intern here: We don't have a formal teaching program for interns, but interns can learn a great deal about organic gardening and community life here. Interns live pretty much as the rest of our membership - you would live in one of our buildings and have full access to all our in-house resources (food, toiletries, commie clothes, etc). Interns are welcome to come to and participate in our weekly meetings (though they cannot block decisions). While here, interns do a wide range of work, depending on their interests, abilities, and community need - gardening, cooking, building maintenance, child care, wood splitting, seed processing, cleaning, working in our seed business office, mowing, etc etc etc. Right now, the highest need is definitely in our garden! We have a dishwashing rota, and we have required weekly domestic labor. Otherwise, we do not currently schedule labor for anyone, but may decide to have a more structured scheduling system for interns this summer due to feedback from folks in the past. Labor quota for everyone here is 42 hours a week, which can be worked in any areas at any time - domestic labor and child care definitely count as "labor" here, also.

If you are interested in interning/volunteering, just write back with a little more information about why you are interested in Acorn, what skills/interests you have, what you like to do in your free time, what kind of diet you're able to eat (we are mostly vegetarian and vegan) - basically any information that would give us an idea of who you are... and let me know when you'd like to come - so long as there are no concerns from the community, I could go ahead and schedule you.

Please be sure to include the following information in your letter:

Do you use tobacco?

Do you use alcohol? How much/how often?

Do you use other mind/mood-altering substances? Which ones? How often?

Will you want to bring any pets here?

Do you have any physical or mental health issues? How do you deal with them?

What diet are you used to eating or willing to eat? (We are mostly vegetarian and vegan, and almost never have or serve meat)

If you haven't already, I definitely recommend checking out our website: - it has lots of information about our community, and great pictures! Please feel free to email or call me at 540-894-0595 with any questions about interning or the community. Looking forward to hearing back!

Peace, Stacie Weaver Acorn Visitor Liaison

sent reply to stacie on 22 jul 2006:
Thanks for the quick response. I would have replied sooner, but I'm still putting my schedule together for the fall. I would love to do work-trade with you guys. I work-traded at Lost Valley up in Oregon and had a positive experience. I will also be visiting Twin Oaks, during their Oct. 13 - Nov. 2 visitor group. Would it be possible for me to visit Acorn either before or after that period ? It would make sense travel-wise, since you guys are so close together.

To answer your questions:
Do you use tobacco?  no
Do you use alcohol?  How much/how often?   not very often - maybe once per week when I'm in the city
Do you use other mind/mood-altering substances?  Which ones?  How often?  I used to smoke pot, but haven't recently (for about a year)
Will you want to bring any pets here?  just the kind I give with my hand!
Do you have any physical or mental health issues?  How do you deal with them?   no

What diet are you used to eating or willing to eat?  (We are mostly vegetarian and vegan, and almost never have or serve meat)
I like to eat a mostly vegetarian diet with little dairy, but consider myself an omnivore.

Really what drew me to Acorn was Magic: The Gathering. My little Thalids are just not welcome in the city. But out at an ecovillage, they blend right in! ;)
Skills/Interests: I like cooking, permaculture design, useful wild plants, have good organizational skills, good at problem solving, computer stuff.
Free time: reading, writing, playing and creating games, singing and listening to music, thinking about the coming collapse, paradigm shift, the patterns of Life and how I fit into them, working with my hands, exploring, massage (amateur), watching movies, hearing stories.


received reply from stacie 23 jul 2006:
Hi Benjamin,

It's so funny - we just got another intern here yesterday who plays Magic...I'm not sure what it is about us that seems to attract you

It would be fine for you to come prior to or after your T.O. visit - we should have space anytime after August 15th, really, so anytime after that will be ok - just let me know.  The weather will probably be better before November, but you're welcome either time.  Also let me know if you need picked up at a bus or train station - we can pick people up in Richmond or Charlottesville. 

Stacie Weaver

sent response 25 jul 2006:
Thanks for being so flexible. I'll tentatively say I'll be coming around Sept. 23rd ?  I'm trying to get a work-trade at Earthhaven Ecovillage so I can spend some time with them, so I'll be coming from there. I'll let you know when my plans firm up.

Thanks again.


sent confirmation 9 aug:
I wanted to let you know that my plans are coming together. It looks like I'll be visiting Blue Heron Farm between Earthaven and you guys. I'll confirm that I'll be with you guys on Sep. 23, as we discussed previously. Then I'll join the Acorn visitor group on Oct. 13.

Let me know if you need anything else from me.


received confirmation 9 aug:
Hi Benjamin,

Just to clarify, you did mean you'd be joining the Twin Oaks visitor group on Oct. 13th, right?  It should be fine for you to come on the 23rd to Acorn.  Just let me know if anything changes! 

Oh, I wanted to ask, how do you feel about staying in a building without a bathroom?  It's about a 2 minute walk from our main building, so it's not a big deal for some folks.  It's our "barn," which has been converted to rooms and is rustic, kind of like living in a log cabin (exposed wood walls, that sort of thing).  Please don't feel like you have to, but if you enjoy that sort of thing, it's always great for us to be able to have interns stay there, as it frees up space in our other buildings for people who can't tolerate the "rustic" thing...  Just let me know what you'd like to do, and either way it should be fine.


--- sent reply:

Haha, yes, I meant the Twin Oaks visitor group.

The barn will be fine. I've camped in Vancouver in February. That sort of redefined comfort for me.

See you guys in September!