Updated 2020-12-11

Better with Thyme  (startup)

A multi-family permaculture farm, currently seeking families of self-directed learners to join us!
Sarah Milcetic owner
click to see email
(+1) 917-727-2039
Shepherdstown, WV  25443
United States
Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia; Frederick, MD; Washington DC Area


Better with Thyme was founded in 2016, when a young family sought a space where they could create an intentional community and live the life they imagined possible after learning about Permaculture, Nonviolent Communication, PATH Parenting and Self-Directed Education.

The plan for the site is under development and construction for the first dwelling is planned to be completed in the spring of 2018. The site is zoned for up to 5 dwellings, and the goal for the community is to attract several families to work together to build a permanent interdependent micro-community of people with different ages, experiences, interests and skills and to have a big group of children who can explore and learn together.

The major elements of the landscape will be shared but each family or person that is interested will have a smaller space that is entirely their own to manage. Currently there are chickens, ducks, livestock guardian dogs and an off-grid camper on the site.

Shepherdstown is a welcoming place with a charming downtown and a rich history. There is an active music and art scene, and many activities, including many that cater to the numerous homeschoolers in the area.

SDE Optimizing Conditions

ASDE surveys all SDE communities/programs about how they provide, enhance, or align with each of the Six Optimizing Conditions for young people to succeed in SDE.  Survey answers:
  1. Responsibility – Children are responsible for choosing their activities throughout each day.
  2. Youth Autonomy – Children have access to all areas of the land, and are free to play near or away from adults. Adults do provide basic safety guidelines for animal care and tool use.
  3. Access to Tools and Technology – Children have access to all building, cooking and gardening tools on site.
  4. Adult Allies – Adults provide help and support when requested, and do not answer more than the child asked, or guide the discussion to any particular point to "teach."
  5. Free Age Mixing – Children are free to play together as they chose, and to join adult activities as they chose. We hope to have children of all ages join us.
  6. Community – Everyone has a voice in the development of the community, and we use NVC as a tool to help find a way to meet everyone's needs.

If any information about this resource is out of date, please let us know.