42 ACRES: A Thriving Conscious Community, by Xochi Balfour - 42 Acres

42 ACRES: A Thriving Conscious Community, by Xochi Balfour

Recently, my husband Ben and I moved with our little son Sasha to a cottage on some powerful land in Somerset, very close to our beloved 42 Acres. We finally left London behind and feel as though we have come home.

We have somehow been around since the beginning of the 42 journey, and it has been so wonderful to watch the vision, community and work of Seth and Lara grow and grow over the years. We were actually on what I believe was the first ever Somerset retreat on the beautiful land, just as the final paintwork and finishes were being done in the Deer Cottages; a yoga weekend with dear Saskia Price with raw food by the wonderful Diego Castro (whose amazing creations in fact informed a handful of recipes from my own book which – no surprises – was partly shot at 42 Acres). I was at once struck by the specialness of the place, the house, feeling somehow the power of the seeds that had been sown for inner, outer and planetary transformation and wellbeing. Little did I know how many life-changing retreats and work I would later be called to dive into there in that sacred group space.

Now in London, with Shoreditch’s conscious coworking hub and a thriving programme of partners and events, 42 Acres can touch both urban and nature-seeking souls alike. Living so close, and helping with content and creativity when I can, I see first hand how each month, season and year the fruits of the many seeds constantly planted at 42 are sprouting. It’s an exciting time on the land, with the regenerative agriculture taking its foundations and bringing the first homegrown plants direct to the retreat kitchen. In this summery season of abundance, there is so much foraging and culinary alchemy happening, and its earthy medicine ripples out through us all. And the first farm animals, the beautiful ducks, arrived last week! It’s also an exciting time for the staff and the community as programmes and ideas grow and gather pace. When I work with the calendar, I wish I could multiply to meet and absorb the amazing practitioners coming through the urban and rural doors each month and transmitting their wisdom with such colour and commitment. And each day at the Hermitage, our community office and gathering hub, is different and full of new connections, faces and textures.

I’m so grateful for the journey that 42 has taken me on and for the opportunity to expand their voice with this wonderful blog and the stories it will tell.


Xochi Balfour is a mother, guide and naturopathic nutritional therapist, as well as founder of The Naturalista blog.

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