About Heartbeet Lifesharing

Heartbeet is a vibrant lifesharing Camphill community and licensed therapeutic residence, nestled in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont in the hamlets of Hardwick and Craftsbury. Heartbeet includes adults with developmental disabilities and interweaves the social, artistic, and agricultural realms for the healing and renewing of our society and the earth. It is a community where everyone, regardless of ability, can find meaning, dignity and reverence for life.

Community members live and support each other, in beautiful, extended family households, forming a mutually supportive environment that enables each individual to discover and develop his or her unique abilities and potential. Long term co-workers, adults with developmental disabilities and volunteers who come for a year of service, or more learn, play, and work together. Community members care for and grow with one another, celebrating the myriad of joys and challenges of life.

Our anthroposophical foundation manifests itself in the recognition that each human being comprises a body, soul and spirit, and that each of these aspects has the capacity to grow. We recognize that we can actively support each other on our inner journeys by the ways we live, learn and work together.




Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner, Ph.D., was born in Austria in 1861. He studied science and philosophy, edited Goethe’s scientific works, and developed Anthroposophy. Anthroposophy derives from two Greek words — anthropos, “human being,” and sophia, “wisdom.” As Theosophy (“Theo” and “Sophia”) means wisdom of God, or divine wisdom, Anthroposophy means “wisdom of the human being” or the wisdom that knows what it means to be human. In other words, it is a path of self-knowledge. Steiner considered Anthroposophy to be a science of the spirit.
In his Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts, written in the last year of his life (1924), Steiner wrote: “Anthroposophy is a way of knowledge — a cognitive path — that leads the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe.” Rudolf Steiner practiced this path, and his perceptions into the spiritual world, communicated in his books and lectures, laid the foundation and established the parameters of Anthroposophy.
Of the many activities arising from the work and writings of Rudolf Steiner, Waldorf education is perhaps most well known. It is a method and curriculum for child education that is based on Steiner’s ideas about stages of development. In the field of caring for people with special needs, the practices of Curative Education, Youth Guidance, and Social Therapy are based on Steiner’s ideas, expanded by Dr. König. Biodynamic agriculture, Anthroposophical medicine and architecture; eurythmy (speech made visible through movement); Anthroposophical organizational development; and many other art and therapy forms have their origins in the works and writings of Rudolf Steiner.


The Founding of Camphill

Dr. Karl König was an Austrian pediatrician and educator who fled the Nazi annexation of his own country and settled in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1939 with a group of young physicians, artists, and caregivers. These people founded the first Camphill community with children having developmental disabilities. Dr. König and his colleagues were inspired by Anthroposophy, the teaching of philosopher and educator Rudolf Steiner.

Dr. König’s vision was to develop lively Camphill communities together with people who have special needs. His special gift was to understand and focus on the abilities of each person, not the disabilities. Through teaching and modeling, he turned this gift into an effective approach for improving the lives of people with special needs, an approach based on community members teaching and learning from each other through the experience of day-to-day living. The Camphill pioneers developed the goal and some of the methods for how the needs of each person could be met in a cooperative community, each member contributing his or her own special gifts and talents. This vision lives on and each new generation in Camphill strives toward achieving it.

Through this vision, the international Camphill movement consists of more than 100 communities in 22 countries. Camphill continues to work to create communities in which children, youth, and adults with special needs can live, learn, and work with others in healthy social relationships based on mutual care and respect.



Camphill Reaches North America

Camphill was established in North America in 1959. Today, Camphill in North America consists of twelve independent communities that are home to over 1000 people whose daily lives are full of vitality and accomplishment. These communities serve and impact thousands of other people in the surrounding areas. The twelve communities live and work on over 2,500 acres of land, which is cared for utilizing organic and biodynamic methods. These communities share common goals and ideals, with each community having its own focus and culture. From agriculture to the arts and social renewal, the work of these communities is broad and dynamic.


Heartbeet Lifesharing is Born

In 2000 Hearbeet Lifesharing became a reality, born from the wills of its founder’s Ann Blanchard, Hannah Schwartz, Jonathan Gilbert, and their children; Renna, Josiah, and Lyla (Jasper was to join them later into the early years of the community). In 2001 Heartbeet signed a lease-purchase agreement for the communities 160 acre Town Farm property in Hardwick Vermont. 


We Are A Camphill Community!

In the Years Leading up to 2011 Heartbeet underwent an incredible amount of transformation. In 2006 Kaspar House was built and shortly after in 2008 Konig House was realized and the community grew to over 30 people. In October of 2011 Heartbeet was formally admitted to Camphill Association of North America and became the newest of 12 Camphill Communities in the Region. 


Today Heartbeet is 54 community members living in 6 lifesharing homes across two properties in the Hardwick and Craftsbury areas, on 227 acres of biodynamically stewarded land. Heartbeet hosts community-oriented cultural events within the northeast kingdom of Vermont in the Community Center and Sophia Hall. Community members find artistic exploration in the areas of felting, fiber arts, paper making, woodworking, and other seasonal opportunities that allow each person to develop and explore a medium for personal artisanship. Heartbeet is vibrant, multicultural and is poised to flourish while carrying the flame of the Camphill movement into the future.


General Fund
A Gift Of Solidarity
Supports Operational Activities
Manage Project Gaps For Capital Campaigns
Provide Flexibility In Future Planning
The Clear Span Project
Capital Campaign
Passive Solar
Turnkey Animal Housing
Other Ways To Give
Choose Your Way to Engage.
Get Involved
Gifts Of Time
Gifts Of Securities
Legacy Giving

Book A Physically Distanced Visit

The current global pandemic of COVID-19 has left no one untouched. Heartbeet in recognizing that its primary responsibility is to safeguard the nearly 50 lives that call this beautiful community home, has needed to self isolate as a community in order to realize this responsibility amid a rapidly changing landscape. 

Now with updated guidance from the Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living, Heartbeet is excited to be welcoming physically distanced visitors to the community, providing supported opportunities for loved ones to be in close proximity.

Click here to better understand this guidance.

In order to maintain the safety of residential community members, Heartbeet has implemented the following visitor policy, in collaboration with community guardians. 

All physically distanced visits at Heartbeet must be arranged in advance, tracked, held outside, and must adhere to the following;

  • Only two persons may visit at one time.
  • Each person may only receive scheduled visitors once per day.
  • All visits must be documented and tracked, including maintaining a log of times and dates of all visitors, and their contact information.


Upon arriving for a visit, visitors are screened for symptoms of COVID-19 immediately and prior to any visit with any residential community member. Those with symptoms may not visit. The screening includes the following;

  • Temperature Check
  • Answering the Vermont Department of Health screening questionnaire.

To support visits in inclement weather, Heartbeet has designated two tented physically distanced visit areas on the northwest side of the Community Center parking lot. 

During visits all visitors MUST;

  • Wear a mask.
  • Maintain a minimum 6-foot physical distance.
  • Follow all posted guidance.


Heartbeet has set up a Portalette that is regularly maintained and stock with hand sanitizer on the west end of the Community Center parking lot.


Q: Can I bring a gift or other items for the person I am visiting? 

A: Yes! Gifts or other items are welcomed. However, these items may not be handed directly to the person you are visiting, instead, they must follow the quarantine protocol in place at the time of your visit. Currently, this means depositing the item in the quarantine section of the community delivery container. After a period of 24 hrs, the item(s) will make its way to the proper person by way of daily mail delivery.

Q: Can I bring a family pet to my physically distanced visit?

A: At this time we ask that family pets do not accompany you to your visit. 

Q: Can I hug the person I am visiting?

A: At this time no. Visitors must maintain six feet of physical distance at all times during the visit. We understand that this is less than ideal and Heartbeet is currently working on establishing an update to this policy that would allow physical contact for visitors who pass the screening and are traveling from an area with fewer than 400 COVID-19 cases per million population density.


Heartbeet has incorporated appointment booking software into the bottom of this web page to assist with arranging visits.  A prospective visitor simply needs to follow the instructions below:

  1. Click the “See Times” button which will pull up the two tented visit locations. 
  2. Select a location, “Blue Tent or Green Tent”
  3. Click the “See Slots” Button
  4. Choose an available day and time
  5. Fill out the Questionnaire
  6. Click the “Book” button

Upon successfully booking a physically distanced visit, the visitor will receive a confirmation email with further instructions for the time of the visit.

Heartbeet will make regular updates to this visitor process and policy as DAIL, the Vermont DOH, and Governor Scott continue to keep Vermont informed by issuing new guidance. At the time that Heartbeet adopts any changes, we will be sure to keep this page update while also being in regular communication with Heartbeet families and guardians.