Just a few minutes from the heart of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's campus is a home that isn't quite like the others. It might look like any other house found in Urbana, but the people inside make all the difference.

Harvest House is the home of 14 residents who have worked together to create a respectful co-op. The group was formed in 2002 and is still thriving to this day.

tea, coffee, beer
William OuYang

All residents must pay a monthly budget for food, which can't be spent on meat or fish. This budget allows for daily vegan dinners. Everyone is required to cook at least once a week. Meals are made with the finest, top-shelf ingredients and go against the bland, uncreative stereotype that is associated with vegan meals.

However, foods that are non-vegan friendly are welcomed as well. They can only be eaten during non-house meals. If one were to bring home leftovers that contained meat they would have to use their own personal cookware and utensils.

William OuYang

While only 7 of the 14 residents of Harvest House are vegans or vegetarians, many people decide to join the house because of their way of living. Their emphasis on environmental living draws much interest. This co-op brings together individuals who enjoy sharing similar responsibilities as their roommates and it creates meaningful relationships. 

Katherine Stetkevych, who is a resident of Harvest House, explains why she loves this home. "We members get to know each other in way that allows us to have conversations at dinnertime that extend long past the end of the meal. No matter how hot the topic may get, we will still be friends when it’s time to put our dishes into the dishwasher," she said. 

banana, beer
William OuYang

Being that there are 14 individuals living together, conflict is bound to happen. However, Harvest House always overcomes these obstacles—whether it be about no longer purchasing a certain food with the house money or what brand of orange juice to buy. They make decisions that will benefit the house as a whole.

If you ever get the chance to talk to anyone who lives in Harvest House you are in luck. This house is full of passionate individuals who will be more than happy to tell you more about their home. You may even find yourself convinced that you need to move in and join their co-op family.