Influenced by the teachings of Ruskin, Gandhi purchased a farm at Phoenix, near Mount Edgecombe in 1904 in order to establish a communal settlement. The settlement was based on the ideals of communal living whereby all persons irrespective of their social standing and occupation would receive an equal wage. They were to contribute to the common good and welfare of the settlement. The residents saw to the needs of the printing press during their spare time.
The settlement comprised of Gandhi's house, the settlers homes and a printing press. On the farm were fruit trees and acres of crop for use by the residents of the settlement. Gandhi's house was later converted to a museum, but it does not exist today as it was destroyed during the Inanda Riots of 1985.