Published by and at The Farm from 1974 to 1976, Hey Beatnik was the original handbook for community. Currently selling on Amazon for over $100 a copy, download a PDF version here for FREE.
Here’s a review and excerpt printed in the Whole Earth Catalog, 1974:
The Tennessee segue to Monday Night Class. This is a completely ingratiating book and where else can you find between two covers details on delivering a baby (even twins), building an outhouse, getting along with the neighbors and getting along with yourself? The pictures are great- full of happy, healthy people and their kids living midst plenty and peace in Tennessee. They admit cheerfully to mistakes (one year they spent over two months harvesting an enormous sorghum crop; the next year they whittled their operations for quality rather than quantity), but they’ve also learned a lot and emphasize the respect they have for all who’ve taught them: their neighbors, the water department, the sheriff, etc. A really handy book if you’re thinking of communal farming.
– Heidi Seney
“Before we got down to Lewis County we thought we was the space-agest modernest thing there was. And when we got there, there were the Mennonites and the Amish all the way from Lancaster County to Tennessee, who got there first and broke ground for us—–for long hair and spiritual groups and things like that. So there’s a lot of stuff people accepted about us from the beginning. Once they learned that we really weren’t scary and we really weren’t violent and we really were truthful, they started thinking we were Technicolor Amish.”
“HEY LADIES! Don’t have an abortion, come to the Farm and we’ll deliver your baby and take care of it, and if you ever decide you want it back, you can have it.”
Stephen Gaskin’s State of the Union
“This is the most spoiled generation In the history of the planet. That’s because of that entire psychological trip of the last twenty or. thirty years that says, “Oh, poor baby, you’re so determined, you can’t help it.” And he says, “Yeah, yeah, spoil me some morel” This whole society is in a condition of over-correction, like a car that’s fishtailing on ice.
Our grandparents were strict with our parents, and our parents were loose with us, and we’re the sloppy beatniks. And we got to raise our kids halfway in between where our grandparents raised our parents and where we were raised.
What it looks like to me is that Freudian psychology and Doctor Spock and greed and B.F. Skinner and a few details like that taught this country that morality didn’t count and that all that counted is what you got caught for, and that there was no abstract absolute morality, so it didn’t matter what you did – you could just do anything. And you could freak out as much as you wanted to, and it didn’t matter.
But it does matter. It can get you crazy. One of the things we notice when we’re traveling around the country Is that American folks keep thelr kids like adolescents where in another society they’d be grownups. There’s people their age in other cultures who are making it on their own and supporting other folks too, whereas adolescence in this country continues on to about thirty.”
“Contrary to the opinions of many other beatniks and health food stores, we eat white sugar. If eaten wisely, sugar is a clean-burning fuel that causes no harm. There’s an emotional rumor out that says sugar “destroys” B vitamins. Thiamin (a B vitamin) acts as a catalyst in the metabolism of carbohydrates (sugar and starch). That’s its gig. If you eat wheat germ, brown rice, nutritional yeast, and enriched or whole wheat flours, you’ll have plenty of thiamin to metabolize your sugar.”
“I’d wake up with just the edge of a cold coming on, and feeling a little rocky, and take the care and the time to make love properly, and feel really grateful to have a lady who works with me in that way and who really heals me. You can be into a cold enough to have it start making your soft palate swell and stuff like that, and just know it and stop it by raising your energy level that way.”
A Former Farmee Remembers
“When we started “Hey Beatnik, This is The Farm Book ,” William and Matthew were the editors. However, just as we had begun, they were both fired by Stephen for being “on a trip.”
That left the rest of us to step up to the plate. We took our work seriously and dove right in. I put the pages together by hand (no computers back then except for a type-setter). We blue-lined a large piece of paper on the glass light tables so that I could set up each page.
As we covered the topics, we needed illustrations. I coordinated the effort and requested photos and illustrations as we went along. James , Mark and Brandon Lerda hand-drew just about everything in the book. Daniel sized and made appropriate halftones (the photographs). Jeffrey made the lithographs of each page for the printer.
It was a lot of fun and a lot of work. The Book Publishing Company was a lot smaller then. We did all of the work on the ground floor. As pages were completed for all of the projects we were working on, we hung a copy on the walls so that folks who came by could see them. I remember listening to fabulous music on WUTZ while we were working.”