History Timeline

1968

  • Monday Night Class
    • Seekers from all over the world converged on San Francisco looking for spiritual growth and/or to fundamentally change society. They become known as “the hippies.”
    • Stephen Gaskin, a former English professor at San Francisco State College, conducts Monday Night Class, an open meeting discussing how psychedelic experiences relate to world religions. Monday Night Class evolved from San Francisco State Free University classes called ‘Experiments in Unified Field Theory’, ‘Einstein Magic and God’ , ‘North American White Witchcraft’, and ‘Metaphysical Education ( Meta PE ).
1969

  • Monday Night Class ‘tripping classes’ attract 1000/wk
  • Santa Rosa Farm AKA “Humble Bottom” opens
1970

  • Monday Night Class book of Stephen transcripts
  • The Caravan
    • A Sixty Schoolbus tour across US resulting from a group of ministers and theologians from the American Academy of Religion attending one of the Monday Night Classes.
    • Stephen Gaskin, invited to speak to congregations of various churches across the country, agrees to tour the heartland. Two hundred regular attendees of Monday Night Class decide to accompany him.

1971

pop. 300

  • The Caravan – Continued
    • A caravan of brightly painted school buses, VW vans, trucks, and campers join Stephen on a coast-to-coast speaking tour of college campuses and churches. On the way they are joined by other young people. After returning to California four months later, the Caravaners decide to pool their money, buy land and stay together as a community.
  • Arrive at the Martin Farm in Summertown, Tennessee
  • Down payment on the 1050 acre Black Swan Ranch south of Nashville, TN and The Farm Community is founded
  • Dec 9 – First Farm Report Issued
  • The 1st Motor Pool bulding goes up on The Martin Farm
  • The Sorghum Mill is completed
  • The Dry Goods Store opens
  • The Great Chocolate Barrel Dive (July 4)
1972

  • The Farm’s homegrown rock n’ roll band begin a series of coast-to-coast tours with Stephen, playing in parks and student centers for free while promoting the community and increasing membership.
  • Al Gore writes up the Farm for the Nashville Tennessean
  • The Farm Clinic and The Farm School founded
  • Wheat berry Winter
  • Acklen Street House
1973

  • Farm uses “ham” radio to communicate to growing network
  • US Supreme Court case – Grass as a religious sacrament
  • Farm purchases 700 acre “Hickory Hill”
  • The Farm Bakery Opens
  • The Rocky Branch Farm in Kentucky opens
  • “Hot Tofu” Band forms
1974

  • Hey Beatnik! This is the Farm Book is published
  • Good Tasting Nutritional Yeast mail order company started
  • Founding of Plenty USA
  • NY Farm in Franklin starts
  • The new brick gate house is recycled and rebuilt with the assistance of a lady bricklayer and her crew
  • Stephen and others are jailed for one year for growing grass on The Farm property
  • The Virginia Farm opens near Luoisa, VA in June
  • The New York Farm opens in Franklin, NY
  • The Washington Farm, AKA the “Seattle Center” opens

1975

pop. 750

  • There are more than 750 people living on The Farm, including 160 married couples and 250 children. Over the next few years Plenty centers are set up in the South Bronx, Miami, St. Louis, Washington DC, Chicago, the Caribbean, Guatemala, Central America, Africa and Bangladesh. Also over the next few years satellite farms are formed in Wisconsin, Missouri, Colorado, Michigan, West Virginia, Florida, Louisiana, California, Virginia, Kentucky, New York, Alabama, Canada, and Ireland.
  • Cooperative Method of Natural Birth Control is published
  • The Farm Building Company founded, Robert S., President.
  • California Farm Center opens
  • The Rocky Branch Farm in Kentucky closes. Some residents moved to Green River Farm
  • “The Wild Dogs” Band forms
  • Puerto Rico Farm Opens
1976

  • Plenty sends team to Guatemala
  • Spiritual Midwifery is published
  • The Farm Denver Center opens
  • Georgia Farm Opens
  • The Virginia Farm closes in May
  • The Massachusetts Farm Opens
  • “The Wild Turkeys” Band forms
  • “The Muchkins” Band forms
  • Puerto Rico Farm Closes
1977

  • Pony caravan to the Smoky Mountains
  • Georgia Farm Closes
  • April – National Geographic article “Walk Across America”, with Peter Jenkins’ visit to The Farm.
  • The Chicago Farm Opens
  • The Farm Ladder Co. opens at The Wisconsin Farm in the summer
  • “The Plenty Band” forms
  • “The Tendons” Band forms
1978

  • Plenty founds the Bronx Center
  • The Farm Denver Center transfers to Austin, TX
  • Honicker vs. Hendrie brief filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • First Swimming Hole opens
  • Hepatitus outbreak closes the gate at The Farm in TN to new members causing popultions to rise at some satellite farms
  • “The Risers” Band forms
  • July 15, 1978, The Longest Walk marches into Washington D.C.
1979

  • Ham radio crew develops the “Nuke Buster”
  • Shutdown: Nuclear Power on Trial published; Ttranscript of the proceedings in Federal court from Honicker vs. Hendrie.
  • No Nukes Rally in DC where Farm School kids bust the Smithsonian for Uranium Moon Rocks on display near The Hope diamond with a Nuke Buster
  • Solar Electronics starts up
  • “Walk Across America”, with Peter Jenkins’ visit to The Farm is published as a book
1980

  • Stephen and The Farm win first Right Livelihood Award
  • Most of the 17 existing satelite farms sell off and many of those residents move to the TN Farm
  • The Phil Donahue Show hosts Stephen Gaskin
  • Ragweed Day Opening Celebration
  • Canada Farm Established
  • Tree Planting Projects start
  • The Chicago Farm Closes
  • NRC Releases Reactor Album
1981

  • Kids to the Country program begins on New York Farm
  • The Farm High School plays in The World Games in Philadelphia with Buckminster Fuller

1982

pop. 1200

  • The population grows to over 1,200 members, half of whom are children.
  • The annual number of visitors increases to over 10,000.
  • TN Democratic party hires Farm computer tech’s, wins elections
  • Tofu Cookery published
1983

  • The Changeover
    • In September, The Farm changes from being totally collective, where all things were held in common, to a cooperative. The land is held in common but monthly dues are levied based on community expenses. The population decreases dramatically.
1984

1985
1986

1987

  • Last Payment made on the property. The land is free and clear!

1988

  • The Planitarians Band forms

1989

  • The Farm youth AYSO soccer team goes to regional championships in Alabama.
  • The Lost Boyz Band forms
1990

  • The Farm hosts its first Alternative Energy Fair

1991

1992

  • Alternative Energy Fair becomes Harvest Festival
1993

  • Highland Woods, a corporation of current and former members, purchases the 650 acre Martin Farm, the land where the Caravan originally landed in Lewis County, TN.
  • First Farm web site, www.thefarm.org
1994

1995

  • Tofu Nation band forms
  • The Hooka Band forms

1996

  • The Farm Net Corporation donates two tracts totalling 68 acres to Swan Trust in July.
    • Combined with the 30 acres Swan Trust purchased in 1994, the land has now become The Highland Woods Preserve.
  • The Tractor Barn burns down. The case was ruled arson and left open.

1997

  • First UnityFest April 20th

1998

  • Construction begins on the Unity Center
  • The new water tower is installed

1999

  • Strut band forms
2000

  • The Farm Yoga Studio opens.
  • “THB” Band forms.
  • The Farm Recycling Center starts February 18.
2001
2002

2003
2004

  • Swan Trust creates Big Swan Headwaters Preserve with the purchase of the Baggs tract in February.

2005

  • Last 2nd generation farm kid graduated from The Farm School
2006

  • The Farm Disc Golf Course Opens
  • 35 Years in Community!
2007
2008
2009

  • Meeting Hall Dome is covered.
  • The Farm Community Garden is launched.
  • Safarmi Trail Rangers are formed.
2010

  • Population of The Farm Community averages 200 people, including visitors, interns, birthing couples and temporary residents
  • August – 40th Anniversary of the Caravan leaving San Francisco
2011

  • 40th Anniversary of The Founding of The Farm Community

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