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2015 Calendar
Swan Conservation Trust Hike March 14
Discover Big Swan Headwaters Preserve
Farm Experience Weekend March 20-22
Farm Apprentice Orientation Week March -April
Farm Experience Weekend April 17-19
The Land -
with Swan Conservation Trust
Discover Big Swan Headwaters Preserve Day
Hike, followed by dinner and music
Discover Big Swan Headwaters Day April 18hike, followed by dinner and music
Midwife Assistant Workshop April 26-May 2
Woofer & Work Exchange Permablitzes
Farm Apprentice Orientation Week May
Birthworkers Retreat May 15-18
Midwife Herb Workshop May 21-23
The Communities Conference May 22-24
Advanced Midwife Workshop May 24-29
Common Sense and Tradition
Swan Conservation Trust Hike May 30
Big Swan Headwaters Preserve
Woofer & Work Exchange Permablitzes
June 1-7
Organic Gardening Intensive June 3-7
A 5 day hands-on gardening plus garden tours on and off-The Farm to visit Shiitake operations, a bamboo nursery...more
Swan Trust Hike June 13
Little Grinders Creek State Natural Area
Farm Apprentice Orientation Week
June 8-14
Advanced Midwife Workshop June 14-19
Farm Apprentice Orientation Week July
Farm Experience Summer Retreat
July 15-19
Fun for the entire family
. All of the Farm Experience workshops plus activities for kids. Swimming, hiking...more
Buffalo River Canoe Trip July 19
Swan Trust
Midwife Assistant Workshop August 2-8
Swan Trust Hike August 8
Devils Backbone State Natural Area
Midwife Assistant Workshop August 23-29
Farm Apprentice Orientation Week
Aug -Sept
Swan Trust Hike Sept 12
Auntney Hollow State Natural Area
Farm Experience Weekend Sept 18-20
Farm Apprentice Orientation Week Sept -Oct
Swan Trust Oct 10
Invasive species removal
Big Swan Headwaters Preserve
Farm Experience Weekend Oct 16-18
Our last Farm Experience till next year!
Woofer & Work Exchange Permablitzes
Swan Trust Hike Nov 14
Cheeks Bend on the Duck River
Midwifery Kinesiology Workshop Nov 6-7
Midwife Assistant Workshop Nov 8-14
Midwifery Workshop - Neonatal Resuscitation November 16-17
Farm School Holiday Bazaar Dec. 6
Holiday Bazaar Facebook Page
Visit The Farm School web site

This year The Farm Ecovillage Training Center will also be offering a permaculture design certificate for apprentices who attend for two consecutive months.

CNN Headline News, 2012: What it's like to live on a (former) commune
By Andres Diaz
Thu December 06, 2012
NEED TO KNOW - photos below by CNN
  • The Farm, a closed community in rural Tennessee that is home to about 150 people, is not what it was in the free-loving 1970s – but the hippy ideals remain.

Ever dream about saying goodbye to the rat race and leaving it all behind? Well, hundreds of people did just that, giving up just about everything to rough it in The Middle of Nowhere, Tennessee, in 1971.

They set up shop on a plot of land, using army tents and buses for shelter. They farmed for their own food and did odd jobs in town for extra money. All profits were shared equally. Food was shared equally, too, given out in rations. The original 320 settlers grew into more than 1,000.

But, it turns out that no matter how idealistic you are, living on a commune does have its challenges. By the early 1980s, the Farm was in debt and struggling to survive. It couldn't afford to support everyone. Something had to be done. So in 1983, the Farm switched from being a commune to being a co-op. It was called "the Changeover" and it probably saved the Farm from extinction. Everyone now pays a monthly fee to live there, much like an HOA. But any money an individual earns is theirs to keep, or theirs to donate to the community.

After the Changeover, the Farm began to thrive once again. But its numbers never really recovered. Today, about 150 people still live there. Some original members, some new ones. Some of them are people who grew up and moved away but decided to move back to raise their families.  

So will the Farm survive another 40 years? We talked to a lot of people on the Farm who certainly hope so. But it's the young people there that will have to make it happen.

The Farm
What a view: The Farm sits on several thousand acres in Summertown, Tennessee.

old bus
Hippy Artifact: One of the original buses used in "The Caravan". Hundreds of people traveled on these buses across the country, following leader Stephen Gaskin.

sei geiger counter
They make what?! In the '80s, the Farm changed from a commune to a co-op. They needed to find a way to make money. Their most popular business? Geiger counters -- basically radiation detectors!

soy yougurt
Mmm, soy yogurt... The Farm also has a popular food business, called FarmSoy. They produce organic soy milk and tofu products.

Book Compnay warehouse
Book smart: The first business on the Farm was the Book Publishing Company.
It has now grown into a huge business, known for publishing books on vegetarian and vegan cooking.

Ecovillage Training Center
It takes a village: Another popular business is the Farm Ecovillage Training Center. People come from all over the world to learn how to build sustainable homes, among other things. This is an example of an alternative to air conditioning -- a home with grass on the roof, which significantly cools the inside.

Farm school
School days: Just because a bunch of hippies live here doesn't mean the kids get to skip school! Several dozen students attend class at the Farm School.
Students of all ages and of all grades learn together. Traditional subjects are taught but the kids get to study what they're interested in, too.

wholeo dome
Om in the Dome: Students often meditate, or "om" in the Wholeo Dome outside the school.

Karuna at The FArm inside the Wholeo dome
Talking in the Dome: CNN correspondent Jim Spellman sits down with a student to learn what life is like Inside the Wholeo Dome.

Jason, Alayne and Alexandra Deptula
We are family: The Deptula family has lived on the Farm for more than 10 years. Their daughter attends the Farm School.

Deptual home
The family that builds together... Jason Deptula is building the family's new home out of sustainable materials.
So far he has the bathroom complete. But, it will be several years before the family can move in.

Deptula present home
Patience pays off: For now, the Deptula family lives in what they call the "Garage-Mahal".
But all the roughing it will be worth it -- when the Deptulas eventually move into their dream home, they will be mortgage-free.

The Farm golf carts
Where's the golf course? There's no golf course here, but many on the Farm use golf carts to get around.

SEI Panels
Going solar: Since almost the beginning, many buildings on the Farm have utilized the sun.

The FArm cemetary
Mortuary services: Many people who have lived on the Farm choose to be buried here. Members actually had to figure out how to properly bury their loved ones.

Yurt at The Farm Community
Welcome to my yurt! Katrina Tsacrios is an intuitive healer who lives and works on the site. She's standing in front of her yurt -- a portable building usually used by nomads. Katrina actually lived in the yurt for several months before moving into a traditional home on the Farm.

inside yurt gong meditation therapy
Get your gong on: Katrina uses "Gong Meditation" on CNN correspondent Jim Spellman.
She's also a licensed massage therapist and uses many different types of therapies to heal.

The FArm swimming hole
A look at a popular place during the summer - The Swimmin' Hole.

The Farm ball field
The future of the Farm: At one time, more than a thousand people lived on the Farm.
Now, just a little more than 100 call it home. Many of them are young people who are being counted on to help the Farm survive.



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