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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.

The Daily Mail, UK, 2012: From free love and sexual liberation to vegetable patches and $3 a day living costs: Inside America's oldest hippie commune

If you thought hippie communities of the Sixties were dead, think again. photos at the end of the article

Still going strong is America's oldest, The Farm, a piece of 1,700 acre land located in Tennessee, that at its peak in the Eighties had 1,500 members and attracted celebrity visitors like Walter Cronkite and Phil Donahue.

Now, the 160 member community, more about Eco-Friendly living than free love, is the subject of the new documentary, American Commune, in which the filmmaker-sisters who were born there reveal what is like to grow up knowing nothing of commercial beauty, meat, television, or pop culture.

The hippie movement of the Sixties counterculture rejected established institutions, criticized middle class values, opposed nuclear weapons and the Vietnam War, and championed sexual liberation.

Often vegetarian and Eco-friendly, they promoted the use of psychedelic drugs which they believed expanded one's consciousness, and created intentional communities or communes - using alternative arts, folk music, and psychedelic rock as a way of express their feelings, protests and vision of the world and life. 

While a third of today's The Farm members are second- and even third-generation (the commune encouraged procreation), spokesperson, Douglas Stevenson says it has changed somewhat since its heyday of peace, freedom and love.

He recalled to ABC News : 'No one held personal money. It was all pooled. A lot's changed. We still hold the land collectively, all 1,700 acres.

'All the houses and community buildings we own collectively. We're still revolutionary. But everyone is now responsible for their own support.'

The Farm was established after Stephen Gaskin, a former U.S. Marine, led 320 pot-smoking hippies in 60 buses, vans, and trucks from San Francisco on an Eastern religions and Christianity speaking tour across the U.S.

Along the way, they checked out various places that might be suitable for settlement before deciding on Tennessee in 1971.

From its founding, The Farm members took vows of poverty and owned no personal possessions, though this restriction has loosened.

Mr Gaskin firmly viewed marriage as sacred, where the sexuality between two people created a flow of cosmic energy, which he called 'the juice'.

A serious sensibility and commitment were required in marriage in the community, and most couples on the Farm were married. The use of birth control was frowned upon, and abortions were prohibited; childbearing was seen as a natural, beautiful and wholly spiritual undertaking for a woman.

Towards the Nineties, The Farm strongly concentrated on initiating environmental social change through outreach and example.

The Farm's Ecovillage Training Center was established as an educational facility for solar energy, bio fuels, and construction techniques based on locally available, Eco-friendly materials.

An entrepreneurial spirit also took hold, and numerous small businesses were established to provide support for the residents.

For example, the members ran a soy 'dairy farm', which later marketed a soymilk 'ice-cream' called Ice-Bean

Mr Stevenson said that it costs about $100 per adult, per month, to cover current communal expenses - it still has a Midwifery Center for expectant mothers, for example.

'It's a hybrid system compared to the old days. We've gone from being a commune to a collective,' he added.

It seems the trend is resurfacing elsewhere too. Over the past few years, several 'non-hippie' groups have seen a sharp increase in interest - where they are starting new experiments in what is refereed to as 'intentional living' situations rather than communes.

Appealing to a variety of different groups, from senior citizens to the environmentally-minded, the editor of Communities Magazine told The New York Times: 'These days you don't have to live in the boonies, chop wood, walk around nude and pool all your money to live an alternative lifestyle.'

early Farm

The Farm - back in the day

The Farm-American Commune

The Farm-Kids back in the day

The Farm  Mundo sisters

Nadine and Rena Mundo, producers of the documentary American Commune, were born on the Farm and left with their family in the early 1980's.





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