The idea of the “utopian” community began in 1516 with Sir Thomas More’s fictional perfected society to present-day attempts to build the most sustainable urban ecosystem. Once the largest utopia hippie commune in the US, The Farm persists as an intentional community in rural Tennessee, based on principles of nonviolence and respect for the Earth. It now advocates permaculture, sustainable and renewable energy, a vegetarian diet, and midwifery.
The Farm, Lewis County, Tennessee
In 1971, a group of 320 flower children and free-thinkers left San Francisco to blaze a trail eastward. Steven Gaskin led the caravan of 60 buses, vans, and trucks on a speaking tour across the country, an alternative to Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, they painted their buses white, sort of a Puritan touch. They eventually settled in rural Tennessee, 50 miles south of Nashville. Thus they founded one of the country’s oldest hippie communes on 1,750 acres of rolling hilltops in Lewis County. The locals, seeing the tie-dyed color spectrum and back-to-the-land ethic, called them the “Technicolor Amish.” Taking voluntary vows of poverty, members shared everything, sometimes marriages, grew their own organic food, delivered their babies at home, used alternative technologies and succeeded in building a self-sufficient society. By 1980, The Farm had 1,500 members and hosted 10,000 visitors a year, but had to scale back in a decollectivization move due to exceeding the carrying capacity of the land and their own finances.
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Utopian thought, as the basis of communal ideology, idealizes social unity and maintains that humanness exists only in intimate and collective life. Within these small scale communities great emphasis is placed on providing a controlled and manipulated environment in which social life may be structured to create the perfect human being. In other words, the belief of happiness in the present, or “heaven on Earth” underlies the establishment of utopian communities. — Rosabeth Moss Kanter
The Farm, located just outside Summertown, Tennessee, is still around to this day, and was the subject of the 2012 documentary “American Commune.” Now composed of roughly 150 members, the vegetarian intentional community, employing permaculture practices, continues to create and demonstrate low-consumption, high-fulfillment lifestyles within a caring, socially active community dedicated to nonviolence and respect for the environment. In fact, they have morphed into a sort of high-tech eco-think tank, with ten non-profit companies and 20 private businesses, dedicated to making the world a better place.
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American Commune is a documentary about the rise and fall of The Farm, a community in rural Tennessee (trailer). It is the work of two sisters who grew up at The Farm, Rena Mundo Croshere and Nadine Mundo.
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Ina May and Steven Gaskin on Midwives, The Farm and Being “Technicolor Amish”
H-T Huffington Post
Updated 19 March, 2020
San Francisco guru Stephen Gaskin, pot-smoking former Marine, who was on a speaking tour of the Heartland with three hundred of his closest friends, ended up settling down on a farm in Tennessee with his band of “Technicolor Amish.”
Haven’t been apprised of the crosses-peyote-correlation, but it sounds right…
Can I bring my children? Can we visit? I think it would be a great place to teach my children to respect the land around them. I think It would also be a great experience for my husband and myself. we need a different mind set and I think visiting would be a great experience.
i would love to visit and talk. This concept is so close to my heart. I have longed for this type of spirit connection, the world needs it.
The picture of Gaskin and the people of the Farm at Sunday Service MUST be credited to David Frohman.
It was given a one time use for American Commune and any further use must be credited to the copyright holder.
I expect a reply.
Hi David. Thank you for reaching out. I have added the photo credit to you. Apologies for not knowing it was your photo. -Jack
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i wanted to visit this Farm back when VietNam fell to the north and the USA was getting out , iIam a womens army corps veteran but was persuaded not to visit and the reasons for the objections never were very clear to me; it was long ago and I am a very focused person , twice widowed; i met my first husband while he was in the pilot exchange training program at Lackland Air Force base in Texas and i was in medical training nearby at fort Sam Houston, Texas; he was in the Imperial Iranian air Force in the time of Shah Reza Pahlavi , of Iran before the 1979 revolution and we went to Iran then the french airplane brought the Khomeini, history tells the rest but he was taken away and executed , I returned to the USA but have worked online to help support a free Iran in the memory of my first husband with the Iranian Patriotic Army and my second husband died in 2012 of renal cancer, i am a beekeeper hobbyist and hope to learn more on beekeeping
I want to take beekeeping back into a Liberated Iran one day! i grew up overseas as Father was Air force in both the Azores , Portugal and in Kyushu , occupied Japan so as a child I learned the horrors of the aftermath of nuclear war and will never forget the scars on the survivors of the bomb dropped unnecessarily on Nagasaki! as i lived threei know both sides of the story that led to that war.
Thank you so much for your comment…
HEY ALL GOOD PEOPLE, MY NAME IS TIM TURNER, AND I RECORDED THE “COMMUNION” ALBUM IN CHICAGO 40 YEARS AGO. I BELIEVE THIS IS THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THAT UNDERTAKING! IT’S KIND OF INTERESTING THAT I FOUND THE ALBUM ONLINE. AND I JUST WAS HOPING SOME OF THE BAND MEMBERS WERE STILL AROUND. I WOULD APPRECIATE A REPLY BY E-MAIL, OR MAYBE A PHONE CALL. E-MAIL IS OLDSOUNDMAN2@GMAIL.COM, OR CALL ME AT 608-729-0056. IT WOULD BE GREAT IF YOU COULD RESPOND. LOVE, PEACE,BE WITH YOU! TIM
yah so i made this comment because i felt like it have a good day yall
Curious as to what you could do with an extreeeeemely talented chiropractic doctor, semi-retired, in his 60’s (in more ways than one), hippie at heart, in mind, by practice, for a spell, at least.
I have stayed at the Farm in 1978 as I hitched hiked across the USA for adventure. I owned a house in Pennsylvania & seriously thought about selling it & joining the Farm Community.
Their rules were I had to give them all assets when I joined. I worked on the crew farming sweet potatoes & asked a lot of questions. I learned the rules they lived by & I will never forget this rule: Women have all the power when sex was involved, I was okay with that but one thing bothered me. I met probably about 40 people who had no idea who their Father was! Their Mothers were just having sex with & whenever they wanted, no rules for them. They were basically sluts & this was just to gross to me. Drugs were everywhere & I did not do drugs at all. Old Gaskin was like a God to these lunatics & he had sex whenever & whoever he wanted. After over a month of this & I had enough & flew the coop. Also, after I told them had I felt it was like I became the enemy & felt like I was in danger & had to leave immediately & I did.
I lived here in 1980 and I was a victim of abuse and mainly a sex slave. They altered my ability to read by constantly surrounding me in a circle like formation, raised their arms, and chanted “Nightmares, Nightmares, Nightmares.” After long days in the field doing hard labor picking sweet potatoes, the only activity I was free to do on my own volition was swim in the nasty, murky lake. I was almost drowned by one of the Farm’s designated sluts. My experience took such a toll on me, that after two years of this victimization, I could no longer read, walk, or manage an erection.
what government type did they have if they had a government at all
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omg best comment on here them people are so damn nasty
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