The Farm Then and Now: A Model for Sustainable Living

The Farm Then and Now: A Model for Sustainable Living

Douglas Stevenson

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0865717699

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In the Summer of Love in San Francisco's Haight-Asbury, a charismatic young hippie by the name of Stephen Gaskin launched "Monday Night Class"—a weekly event which drew together an eclectic mix of truth-seekers and flower children. Soon the class became a caravan, and after touring the country this colorful crew decided to seek a plot of land and found a commune based on their shared values. Thus was born The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee.

The Farm Then and Now presents the story of a group that has defied the odds, blending idealism with a practical approach to intentional community and creating a model for sustainable living. Just as the Monday Night Classes taught students to open their hearts and minds, The Farm continues as a School of Change, demonstrating ways to operate collectively in terms of:

  • Land, water, and stewardship
  • Health care, building, and infrastructure
  • Cooperation, compassion, and spiritual values

For humans to survive as a species, we must relearn the skills needed to work together; the lessons of The Farm can be applied in any community or organization. The Farm Then and Now addresses both the successes and shortcomings of this unique ongoing social experiment, showing how what was once the largest commune in the world has evolved into an exceptional example of living lightly on the earth.

Douglas Stevenson has been a member of The Farm Community for forty years. His company Green Life Retreats hosts the Farm Experience Weekend and other instructional seminars about sustainable living.

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testament to patience and perseverance, what is possible when remaining true to your ideals in the face of endless obstacles. The community is a new-age hybrid, a blend of rural and high-tech lifestyles, classic individualism and the power of collectivity. It remains a flagship, a model of how we as planetary citizens may choose to live, with lessons to be learned from its successes and its failures, its weaknesses and its strengths. The Farm is an ongoing experiment on how human beings can be

to gain actual licenses and degrees. The Farm was fortunate that a nearby community college offered a two-year program in nursing. In those first years after The Changeover, nearly two dozen women graduated as registered nurses, most with honors or at the top of the class. Some continued their education, becoming nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician’s assistants. Like everyone else, The Farm Midwives had to face the reality of generating an income. They could no longer

by an ethos of violence, left abandoned to cope with guilt and depression. A treadmill of fear plays into the hands of increased surveillance and the sacrifice of freedom. Oil spills, nuclear meltdowns, devastating storms, hotter temperatures driving droughts and a season of fire, mountaintop removal and poisonous fracking, rainforests laid to waste at an increasingly rapid pace — it’s obvious little has been learned from mistakes of the past and that caring for the Earth is in no way a priority

formats. ISBN 978-0-86571-769-5 (pbk.). — ISBN 978-1-55092-565-4 (ebook) 1. Farm (Summertown, Tenn.).   2. Farm (Summertown, Tenn.) — History. 3. Sustainable living — Tennessee — Summertown — Case studies.   4. Sustainable agriculture — Tennessee — Summertown — Case studies.   5. Cooperative societies — Tennessee — Summertown — Case studies.   6. Counterculture — Tennessee — Summertown — Case studies.   7. Summertown (Tenn.) — Social life and customs — Case studies.   I. Title. GE198.T45S74

formats. ISBN 978-0-86571-769-5 (pbk.). — ISBN 978-1-55092-565-4 (ebook) 1. Farm (Summertown, Tenn.).   2. Farm (Summertown, Tenn.) — History. 3. Sustainable living — Tennessee — Summertown — Case studies.   4. Sustainable agriculture — Tennessee — Summertown — Case studies.   5. Cooperative societies — Tennessee — Summertown — Case studies.   6. Counterculture — Tennessee — Summertown — Case studies.   7. Summertown (Tenn.) — Social life and customs — Case studies.   I. Title. GE198.T45S74

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