The Farm in Tennessee has influenced my life in so many ways, even though I have never visited it. This oldest, still functioning intentional community is a living legend in social experimentation.
We were sent a copy of [amazon_link id=”1570673039″ target=”_blank” ]Out to Change the World[/amazon_link].
In 1971, a caravan of 60 brightly painted school buses and assorted other vehicles carrying more than 300 hippie idealists landed on an abandoned farm in central Tennessee. They had a mission: to be a part of something bigger than themselves, to follow a peaceful and spiritual path, and to make a difference in the world.Out to Change the World tells the story of how those hippies established The Farm, one of the largest and longest-lasting intentional communities in the United States.
Starting with the 1960s Haight-Ashbury scene where it all began and continuing through the changeover from commune to collective up to the present day, this is the first complete account of The Farm’s origins, inception, growth, and evolution. By turns inspiring, cautionary, triumphant, and wistful, it’s a captivating narrative from start to finish.
The legend of the caravan was familiar to me in my youth, as the Grateful Dead’s song “St. Stephen” was about Stephen Gaskin, who recently passed away. I always imagined what it must have been like to be be one those pioneers in the year I was born.
My second vegetarian cookbook I owned was [amazon_link id=”0913990604″ target=”_blank” ]The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook[/amazon_link]. I have probably made 90% of the recipes in this cookbook, and I even recently had to buy a new copy because my old copy was so tattered. This cookbook was my biggest introduction to the Farm. I feel connected to this community by making the recipes. In my twenties I would stare at the photos wondering what life was like at the Farm. The vegan chocolate chip cookies are my favorite!
My next introduction to the Farm was when I was pregnant. Ina May Gaskin’s book [amazon_link id=”1570671044″ target=”_blank” ]Spiritual Midwifery[/amazon_link] inspired my birthing experience as much as the cookbook inspired my diet. Ina May has long been the leader in midwifery proving its safety and effectiveness through the program at the Farm.
The story of the Farm is fascinating to me. I have seen several intentional communities not survive in my area, and [amazon_link id=”1570673039″ target=”_blank” ]Out to Change the World[/amazon_link] is insightful and interesting. Challenges throughout the decades are openly discussed, as well as their solutions. From financial issues to people not doing their share of work to infrastructure, the Farm has survived and grown to influence people far beyond its borders.
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