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By Douglas Stevenson
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.