The Farm

Lewis County, Tennessee, USA
Back to the Land
Single-Family Housing
Religious, Christian
1971 - Present

1 Welcome Center 2 Campgrounds 3 Farm Educational Conference Center 4 Tree House School 5 Book Publishing 6 Ecovillage Training Center 7 Farm Foods 8 Lee Restoration 9 Swan Conservation Trust 10 The Farm Store 11 12 The Farm Midwifery Center 13 College of Traditional Midwifery

In the early days of the United States, for pioneers, homesteaders, and reclusive religious sects, the countryside was a default condition. The Back-to-the-Land movement of the late 1960s and ’70s, which saw more than 3,000 communes spring into existence, was something else entirely. After hundreds of years of civilization, back-to-the-landers rejected the city and returned to the garden—the now iconic naked farmers, the Adams and Eves of hippiedom, weren’t doomed to till the soil but free to work the land. They returned to the beginning to see if something new could grow. David Frohman, who lived on the Farm from 1971 until 1983 summed up like this:  “That was new to me, a city boy driving a tractor.”

The Farm began as a group of 320 hippies led by Stephen Gaskin on a speaking tour in churches across the US. The caravan of sixty school buses arrived in Lewis County and evolved into a community of 1600 at its peak. The Farm was founded so that all who came would be cared for, fed, clothed, healed, and sheltered. The group took a vow of poverty, ate vegetarian, were observant Christians (ish), smoked weed as a sacrament, encouraged marriage (as couples or groups), and forbade birth control - leading to a baby boom and the birth of modern midwifery, developed by Ina May Gaskin.

Nam semper semper ex
In porttitor pellentesque sapien

Annie Schneider

Communes in the New World

The question of how to live together—of how best to live together—is the foundation of any society. The last few years have exposed the fault lines in our current system: climatic catastrophe, economic crisis, supply chain collapse, civil unrest, rampant inequality, and a global pandemic. We live in congested cities and in potentially dangerous proximity, yet remain isolated. In light of these mounting pressures, it’s time to revisit the fundamentals. How to Live Together offers alternative ways of being, thinking, dwelling, and living. It calls into question every basic assumption and prevailing social norm: belief, sex, the nuclear family, property ownership, our relationship to land, production, and consumption. It is both a critique and a roadmap.