Farm Experience Weekend Review
This is my 12th year hosting a Farm Experience Weekends, a concentrated overview of life in our community. Here is what one of last week's participants had to say about their stay.
I just got back from an unforgettable week at "The Farm" in Summertown Tennessee. A bucolic oasis about an hour and a half outside of Nashville. It wasn't just the beautiful hills, creeks, and farmland that impressed me, as much as the lovely people.
Now you may say to yourself "What is a guy who grew up and lives in Manhattan doing on "hippie commune" in the hills of Tennessee? My whole adult life I had heard The Farm mentioned from time to time. And so recently I said "what the heck" and Googled them. What I found was their impressive website that gave me an ideal and truthful idea of what The Farm was all about, including their Utopian beliefs and unselfish values. If you thought that all communes were just a bunch of hippies sitting around growing and smoking pot, you are in for a delightful surprise.
So leave your preconceived notions at home and take the time to visit and get to know the wonderful, civically-minded members of The Farm community whose philanthropic endeavors and organizations have spanned from the South Bronx to Central America!
The Farm started out as a commune in 1971. They have kept up with the ever changing world and now are what is called an "Intentional Community". They have terrific values and common beliefs. Sustainable living, respect for the earth, no hunting or slaughtering of animals, permaculture, solar energy and nonviolence are just a few.
I had planned on just going just for what they call a "Farm Experience Weekend" which I urge you to go on! But I wanted to really get to know the community well, so I spent a week there. It was immensely educational. We did wonderful things like yoga, meditation, see live music, and sightsee, as well as a comprehensive and informative visit to the solar school, where they are teaching their kids their values and their responsible ways of living. This year’s entire senior class was accepted and plans to attend a prestigious New England college.
I have an ankle that was broken a few years back and coming from New York City I don't have a driver's license. So I had to hitch hike all week to get around and you know what, not once did a car or truck pass me by. I always got a ride. The people were that friendly!
In the morning I would thumb to "The Farm Store" have coffee and talk with some of the locals, many who have been there since The Farm’s inception, and then I would have a delicious bowl of vegetarian homemade stew or chili with the women from one of The Farm’s wonderful week long Midwifery seminars. In the afternoon I would hang out with the Permaculture Apprentices and hear their thoughts on everything from green ways of living, building houses to producing alternative, more environmentally friendly fuels. I even was invited to sit in on fascinating lectures given by the Farm's permaculture expert who has taught and spoken about permaculture all around the world! And the list goes on and on.
I encourage you to visit The Farm. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. I hope to visit again as soon as I can. The people at The Farm care about the earth, animals, the environment, future generations and most importantly, even though you may not have met them, they care about you!