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2014 Calendar
Winter Weekend Permaculture Design Course, Spiral Ridge - January 17-20
Permaculture Design Certificate Course, at Maya Mountain Research Farm, San Pedro Columbia, Belize, February 10-22
Winter Weekend Permaculture Design Course, Spiral Ridge - March 1-2
Winter Weekend Permaculture Design Course, Spiral Ridge - March 7-9
Midwife Assistant Workshop March 16-22  
Farm Experience Weekend March 21-23
Farm Apprentice Orientation Week March 30-April 5
Midwifery Workshop - Neonatal Resuscitation April 10-11
Farm Experience Weekend April 18-20
The Land - with Swan Conservation Trust
Discover Big Swan Headwaters Preserve
Hike, followed by dinner and music
Midwife Assistant Workshop April 13-19
Swan Trust Hike May 3
Waterfalls on the Natchez Trace
Midwife Herb Workshop May 22-24
The Communities Conference May 23-25
Advanced Midwife Workshop April 13-19
Common Sense and Tradition
Woofer & Work Exchange Permablitzes
April 27-May 3
Farm Apprentice Orientation Week
May 4-10
Woofer & Work Exchange Permablitzes
June 1-7
Organic Gardening Intensive June 4-8
A 5 day hands-on gardening plus garden tours on and off-The Farm to visit Shiitake operations, a bamboo nursery...more
Swan Trust Hike June 8
Davy Crockett State Park
Farm Apprentice Orientation Week June 8-14
Farm Apprentice Orientation Week July 30-6-12
Farm Experience Summer Retreat
July 23-27 or 25-27 (weekend only)
Fun for the entire family
. All of the Farm Experience workshops plus activities for kids. Swimming, hiking...more
Buffalo River Canoe Trip Aug 17
Swan Trust
Midwife Assistant Workshop Aug 3-9
Permaculture Design with Albert Bates
Aug. 1-15, in Chicago
Advanced Midwife Workshop Aug 24-30
Farm Apprentice Orientation Week
Aug 31 -Sept 6
Midwifery Workshop - Neonatal Resuscitation September 18-19
Farm Experience Weekend Sept 19-21
Our last Farm Experience till next year!
Swan Trust Hike Sept 21
Meriwether Lewis National Park
Midwifery Assistant Workshop Sept 21-27
Edible Forest Gardening Sept. 27-29
Farm Apprentice Orientation Week Sept 28-Oct 4
Swan Trust Hike Oct 11
Devils Backbone St Natural Area
Woofer & Work Exchange Permablitzes
Oct 26-Nov 1
Farm School Holiday Bazaar Dec. 6

This year The Farm Ecovillage Training Center will also be offering a permaculture design certificate for apprentices who attend for two consecutive months.

ABC News, 2012: Groovy! Oldest Hippie Commune Going Strong

f you thought communes had gone the way of the tie dye shirt, think again. photos at the end of the article

New, non-hippy ones are springing up. The oldest, The Farm—still hippyish and still going strong--is the subject of a new documentary soon to be released.

Filmmaker-sisters Nadine and Rena Mundo were born on The Farm in the 1970s, back when it was on its way to becoming the biggest and arguably the most progressive commune in America. Located in mid-Tennessee, it had, at its peak in the early '80s, Rena tells ABC News, 1,500 members and attracted such celebrity visitors as Walter Cronkite and Phil Donahue.

The Mundo sisters' documentary, "American Commune," scheduled to debut this spring at film festivals, "is the story of this utopian experiment," says Rena. "It's also the story of what it was like to be raised that way." Growing up they knew nothing of perfume, meat, TV, or American pop culture.

Postproduction of the film is being funded in part by a Kickstarter appeal that ends December 2. The website allows people to contribute money to all kinds of independent businesses and projects.

It has not all been smooth sailing for The Farm. In the '80s it suffered a kind of spasm that the Mundos and Farm spokesperson Douglas Stevenson refer to as "the changeover."

"Up to then," says Stevenson, "no one held personal money. It was all pooled." No one was responsible for their own support. The commune went $400,000 into debt, a financial crisis loomed, tensions rose, and a mass exodus followed.

"A lot's changed," says Stevenson. "We still hold the land collectively—1,700 acres. All the houses and community buildings we own collectively. We're still revolutionary. But everyone is now responsible for their own support." Membership today stands at about 160 individuals, or 80 households.

It costs about $100 per adult per month to cover expenses, he says. In exchange, members get housing, water, paved roads--seven miles worth—and other benefits. "It's a hybrid system compared to the old days. We've gone from being a commune to a collective."

About a third of today's members are second- or third-generation, he says. That's in part because the Mundo sisters were far from being the only children born there. The Farm was family-friendly and procreation was encouraged. It had (and still does) a Midwifery Center, which originally offered a host of free services to expectant mothers.

In recent years a variety of non-hippie groups have started new experiments in what advocates refer to as "intentional living" situations rather than communes. Some appeal to senior citizens, some to the environmentally-minded. When the New York Times reported on the phenomenon, it quoted the editor of Communities Magazine (bible of the intentional living movement) as saying, "These days you don't have to live in the boonies, chop wood, walk around nude and pool all your money to live an alternative lifestyle."

The Farm-American Commune

The Farm-Kids back in the day

The Farm  Mundo sisters

Nadine and Rena Mundo, producers of the documentary American Commune, were born on the Farm and left with their family in the early 1980's.





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