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The Farm, Tennessee

The Farm, Summertown, Tennessee
– This commune founded by hippies including Stephen
, has pioneered the hippie communal lifestyle.  Check out
their website for more info!  For
a good history of The Farm see the Vegetarian Times story

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44 Responses to The Farm, Tennessee

  • grew up about 10 minutes down the road to Summertown (the Farm)
    southern hospitality plus fun loving hippies equals a great time for all!
    The Farm has about three festivals a year that celebrate the changing of seasons, the harvest, and most important of all…LIFE! The folks on the Farm will treat you like their child, teach you many facts on life, especially midwifery. Visitors are welcome…you MUST check in with the gate watchers before entering-we hippies love our privacy

  • A friend that my mother used to know actually lived at The Farm. The Farm has been through a lot, and apparently in its early days, was the target of J. Edgar Hoover (The Farm got started in 1971, but Hoover died in 1972). Also that area of Tennessee had a really ugly past, as that was the area the Ku Klux Klan had its beginnings. Nice to see something far better happen in that area, in the shape of The Farm. Love to be there one day, but since I live in Oregon, I’ll have a much higher chance at visiting Breitenbush Hot Springs or the Alpha Farm in Deadwood.

  • The Farm is great!I live about 30 minutes from there.I have grown up going down there.The people are so nice and welcoming.I highly reccomend for people to go there.I went to the Holiday Bazaar last month.I had wonderful time!

  • someone tell me more about this place… what it is?

  • I live here, and run The Farm Welcome Center, https://www.thefarmcommunity.com . This is home for me and 170 other people. Good people and good local neighbors. Good place to raise your kids with likeminded people. Sincerely, Vickie

  • I moved to Wanyesboro,Tennesse about two years ago from From Hot Springs, Ar and i have always wanted to Vist The Farm b/c i think it would rockn if i could meet some hippies and just chill. I dont know the area very well but if someone could get in touch with me and let me know where it is i would be very greatful. My e-mail is TheLonelyPoet363@yahoo.com and my hotmail is LoSt_LeNoRe333@hotmail.com. Thanks

  • i would like to tell you the farm is not a kind place. me any my wife hitch hiked there she was expecting our first child and heard of the midwife school . well we got there and were told that we need lots of cash to be there .so we were stuck and broke and asked if we could work some thing out we were told to kick rocks and that cash makes the world go round and since we didnt have any we had to leave. so yea if uyou are a rich yuppy/kinda hippy then the farm is the place for you

  • Yeah when I rolled through there I got a similar response, they really didn’t seem to like the young poor hippies, i personaly stay out of that region anyways and with their attitude the farm isnt that groovy a place to go.

  • Okay, i’ve never been there myself although i used to have one of their cookbooks (pretty good for veggie fare).

    Nevertheless, i’ve known a couple dozen people who have visited and/or lived there and every one of them says it is basically a cult centered around Gaskin, his megalomaniac ego, and his monetary greed. Very bad vibes, indeed.

    His followers (especially in the early days) probably mean well– they just get sucked in by the commune fantasy and then victimized by Gaskin and his henchmen– ESPECIALLY young women, girls, and anybody with money or access to money.

    Beware of this place! Gaskin is no more a true hippie than Manson was. I’m not saying he’s a killer, but he is definitely a sociopathic conman and a user and abuser of people.


  • Folks like Jasper, Scoliosis, and Freedom don’t really know what they’re talking about. Yes, you can no longer expect to stay at the Farm for free. But where CAN you stay for free anymore??
    I lived on The Farm way back in ’80 and ’81, at their peak population period. They struggled. They adapted. Things changed. But Stephen Gaskin is an exemplary human, living out the highest ideals anyone can hold. So is Ina May Gaskin. They are beautiful souls. The Farm is a lovely place to visit, or live.
    So anyone who disparages the Gaskins doesn’t really know them.
    The Farm is a spiritual community, not a cult family. Don’t judge what you don’t know: you just sound stupid and foolish.
    Your life will be enriched by a visit to The Farm.
    Peace and blessings to all.

  • Hi everyone I lived on the farm from 1978 to 1985.I moved there when I was 12. So I think that we all can agree I might have some idea what was going on. Yes Steven Gaskin is ego driven maniac, I saw first hand the girls in his bed all stoned off there ass and I ran because I always seemed to have the o shit radar. I would say that most of all I have read about him and lot of others is true. The money, control, and manipulation of people who were vulnerable who had money or there families had money. I could go on and on about all the bad things enough bad things to fill a book, but there were many good things to, just as many as bad. I could also go on and on and tout all the great people and things that went on but here is the long and short of it just like any place else I have lived there are good people and bad. The farm had all the same issues I seen in any town or city I have lived. I look back to those days as some of the best and a training ground on how to look out for people will take advantage if you let them. I have learned that if you think all the answers in your life rely on a person or group who will take all your money and family possessions for that information maybe you should look inside yourself not The Farm.

  • I am a native to that area, and i was briefly married to one of the midwives sons. I honestly have nothing bad to say about the farm as a whole. I had great expierences there as a young person. Most the Farmies are awesome ppl with high ideals. THey are a bit gaurded, it takes awhile for most of em to really open up and trust the “randoms” of which they have seen plenty over the course of 30 years. Of course you are going to run into the same type of ppl there as anywhere else.

    Course if you just showed up on my doorstep, I would be hostile, so how can you blame them for not wanting to take in strangers they don’t know. I can hash out stories of lots of creepy ppl who randomly showed up at the farm over the course of several years i hung out there.

    THE FARM IS NOT A CULT! In the earlier days it may have seemed more cultish, but now it is not a commune. Each family supports their own.

  • It’s vile the misinformation people are spreading like they know something. In case you missed the clue: If you don’t know what you’re talking about, sit down and shut up. You are noise.

    I have known the Gaskins for years, and they are the nicest people you would ever meet, plus true, hardworking heroes of the Revolution. The Farm is a nice place, but it’s not a commune; everybody has to work for their living, so you can’t expect to show up and have people hand you free goods and services.

  • I had a very good friend that lived at the Farm. He was killed in a car wrech around 1999, but Everytime I was there everyone was very welcoming. I had great times there! Thank you! As a musician I always wanted to go back and Jam! SuX I had to move away! Have a listen iF you like
    myspace.com/yellingman .
    Dont slam the farm because you have an agenda…


  • Hey, Vickie at the Farm is all about getting your money. LOL. No thanks.

  • I have lived in lawrence County most of my life. I have visited the farm on numerous occasions. A friend of mine actually lives on the farm as do her children. They are exceptional peace loving people. I hate that we live in a world that judges so harshly. I have also visited the midwifery center when I was in nursing school and I find that these lady are exceptional as well. The peolpe who are doing all the bashing don’t know or have met the same people iI have:)

  • Does anybody know of people who have visited The Farm in TN and can speak to its negative cult like qualities like “Jasper Kent” and “freedom” have?

  • On a recent trip through the mountains in middle, Tn. Around the cannon, coffee, rutherford counties. I stumbled upon a Hill out in the middle of nowhere. It seemed to be in the center of all three but alone by itself. The sign said “Hippie Hill” and there was a teddy bear sign posted up at the entrance. Can someone tell me whats going on, I want to stop in and say hey, but the no trespassing signs are posted everywhere.

  • I met someone that grew up in the farm and it sounds like a load sick perverted crap where people were taught how to sexually abuse and neglect heir children.

  • These people have bigger egos and spread more hatred of people "not like them" than any other group I’ve encountered, including religious groups.  You would not BELIEVE what kinds of things I’ve seen "The Committee" do to get rid of undesirables. Doesn’t "The Committee" sound like a horror movie? It is. One guy sold everything he had in the beginning and gave them the money because it is a commune. In the mass exodus many years ago when they kicked off everyone who was not making enough money, or anyone who had ticked off the powerful people, he was told to leave because he was poor. He was given no warning and had to scramble to find what can only be called a shack while his wife was pregnant. The baby died. Nobody cared.  It’s hard to believe that several of these comments talk about how loving and welcoming "farmies" are. "Farmies" call the rest of the local people many of whom were here before they were "townies." They do not say it in a nice way. But that is not my problem with them. I lived next door for all of my life, and had many occasions to visit the farm because I was visiting students from lawrence county high school. I’ve been back many times since I’ve been out of school because I’m friends with some of the younger generation.  If the older people do not know you they will STOP YOUR CAR on the road and ask you what you’re doing there, who you know, if you were invited. When you tell them a name, they will call that person and ask them. I understand that that is because they’re selling the hell out of some drugs and don’t want cops, but if you’re going to have to live in a paranoid untrusting unfriendly bubble, maybe you should change your habits. They’re not serving you. So many of the people there are so paranoid I’d definitely suspect mental illness running rampant. Everyone’s so uptight because they’re judged harshly by their peers, and they always have to be proving that they’re "good enough" and the landmines of social no nos are myriad. The judging is constant. The gossiping is constant. It might as well be the church social. I guess the place attracts people who can’t get along in the real world and need other scared people to tell them that their paranoia is right.  I’d like to say that if you’re the people going around telling everyone how scary the government is, YOU’RE the one spreading fear and threatening people into complying with the government. But it doesn’t matter. They haven’t killed us all yet have they? ::eye roll.:: I went to many parties and a few Ragweeds, and I would introduce myself to groups of these loving hippies. I am an outgoing person and have many friends from many different walks of life, and interesting stories to tell. I am a nice person. But these welcoming people would freeze me out and talk around me until I walked away. As for the sexual perversion mentioned, it is not a farm tradition, and I’ll deny that one. But the principal of the farm school (a.k.a. the latest plant, stool pigeon, turncoat)  welcomed his best friend, a pedophile, into the school repeatedly and this was not stopped until the man was brought to justice by someone off the farm. I think who your best friend is says a lot about what’s going on in your head. The principal’s son pretended to attempt suicide in a controlling grasp for a nice girl who didn’t like him to feel bad enough to date him anyway, and that was okay with everybody. Everyone knew this, because everyone on the farm knows everything about everyone immediately. He was not taken anywhere for help, because that would involve "outsiders." He is still trying to control people, and still VERY angry according to the other people his age who’ve had to deal with it. THIS guy’s father is "mentoring" the children. Hope he does a better job with them. I think how your son turns out says a lot about how you are with kids. I think maybe’s the son’s too old to still go to school there, so you probably wouldn’t have to worry about your daughter being emotionally abused by him.  They talk about how different the school is than normal school, but it’s not. Just less organized and more dirty. It’s the most sexist setup I’ve ever seen. The women teachers serve. The men in charge tell everyone what to believe, and if they’re behaving up to standard. They cloak this in democracy, paying lip service to voting. Speaking of voting, when they "vote" for who will be on the school board everyone is required to SIGN THEIR BALLOTS. How’s that for democracy? So if anyone does not vote for the right person, everyone knows who the enemy is. The current principal has put the school far into debt serving his ego and desire to be seen as the king of the school who turned it around, and the plan to fix this is to charge outsiders so much tuition to pay off the debt that it insures only rich people can attend that school. That’s not a new thing. If you want to live on the farm, one of the first and most important steps (the other being proof you won’t bust the drug ring,) is opening up your financial information, bank accounts, financial records,  so they can make sure they’ll make money off of you. They preach tolerance but have a VERY narrow definition of what is acceptable, and if you don’t fit into their exacting clique, you will find yourself quickly ostracized. Being poor is reason enough to discourage your participation in any positions. Being what they call a redneck is a cardinal sin. Not being a vegetarian is up there on the list, but not the most important thing. It’s okay for most of them to have 2 cars or SUVs, but you must pass a bullshit test to prove you can SOUND LIKE you are really into green energy. The Farm is going to die out because the old people are going to die, and they do not welcome new people. By the way, as an aside, they also DO NOT FARM. They are the furthest thing from a self sufficient community. I’d look elsewhere. If you are thinking of moving there, don’t say you weren’t warned. It won’t take long for the honeymoon to wear off and the politics, egos, and games to make you wish you hadn’t left your former life behind and wasted the money. They are not what they pretend to be. They are not what their website says they are. They have a public relations front that is meant to make money and keep the cops off of them. If they can’t use you, they don’t want you. If you’re black, Jewish, or Native American, they’d really like to have your face. It’s starting to look bad that they’re all upper middle class white ultra conservative uptight repressed anal retentive yuppies. They have noticed this.  Be prepared to pose for the photos. 

  • This is to "THE WANDERER". Hippie Hill is near bellbuckle, i was just there last night. Its more exclusive, its not listed anywhere online it seems. My friends have played a couple shows/festival type things out there, but tom (hippie is what they call him) owns the place, its 110acres. Just like any place you go, theyre friendly faces and polar opposites. All i can tell you is you better know at least 4 people there before entering. Everyone knows everyone, it is a small community but could grow vastly because of the land he has. If you go, and they ask you why youre there just tell them "all i need is food and drink for the night and some friendly faces around a fire", you will be welcomed right in. Tom(hippie) Chief, and tell Memory she is loved for me if you decide to visit. She lives with johnny blaze. Peace

  • I agree with keep it real… If you want boring and uptight, hang out at the farm. Sure, they smoke pot. Big deal. So does everybody else. So if you’re hanging out there, now you’re SLEEPY and bored. There’s something to be said for a slwo life. I like slow and simple myself, but that’s not what I mean by boring. None of the small minds I met there were anything new, anything expanding. That may come from living in a small isolated community in an already small isolated southern town… It’s good to be challenged. If you aren’t growing, you’re declining. The petty in fighting was just so small and taken SOOO seriously. Makes me want to cry, and then nap. Being a hippy is about experimenting with life, love, pleasure, higher thinking, deeper living. Not about dogma, talking points, rigid views. These are a bunch of old yuppies who like to think they’re "different," but they’re pretty the same. It’s not even fun to hang out there. The festivals aren’t even fun. Just another party with some live bands and pot. If you’re a teenager and that’s all you’re after, it’ll be novel for a while I guess. Make sure to wear a rebellious t shirt to complete the oh so coolness.  Sure, they have a couple of charitable organizations and activities, just like any politician does. It looks good on the resume, right? There is sooo much more to life than a lot of people know. You can find other souls who are into really experiencing life to the hilt.. but if they’re at the farm, it’s a coincidence. My rating? Seriously boring. 

  • Wasn’t someone killed at The Farm early on in its existence?

  • Hi All,

    I’m not a big believer in anonymous posts. I am the principal of The Farm School that Keepitreal slammed above. Keepitreal, if you’re reading, I hope you find relief from all hate you carry. If anyone wants information about the school or our community from a different point of view, please contact me or better yet come visit.

    Peace and Love,

    Peter Kindfield

  • Interesting reading here what others have to say. Most of whom have never even visited The Farm. Let alone live there. I did 1973 to the end of 1979. And kept in contact to the present. I am not a nut case either.
      Most of the stuff written here on this forum is untrue.
      Some of the things you people wrote are down right evil and mean. Not sure what you get from that. Or possibly in your own mind you really believe you are seeing it all right.
      And to answer a question. NO, no one was killed on The Farm in the early days. Other than a gentlemen was hit by lightening and died.
      One long post here – the person (Let’s Keep it Real ) seems to have alot of opinions about peoples personal lives. And also saying things with really not knowing facts. I do not know whom you are. But apparently you go there enough – I wonder why? If you dislike it so.

  • If you’d read what I said, you’d know why I went there. However, thank you for a prime example of the patronizing tone from the "We live on THE FARM and who do you think YOU are?" crowd. Here’s a question. Why aren’t you still there? Here’s another… What about the guy who died in the swimming hole?

  • Don’t feed the troll.

  • The Farm and Hippie Hill are two different places. Hippie Hill off I-24 ext 97 with the dancing bear and all the no trasspassing signs is a loving home. and i love that place. they always got the best meals and the coolest people hanging around. ive never been to the farm but one day

  • The Farm is NOT a cult and the philosophy is NOT to abuse children. How people come up with this is beyond me. Yes they take money for services thats how they survive. Being of the hippie philosophy does not mean you cant make money. They are guarded well because lots of people are interested in them and they are trying to protect their culture. Nothing on this earth is perfect but hey cut them some slack peeps. The are just people too.

  • Hi!

    i´m going to Tenesee in  April 2010 and wonder if it´s possible to live on THE FARM a few days and help out with the work. I´m from Sweden, far away and would really like to see how it´s like in the US midlands on an ecologic farm:)
    If anyone has any contacts that I could call that´d would be grat, cant find any o the web.
  • I believe you folks on so-called "Hippi-Hill" need to keep your unusual practices and beliefs to yourselves. My child was recently led there by a friend and I didn’t appreciate the drug use and the reading of the cards. I have busted my but trying to instill what I believe is correct to carry yourself through this life in my kids for 20 years and this road has been hard as Hell to do. The influence placed upon my beloved child that occured on her visit enraged my husband and me. Yes, my child is a "legal" adult now, but barely, and still looking for identity in this world, and is extremely influential. We as the parents are not paying for costly college tuition so we can hear"wow, this was so cool, I want to live just like this." And one more thing, YES-you ARE a commune. Wood-stock is over. Get with the program folks.

  • So i Have Heard Great things about the Hill and the farm was wandering what need to happen to be back home i want to go to all of the Gatherings and the first is in Florida This has been my dream to travel in the way my family Ancestors have in the past If there is any anyone looking to Travel and want to help me grow in Knowledge through my travels email me at DJGSoundworks@aol.com 

  • Right on. I think it’s great! I have been an RN for 14 years…..I’m 34 years old and I would absolutely LOVE to be a part of this commune! I’ve read several negative comments on here and a little puzzled. Why are you visiting a Hippie Hill commune website if you are so against it? i think what you really need to understand is that it’s a lifestyle. Maybe nontraditional, maybe not as your own. So what? is that not what life is about. It takes all different types of people to make this world work. Personally, I think it’s awesome! Sign me up!

  • Keep It Real—you sound very very crebible. I am in total agreeance with you.  Are you interested in sharing exactly what you have posted below and any other information with the public? There are quite a few people who are interested in what you have said and are interested in exposing the farm as well as see The Farm as a danger to the state of TN. How can we connect?   Keep up the good work. 

  • love all these comments but if your going to put anything negative, don’t say anything at all. ok love u all.

  • heyy there, i was just wondering how one would go about joining ? im on my last year of high school, and just want out of what our world believes it needs to be. i want to help others in daily aspects of life and would love to grow as an individual. freedom and respect seem to stand important in my life and i would love to continue down that path.

  • First and foremost Hippy Hill IS A FAMILY not a commune. You just don’t know the difference b/c you refuse to understand the difference you wont think outside the box or for yourself your child obviously understood what was going on out there b/c she went with an open mind and a open heart not judging something she didn’t understand or know anything about. I only hope that there is now seed planted in her heart as one was in mine and that it continues to blossom and grow and continue the ripple. How can you be so harsh on anothers way of life if you wont even take the time to consider and understand it for your self. Im not going to criticize your for your narrow minded comments and opinions about hippy hill only tell you you are completely wrong in everything you said. Hippy and Mama are 2 of the most compassionate people i have ever met, and I know there are 1000’s of people will say the exact same thing. They have opened their hearts and home to any, and everyone needing help COMPLETE STRANGERS all in hopes of making this a better place to live. Their actions speak louder than words can write. they truly have a greater love for the world and humanity i wish there were more people like mama and hippy and more places like Hippy Hill helping hungry kids the world would be a much better place. i have seen them on several occasions take in STARVING and MALNOURISHED people they didnt even know off the street and nurse them back to health, get people off drugs, sober people up teaching people art, self expression, and how to think about a bigger purpose for ourselves passing on a greater good for the rest of the world. How many starving Americans have you saved, do you feed everyday? How many people are you keeping from freezing to death this winter? What good have you done for the world? Im sure you throw some pennies in salvation army bucket after you’ve spent $200 or more on groceries and shit you don’t even need. and give your $12 dollar donation to UNICEF threw your work. Hippy Hill helps more people everyday than you probably have in your life I know first hand the greater good being passed on at hippy hill. I only hope i can do as much good with my life and touch as many hearts as they have mine. Im craving a good hill cooked meal thinking about it….. Its time to get outta Babylon. I have never seen someone give strangers so much love before. the essence of love and the energies that flow from that place have been passed on as thousands of seeds planted in anyone’s heart and mind who will have an open mind and open heart. I know the love that emanates from there. OK really though did you have to end your rant with wood stock is over. Woodstock was a MUSIC FESTIVAL not a commune or a FAMILY or anything but a gathering of like minded people enjoying good company and good music and even though Woodstock was in the 60s then again in the 90s there are more MUSIC FESTIVALS NOW THAN EVER. So obviously the masses have figured something out your to fucking dense to. I retract may statement about not bashing you your just stuck under a rock. YOU ARE A FUCKING IDIOT!!!! I’ve never been to the farm though ive lived in Nashville my whole life but im sure what they got going on out there is good in ways all its own and i respect their way of life i also liked the comment about people feeling a "cold shoulder Vibe" at both places i mean how would you treat a stranger on your door step you probably wouldn’t even open the door you’d get a gun and scream something like go away or ill shoot you and call the cops. however both of these places have an open door policy. Maybe you should try to be friendly and patient and get to know someone before you walk off. You don’t have to know a soul to go up to the hill i don’t know where that 4 ppl comment came from I mean they are a close knit FAMILY but they’ll feed and be friendly with anybody and there doors are always open. And its pretty similar at the farm from what ive heard. I mean would you like letting a shit tun of people live with you and be a bunch of bums theres a difference in a Hippy/Hobo and a bum. hippies and hobos are good hearted people tied to a freeform lifestyle much like the ascetics or samana’s but different they will work for what they need do odd jobs or whatever else it takes to get by and some get by with the bare minimum some wandering wherever their feet and god lead them when i think of a bum i think of the same destitute man or woman sitting flying a sign on the same corner they where on yesterday and the day before and the day before bumming and completely spanging off other people and who wont lift a finger to earn their keep which is their choice on how to live their life and its not for me to judge. and that’s another thing they teach people how to not be a bum make art and sell it or whatever your gifts may be but use them don’t be a spanging bum.HoBo originated after the civil war referring to the 1000’s HOMEWARD BOUND SOLDIERS traveling across country on train and by whatever means necessary make it. working where they could find work sleeping where they could sleep and forming a bond with other people doing the exact same thing well it turned out a bunch of them fell in love with the way of life its not for me but i don’t judge. They are depicted in cartoons with a stick and bandanna but it was typically a Ho or Matic or tool of some kind they could use when working and for protection. I think there is a piece of enlightenment in the freedom they experience. Shit Merrel Haggard was a hobo for a long time. but u dont judge him hes not a bum he still clames to be a hobo at heart that it will always be one of his most treasured experiences so who are you to judge the lifestyles of another But you wouldn’t know the difference b/c your to close minded to learn and  understand something for yourself you let others think for you…. i dont know about the farm but i have seen over and over and over the money people give to the hill goes strait back into the hill for food, gas, and improvements. Please don’t be so quick to judge that which you do not and will not allow your self to under stand. Theres a never ending ripple that didnt start with hippy hill but they have made their own ripple and im so glad i’ve felt it. Forever Grateful

  • i would love to live here! i believe in everything they stand for and i’d like to get away from society… if anyone has any idea how to join this community please email me: sierra_coker@yahoo.com

  • visted n dec 2011 ate. had a bed nice chill place will be back,  Peace N Love

  • I have read all of the comments on the farm and I have to say that Ive had mixed emotions.  I love what the farm does and love everything they stand for.  It is supposed to be influential in a positive way, thats part of what they are there for.  I have lived in Tennessee my entire life except for the years I spent in the military, and yes I was in Iraq, and I am not proud of what I did there, but I have grown and learned to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX that we are taught to think and live in our entire lives, and I have learned what it is to feel inner peace and love for everyone no matter what race, creed, gender or anything else they are according to what our society deems its categories.  I love all of you who have posted on here and those who havent opened their hearts yet I hope you do one day and feel the love for me that I do for you, and for those who do understand what im talking about, keep it  up and keep on doing what you are doing, our way of life will catch up AGAIN one day and hopefully it will stick this time around. 

  • Wow.. I am speechless right now. I am a homeschooling/unschooling parent and was looking into the Farm School for my children to make friends and socialize with like minded people. I hopped online to do some research on the school as well as the community as this involves my most prized possession (my babies) I am horrified to read the comments about sexual abuse, secrecy,discrimination, murder, and greed. I can only hope that it is completely False. Then again, what kind of evil human being would make up such horrific lies about a place? I need honest feedback by people that have actually lived/worked/grew up there. How do they feel about Christians? Not your typical, hypocrite, hate preeching Christians .. I mean the ones that love and accept all sexual orientations, races, other faiths, etc .. Yes , a few of us exist on this planet 🙂 

  • The farm in TN is a wonderful place with true hippies who are concerned about the environment, sustainability and other important issues. Not to be confused with Hippie Hill TN which is a basically a biker gang organization and a dangerous place to be. There is quite a bit of feedback available online for both places (which often get confused with each other). Do some research on the web and choose wisely. Based on what I read I have heard that they do not take kindly to people trying to leave Hippie Hill. Google both places names and there is tremendous information and first hand accounts written from people who have lived there.


  • Talkin bout farmin with the wife this mornin brought back a memory from my younger days of a visit to The Farm. 

    The year was 1975, I lived and worked in Yakima, Washington.  I was 18 and feelin antsy. My friend and coworker, Wayne, who was about 13 years older than me, and had been an original, summer of love, haight asbury, flower child hippie told me about Stephen Gaskin, and that he started  a real hippie commune in TN called, The Farm, and that all are welcome. He brought me a poster of the place the next day(I still have it). Visions of running around naked in the woods high on acid having lots of sex with hot hairy hippie chicks for the rest of my life filled my mind. I quit my job, sold my car, threw a pack on my back, hooked a leash to my dog and hitch hiked to Summertown, Tennesee.
    My cross country trip took me about three weeks, what with sight seein and goofin off, but I made it. I arrived late in the day. I was dirty, flat broke and hungry. There was a small crowd hangin out at the gate house. I felt like a kid since everyone seemed about mid to late twenties. I couldn’t grow a whisker yet and all the men had big beards and way long hair. There were’nt any kids around at that point. The group was all guys except two women who I couldn’t call hippie chicks – more like hippie moms, and they were’nt hot – just hairy.  
    A couple guys sorta interrigated me but I’ll be nice and say they interviewed me, they was just checkin ya know, don’t want no ax murderers in the mix. They called around for a place for me to stay. I remember being surprised that they had phones, don’t know what I was thinkin. I over heard the several phone calls to different people, got the feeling maybe I came at a bad time, ya know that "we don’t need one more drifter in the soup", time. Finally the guy says, "Found you a spot". We hopped in a pick up and headed off into the woods. It was dark by then and the road was a rough, rutty, branch scraping, slow slog till we got to a shelter that was boards on the lower half and tent on the upper half. I thought it was very cool. Everyone was friendly enough but that "wish you hadn’t come" vibe hung in the air but I was in denial because there was still acid and sex yet to come. If I remember right there were six people living there 3 guys 3 gals and they were paired up so I was the odd man out. It was obvious that one guy was the head of the house. I figured he was one of the original caravan members and I was in the presence of a man of real Higher Consciouness. They’d just pulled a vegetarian pizza out of the oven when I arrived. I was so hungry I ate every bit of what I was given. I’ve never eaten vegetarian pizza since.
    The morning came and everyone was gone except for Higher C man. He said, "We’ll head over to canning and freezing and get you plugged in today". We walked about ten minutes through the beautiful woods of Tennessee until we came to a place where all kinds of people were doing all kinds of tasks and the energy of that place was high and fun. I spent all morning there and had a blast, even without sex or acid. Higher C man gave me a little talk about my dog – that if I planned on being there long term I’d have to set him free to run with the other "free" dogs that some of the original caravan people and others had brought but no longer "owned" because they had no meat to feed them, besides, pet ownership was just an aspect of man’s ego… or something like that He said they did bake a bread for the dogs that had, I think, a bunch of garlic and something else, that they left out for the dogs so they wouldn’t get parasites, worms, whatever, but as for meat the dogs would have to hunt it down on there own. That afternoon as I was leaving canning and freezing I was surprised to hear two guys out by some vehicles arguing. Actually it was one guy barking orders at this other guy and the other guy trying to be peaceful and reasonable but barking man was having none of it. Finally peaceful man says, "Wow man, you’re bad for my ego." I thought that was funny. Maybe peace and love ain’t all peace and love. Following the same path back through the woods to Higher C’s place I stopped at the edge of a little stream that crossed the path, not wide enough for a bridge though, just an extra long stride would suffice. This was a main path in the woods and that morning on the way to canning and freezing there were plenty of "good mornings" exchanged between people going both ways, but now I was alone on the path in the woods, it was maybe 2 in the afternoon. So I lit a smoke and sat for a spell. And then here she came, a young, hot, hairy, hippie chick. It was just us alone in the woods. I’d hitch hiked all the way from Washington state for this moment. She smiled, said hi, and even sat down next to me, I think I was already hard, then she proceeded to give me the sweetest little hippie chick lecture on how, "We don’t do cigarettes here on The Farm", something about smoking cigarettes being just and aspect of man’s ego or something. I could hardly enjoy the rest of my smoke as she disappeared into the woods of Tennessee. I wasn’t willing to give up my dog or my cigarettes so I caught a ride out of there the next day in a Farm van with a couple of Farm guys making a run to Knoxville for some special parts for a piece of farm equipment. There was another guy who was leaving too. He’d arrived only the day before. In the van he told a joke, it was a bit of a toilet joke, but it was funny. The two Farm hippie guys didn’t laugh at all. One of them said in a condescending tone, "Wow man, you have a weird sense of humor." I guess he must have figured that a sense of humor is just an aspect of man’s ego or something.

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