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Voluntary Peasants, Part 1: Birth of the Farm Commune | [Melvyn Stiriss]

Voluntary Peasants, Part 1: Birth of the Farm Commune

Birth of the famous, flagship commune - The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee, where 1,400 people enjoyed universal healthcare, zero unemployment, and were covered for food housing and all necessities on $100/person a month! We lived simply; ate vegan; had a soy dairy, school, clinic, midwives, bakery, motor pool, radio station and hippie Peace Corps. We worked hard and were happy - friends sharing life and a vision - pooling resources - creating a lifestyle the world can afford.
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Publisher's Summary

Author/actor, Melvyn Stiriss reads his far-out book.

Portal into 60s energy, mindscape. Adventures in search of enlightenment. Entertaining, hip history. Bob Dylan was singing—“The times they are a changin'.” John Lennon—“Imagine all the people living life in peace.” Mind-expanding marijuana, LSD, magic mushrooms; climax of the sixties and genesis of a bold, social experiment. Told by a UPI journalist—a founder, builder and 13-year resident of The Farm on land twice the size of NY's Central Park—a commune awarded the Swedish Right Livelihood Award.

Our story begins at the San Francisco spiritual smorgasbord of '69—people experimenting; meditating, being here and now-to change their lives and evolve into free spirits and hippies. I was one of these—a drop in a dynamic wave of people who came to California in search of enlightenment and a happier lifestyle.

“In '67, I was the young reporter UPI sent to cover the Grateful Dead and Vietnam War protests. I followed the energy to Woodstock and San Francisco, met hippie guru-Stephen Gaskin, later dubbed by High Times—“Gandhi of the American counterculture.” his wife, Ina May Gaskin, now known as the “mother of modern midwifery.”

From telepathic group mind to rosy group think, the trip becomes a 12,000-mile, follow-the-guru-round-the-country, road adventure. Wherever we went, we gave the status quo a good shake and spread a contact high-landing 300 hippies, in 100 colorful buses and vans up Moonshine Alley. At peak—1,400 Farm people enjoyed universal healthcare, zero unemployment; food, housing and all necessities on $100/person a month! Over 4,000 people lived at The Farm over 13 collective years and worked humanitarian projects around the world, including earthquake reconstruction in Guatemala, where Melvyn’s crew built rural schools and a clinic for Mother Teresa. These stories are told in the next parts of Voluntary Peasants.

©2013 Melvyn Stiriss (P)2013 Melvyn Stiriss

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