The Farm at 36

Hard to believe it, but The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee is NEARLY 40 YEARS OLD this year.

Given my parents' inclinations, and the fact that we moved to (very) rural Tennessee from the west coast in 1977 in order to have a more natural, wholesome family lifestyle, it's actually somewhat surprising we didn't end up living on The Farm. I'll bet my parents at least considered it. I'll have to ask them.

(My parents, along with my Uncle John and AUnts Delphia and Louise at Thanksgiving, 1974 - you get the picture)

thanksgiving 1974

I know that I grew up eating a lot of food prepared out of the two Farm-published cookbooks my mother kept out on the kitchen counter at all times.


Ina May Gaskin is one of my feminist heroes.


Valerie said...

She's one of mine, too. When I lived in Tennessee, we had to find a midwife and I called the farm for a referral. They were very helpful and the midwife they recommended delivered my 10 lb 15 oz posterior baby girl in my home and it was a wonderful experience.

Anonymous said...

I look at that photo and laugh. Check out my lovely curtains, the fine china (not), but I did have out the family candlesticks at least! Remember my "earth bread?" I traded it with Dr. Mustard for his milk so I could make butter. "Living Off the Earth" was another favorite book. I'm glad you have some recollections of that period.

Denette said...

I love her too. We went there for our first prenatal appointment and had planned on having this baby there but the drive was much too far for us. I got such a good feeling there and even my toddler was comfortable. I would love to live there or a place like that.

Anonymous said...

I know the Hickmans and they are a great Knoxville family - we go to their church - but I have to say you and your DH could not have had a more different upbringing!!!!


dewi said...

In 1973, I was in HS and went to hear Stephen Gaskin speak at a local church in Greenwich Village to recruit people to go down to the farm. I was very tempted. I also had all the books they self-published (I treasured Ina Mae's "Spiritual Midwifery" years before I ever consider having children).

One of the doulas who used to work for me grew up on The Farm in the 1970's early 80's (her dad still lives there) she tells some wickedly funny stories about the parents drug use and the teenagers rebelling by going into the woods to hide and eat tuna fish.

Vol Abroad said...

I went to high school not far from there - my mom's family is from Lawrenceburg. Even though I never spent much time on The Farm (I think I went once) when I started buying books about childbirth I got Ina May's book (the guide one). It's amazing. Many of my mom's friends now live on or are associated with The Farm.

In fact, one of our wedding guests appears naked in a labor picture in the book. How funny is that?