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From free love and sexual liberation to vegetable patches and $3 a day living costs: Inside America’s oldest hippie commune

2012 December 1

Peace for all: Free love is still going strong in America’s oldest hippie community, The Farm (pictured), a 1,700 acre piece of land located in mid-Tennessee

By OLIVIA FLEMING,dailymail.co.uk -

If you thought hippie communities of the Sixties were dead, think again.

Still going strong is America’s oldest, The Farm, a piece of 1,700 acre land located in Tennessee, that at its peak in the Eighties had 1,500 members and attracted celebrity visitors like Walter Cronkite and Phil Donahue.

Now, the 160 member community, more about Eco-Friendly living than free love, is the subject of the new documentary, American Commune, in which the filmmaker-sisters who were born there reveal what is like to grow up knowing nothing of commercial beauty, meat, television, or pop culture.

The hippie movement of the Sixties counterculture rejected established institutions, criticized middle class values, opposed nuclear weapons and the Vietnam War, and championed sexual liberation.

 

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Often vegetarian and Eco-friendly, they promoted the use of psychedelic drugs which they believed expanded one’s consciousness, and created intentional communities or communes – using alternative arts, folk music, and psychedelic rock as a way of express their feelings, protests and vision of the world and life.

‘You don’t have to live in the boonies and walk around nude just to live an alternative lifestyle’

While a third of today’s The Farm members are second- and even third-generation (the commune encouraged procreation), spokesperson, Douglas Stevenson says it has changed somewhat since its heyday of peace, freedom and love.

He recalled to ABC News: ‘No one held personal money. It was all pooled. A lot’s changed. We still hold the land collectively, all 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.’ Read more…

 

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