top of page

Technological Innovation in a Rural Intentional Community, 1971-1987


Albert K. Bates


National Historic Communal Societies Association Annual Meeting
Bishop Hill, Illinois
October 17, 1987


© 1987, 1988, 1995 Albert Bates. All Rights Reserved.


It is one thing to stand outside of a particular culture and try to objectively describe some confined facet of that culture, presumedly measured against a more independent external standard. It is another to live within the culture and describe with familiarity that same facet and indicate how it evolved. As Norman Mailer said, "Facts are nothing without their nuance."1 What is lost to objectivity hopefully can be replaced with the insight that comes with observations over the longer term. I came to The Farm in 1972, one year after it started. I live there still. What I will describe are some highlights of the Farm's technological growth during its first 16 years.

Material sciences necessarily imply certain philosophical assumptions, so it is impossible to adequately examine just the small manifestations without also glimpsing, occasionally, a view of the doctrines which shaped them. It was, and is, a central tenet of The Farm that all things proceed from the Spiritual Plane to the Material Plane. It should also be understood that such geographical juxtapositions are illusory. Yet, it was, and remains, our commonly held view that how you choose to live should be seamless with what you believe in. It should come as no surprise that no one on The Farm developed an advanced design for a nuclear reactor or a Star Wars shield, although we did develop advanced radiation detection equipment and employed satellite communications. No one from The Farm genetically engineered a new species of life, but The Farm did advance the scientific basis for midwifery, experiment with new temperature and mucous methods of birth control, and build the first doppler fetal pulse detector2.

What the 320 long haired hippies who started The Farm came to Tennessee believing in was clean air, healthy babies, honest work, nonviolence, safe energy, cheap transportation, and rock and roll. All of these ideals remain today, though, as one might expect, a good many others came and went.3



The Farm was born as a child of the Summer of Love, an exodus of the faithful from the Holy but Hung-Up Hashbury to a groovier place to be. At its peak, the Pine-to-Panhandle district of San Francisco had such a concentration of hippies4 vibing in harmony that curious strangers who wandered in would step out of their shoes and disappear into the free food, free love, free music scene, leaving promising careers, wealth, family and friends without ever looking back.5 It had "the juice."6 It attracted the curious from all over North America and beyond.

As the Haight Ashbury scene degenerated in speed, heroin, rip-off artists and tourism, Stephen Gaskin's Monday Night Class called the faithful to rally and hold together.7 A long line of schoolbuses, rebuilt in handcrafted, shingled, painted, welded, gypsy caravan style, after a year on the road, landed the tribe in Tennessee.8 There the original settlers still had such incredible reserves of free hippie spirit that, for five or ten years, curious visitors who came from all over the world would leave their car keys at the gate and wander off into the fields of corn, leaving promising careers, wealth, family and friends without ever looking back. It had "the juice."

How juice moves from place to place and time to time would be an interesting exploration in its own right. What I am describing here is the progression of physical artifacts that appeared as that wave moved through The Farm between 1971 and 1987. The Farm grew from a few hundred early settlers to a peak population of around 1400 in 1980, with around 4,000 having lived there at one time or another in the first ten years.

Owing to the decline of the economic basis for commercial agriculture and a massive farming debt, the failure of several diverse business ventures, a lack of good management and a loss of faith in Stephen Gaskin, there was a large exodus of members in the early 1980s.9 The Farm reorganized its communal economy in 1983, permitting its members for the first time the privilege of accumulating property, although the main wealth of The Farm is still held communally. The Farm today numbers about 280 people, living on 1750 acres. It has its own roads, water system, school, clinic, grocery store, repair shops, recreation facilities and government. Its principal businesses are printing and publishing, manufacture of electronic instruments, construction, mail order textiles and specialty food products.

The first settlers arrived to very primitive conditions: the first land the caravan settled was steep hillside covered with blackjack oak and poison ivy. That Fall they picked watercress from a polluted stream and half of the settlers came down with infectious hepatitis.

Apart from the schoolbuses and vans, houses or structures of any kind were almost non-existent. The collective cash of the group had been spent for a down payment on the land and on gasoline to get there.

A land dispute had been going on between the neighbors before the hippies got there, and as soon as the buses had descended into the woods, the neighbor that owned the road into and out of the property closed it, trapping all the vehicles inside.

There was no phone, no electricity, very little food, no money, a few new babies, with more on the way, and everyone sick and turning yellow. In other words, it was not a great deal unlike the Haight Ashbury or the East Village. This was the Woodstock Nation. It was undeveloped woodland out at the end of a dirt road, 35 miles from the nearest hospital and 15 miles from the nearest incorporated town. Still, it had its enduring features. Most importantly, it was ours.


The baseline for dwellings on The Farm in the early days of settlement was schoolbuses. Bus architecture was an artform as much as a science. But buses tended to be cold when they were covered with snow, as did surplus army tents of Korean War vintage, slabwood shelters, and polyvinyl lean-tos. With no money to buy materials for buildings, The Farm soon developed a distinctive style of touses and hents. Touses and hents were army tents that had scrapwood floors, frame sides, styrofoam insulation, and even rusty tin roofs, using materials acquired from buses, dumps and salvage jobs.10

The Cave House was an experiment in semi-underground living, with a schoolbus buried on the North, West and East sides and exposed on the South. A ferrocement cave extended off of the bus to provide a living room large enough to stand up in, and a solar heat-collecting greenhouse was added to that wing.

The Sun house was another passive solar house built on a south facing slope, with three stories of well-windowed walls facing south, enclosed by deciduous trees that provided shade from the summer sun. The Canned Heat house was the first experiment in superinsulated, double envelope design, with a regulated pattern of airflow that minimized heat loss. Twenty-seven other residential dwellings built on The Farm between 1974 and 1978 incorporated these two inexpensive and cost-effective elements, direct solar gain and superinsulation.11

These on-the-Farm experiments, mostly built with recycled building materials, led to the first commercial solar house which was constructed for a neighbor, and which employed all of the best features in passive solar design. It had a double-paned greenhouse, clerestory windows to the South, earth berm to the North, a Trombe wall, a gravel bed heat storage system that cycled hot air from the greenhouse, an active hot-air water heating system, an active hot-water swimming pool heating system, a "Persian air conditioner" which carried cool air into the house from underground, drawn by turbines on the roof, and the thermal flywheel, superinsulating effect of massive brickmasonry throughout. The design of this 1400 sq.ft. house, which was built for $55,000 in 1979, has since been widely replicated and adapted elsewhere.12

The success of this venture led to a number of other successful commercial building projects, such as a restored historic log cabin with a solar heating envelope, the solar Victorian mansion built for actress Pam Dawber13 and a computer-regulated solar home in Nashville.

In 1978, The Farm began construction of its solar school, which is the largest building on The Farm to date, and to our knowledge the largest passive solar building in the State. The 6,000 square foot, 10-room school is made of recycled concrete block and brick with a sawtooth-shaped roof. Each of the classrooms has a large, southfacing window extending from the 8-foot level to the 16-foot ceiling. Direct solar gain heats the facing wall, which is surfaced with an elm-green chalkboard, providing heat collection in the winter. A roof overhang shields the large clerestory windows from the higher-angled summer sun.14

One other area of interest that developed along with solar houses was an interest in solar water heating systems. The Farm's first experiments in solar water heating were simple devices such as black pipe or black-painted tanks put up on rooftops. Adding glass or vinyl covers increased the heat retention, as did a reflective backing such as aluminum foil. This led to a commercial product known as The Peach, which was designed, manufactured and sold by The Farm's business, Solar Energy Works. The Peach was an insulated water tank in a parabolic collector made of specially extruded foam, glazed with transparent Kalwall. Some early prototypes of The Peach even had solar-cell activated light sensors, which would cover up the tank with an insulating blanket at night or on cloudy days.

The Farm also constructed a 200 cubic foot walk-in solar dehydrator for drying fruits and herbs, which has now operated for ten years with little or no maintenance.15

Energy Systems

The baseline energy systems were those brought on the schoolbuses: gasoline motors, kerosene lamps, firewood heating stoves, propane cooking stoves, and some limited electricity, mostly limited to the bus batteries. The prime source of energy was what we called "monkey power." If a bus got stuck in the mud, the driver would climb out and yell, "Monkeeeeeeeezzz!", and pretty soon 30 or 40 people would be leaning their monkeys into the rear end of the bus.

Direct current lighting systems were one of the first innovative energy technologies. Buses were cannibalized to make houses, big pickup trucks, big flatbeds, tank trucks, and tractor-haulers. Eventually their electric lighting systems also came to be used inside the handmade homes. As fires claimed some of the less safe early structures, such as surplus army tents and scrapwood cabins, kerosine lighting was gradually replaced by strings of 6-volt and 12-volt bulbs, wired to a car battery.

These batteries were at first recharged by rotating them through a car, bus or truck being used for work. Then it became preferable to have two 12-volt batteries for rotation, so that both the car and the house always had starting power and the battery didn't get run down completely. We used to buy our 12-volt batteries second hand for $8 apiece. Most houses were wired with three-strand inside phone wiring. Eventually we started refurbishing large, 2-volt telephone company batteries, which were ideal for home power systems. They were wired up in 12-volt series. To recharge everyone's DC-powered systems, The Farm electric crew ran trickle charge lines from a central AC power converter. Old external phone wire, 2-strand copper coated, was run through the woods all over The Farm. At one time this one trickle charge station fed more than 100 households. Much of the wiring still remains, though it is no longer operational.16

With the larger battery systems providing significant amounts of power, new houses were constructed with DC wiring built into the walls. Lights, TVs, stereo tape players, blenders, fans, and CB radios all ran off DC power. The disadvantages were that these systems lacked the amperage to run refrigeration, heating, air conditioning or large appliances. The advantages were that they were fireproof, kidproof, easy to repair, and very inexpensive.

The central trickle charging system was always viewed as an inefficient, temporary way to recharge home batteries. DC generation experiments went on for some twelve years, at one time managed by a full-time crew of three to five men and women. Experiments included gas generators, which had the disadvantages of noise, expense, and smell; pedal power, which worked well if you were willing to put in the hours on a stationary bicycle that you had to peddle to run a television; and a number of wind, hydro and solar power experiments.

The first windmill experiment was a small, cloth-bladed, four-bladed propellor which drove a pulley belted to a car alternator. This four-foot machine produced a measurable but minimal current, and so was scaled up to a larger-span 20-foot cloth-bladed machine. The larger machine proved unmanageable in normal 10 mph winds, so the next experiment was with bicycle parts and metal blades. This produced the first really successful wind generator, which provided power for the machine shop.17 A few aborted attempts were made to scale this up using car transmissions mounted on steel poles, Savonious rotors, and other ideas, but eventually we just went out and bought a Bergey 1000 watt Generator and mounted it on a 60-foot tower.18 This windmill charged a 12-volt system that provided some of the power for the production complex at Solar Electronics, which included The Farm's ham radio base station, the electronics research center, and the electronic instrument assembly lines.19

With funding from international development grants, the electronics crew experimented with a Bergey-Solarex hybrid system using both wind and photovoltaic (direct-solar) power with integrated controllers backing the system up to the TVA grid, rather than storing the power in batteries. The advantage of this was that less power was lost in storage and by running the meter backwards, we were able to earn money from TVA for producing power. This was one of our first interactions with TVA's research engineering branch and probably contributed to our later getting the contract to construct a completely photovoltaic power system for their Muscle Shoals Visitors Center. The solar array we constructed for TVA had sufficient output to power 20 or 30 Farm homes and at the time was the sixth largest all-solar power station in the world, although that mark was soon eclipsed and today that array is probably down around the sixtieth largest.20 It is still running, and should be good for a century or more.

There were also a number of micro-hydro experiments, starting with a 2-inch overshot wheel that produced less than one horsepower; the Baker-Cobb magnetic wheel, which doubled as both a waterwheel and its own magnetic generator and provided lights for the house of a neighbor; and a series of micro-hydro surveys and engineering plans, only one of which led to the installation of a working water turbine, producing about 1 kilowatt.

Solar electric power was always of interest on The Farm, since nuclear power seemed so evil and avoidable.21 Our first experiments with solar power were small, one-cell experiments with radios and fans. Since the high cost of photovoltaics is tied to the high cost for the silicon crystal cells, we designed and built a portable, concentrating array that focused light by means of a series of mirrored surfaces arranged like sawteeth. This array was first demonstrated publicly at the opening of the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant when it provided all of the power used on the stage for an antinuke concert. The musicians liked at the clear fidelity of the DC-sound system that was developed to use with the array. The Department of Energy under Jimmy Carter subsequently provided funding for a study to determine the potential value of mirror concentrators in low energy photovoltaic applications. A collapsible, portable, high density array was developed and displayed at the 1982 Worlds Fair.22 Our study indicated that the value of mirrored concentrators was not in increasing power capacity, which is fixed by the cell's specifications, but in maximizing available daylight, so that these generators could put out maximum output even when the sky was cloudy.

The Farm displayed three separate photovoltaic array designs at the 1982 Worlds Fair. All of these were part of an exhibit called "Appropriate Community Technology." We assisted the Knoxville Community Design Center in taking a Victorian House that was at the Fair site and converting it into a showcase for appropriate energy technologies. One Farm-built array powered a communications module that delivered a taped message to visitors. Another, the concentrating array described before, recharged a public address and music system's batteries. The third was part of the solar powered car, which I'll get to shortly.

As I mentioned, we saw the principal barrier to solar electricity as the high cost of the silicon crystal cells. Our experiments with concentrating and high density arrays, polyamorphous crystal arrays, and low power applications were aimed at delivering high yield for low cost. We also went into the photovoltaic distribution business, and were able to sell standard cell arrays at dealer discount prices and also to acquire scrap or defective cell parts from the manufacturers which we repaired and resold inexpensively. This venture was not one of our commercial successes, but did assist in getting solar cell technology out around the world fairly rapidly.

Food and Agriculture

The baseline for food systems on The Farm was basic vegetarian fare, cooked in the schoolbuses. One of the main buildings on The Farm was the community kitchen, which supplemented the home kitchens and allowed people to congregate at breakfast and lunch and to work more efficiently.

Initially the plan was to grow everything organically, using horses, and the first investment in farming was a team of Belgian mares. But as actual experience with farmwork was obtained and the population of The Farm jumped from 350 to 500 to 1000 to 1200, the sense of growing more food more efficiently overtook romantic notions of preindustrial farming.

The protein requirements we had were based upon a rather revolutionary discovery that is still relatively unappreciated by the world at large. We were vegetarians mostly for moral and health reasons, being pacifists and yogis. We approached vegetarianism scientifically, however.23 What we learned24 was that the humble soybean has a better approximation of the eight essential amino acids needed by humans than does animal meat, or eggs, or milk. The human amino acid that is weakest in soybeans is lysine, which can be gotten by having a balance of grains and greens with your beans, although our farming crew also experimented with growing hybrids of high lysine corn.

The second part of the soybean equation is that we soon learned that using normal Tennessee farming methods we could get 40 bushels of soybeans from an acre of land. That's more than a ton of beans per acre. The same acre in cattle or dairy cows would yield around 300 pounds of beef or 1000 gallons of milk per year. Pound for protein pound, you could feed 10 times as many people, much more inexpensively, eating the soybeans directly rather than feeding them to cattle.

With soy as the principal source of protein for 1200 people, we naturally developed an interest in varieties of soyfoods.25 After all, boiled soybeans are a real challenge. You have to boil a soybean about 8 hours before it becomes palatable.26 With a pressure cooker, you can reduce the boiling time to around an hour, but the beans don't become really tasty until you can squish them on the roof of your mouth with your tongue. We didn't have a lot of pressure cookers when we first started out, so we used to have what was called the Bean Watch at the Community Kitchen. Households, which were usually 16 x 32 army tents of 8-10 men and women, would take turns sending delegates to the kitchen to watch the giant beanpots as they boiled all night.

We also made soymilk by grinding the wet beans and skimming the hulls. The thick white milk was sweetened, lightly salted, and consumed fresh, or made into yogurt, ice cream or tofu. We added vitamin B-12 to the milk because vegetarians generally don't get enough B-12. Ninety percent of the milk was made into that most versatile of soyfoods, tofu.27 Tofu is the curdled solids that rise when you add vinegar or Nigari to hot soymilk. You press the curds in a linen cloth or large press to extract the curdling agent and water and then chill the pressed product, which is a cottage cheese-like substance, with a very bland taste. The Farm's first registered patent was for a cylindrical tofu press.

After the milk is boiled and skimmed and curdled, what is left is a grainy stew of bean hulls which the Japanese call "okara." Okara doesn't look real appetizing, but it turns out it has a lot of good protein too, and we hated to waste it. We tried drying it and making it into new kinds of food. We succeeded in making okara flour, okara granola, okara horse feed, and okara hamburgers. One of my personal favorites is the spicy sausage which is made from okara mixed with fresh herbs, dry roasted, and packed into tin cans. We called this "soysage" and in recent years it has found its way into a number of health food stores, much of it produced by people who once lived on The Farm or who visited our soy dairy.

Another way of eating soybeans which, like tofu, does not involve long boiling, is by fermenting the beans with a starter innoculum, Rhizopus oligosporus, to make tempeh. This fermentation process originated centuries ago in Indonesia, where soybeans were wrapped in banana leaves and left out in the warm sun to ferment. We now use large walk-in, climate controlled, stainless steel incubators to make tempeh on The Farm, although at one time we made it on shelves above woodstoves in army tents and schoolbuses. After 18 to 20 hours of controlled fermentation, the innoculum completely digests the beans and forms a solid cake which has a white exterior. The cake is sliced and fried, baked, boiled, stewed, or whatever, and produces a flavorful, high protein main dish with a taste something like mushrooms.28 When we began experimenting with tempeh at the soy dairy, innoculum was not commercially available and we had to get it from scientists. One of the cottage industries of The Farm today is the production of pure innoculum for tempeh. We are currently the world's largest commercial source and sell tempeh innoculum to commercial growers all over North America, Europe and Asia. Our principal American competitors are all people who learned their craft at The Farm.

Other fermented soybean projects we have tried I will just list. We made miso at the community scale production level, using large oak barrels, until 1984. We experimented with ontjom, sufu, and natto but never developed a taste for them. We also developed other new tempehs, applying the Rhizopus culture to several different grains and beans, and succeeded in producing good tasting and healthful tempeh cakes from peanuts, wheat, barley, soy grits, rice, lentils, split peas, great northerns, pintos, kidney beans and soybean okara. We got up to commercial scale production on okara tempeh at one point.29

One of the most successful of our various food inventions was what we called Ice Bean, which is an ice cream made from soymilk or blended tofu. Many people are familiar with Tofutti, but may not know that it had its humble origins in Summertown, Tennessee in the early 1970s. While we have nothing to do with Tofutti, we did sell our original ice cream techniques to Barracini Foods some years ago, after a decade of modest commercial success with Ice Bean, and they produce a variety of soy ice creams distributed by Haagen Daz which are still made in our plant in Memphis using The Farm's recipes and technical people. We also still make a soy frogurt, or frozen yogurt desert, that I haven't seen in Giant Foods yet, but maybe some day soon.

Our latest venture into commercial soyfoods is Bert and Ray's Tofu Cheesecakes, chocolate chip or cherry. They are produced on The Farm, in our soy dairy and bakery facility.30

Our agricultural technology was not greatly different from the large scale agricultural methods of our time. At first we planned to grow everything organically, but we gradually developed some moderate use of phosphate fertilizers and pesticides. We so avoided animal products at the beginning that we abstained from honey, not wanting to exploit bees as though they were 6 legged cows. About the time we got into using pesticides, principally out of our experience with winter farming in Homestead, Florida, but also out of concern for the neighbors, we also got into beekeeping. We hoped that the bees would keep us honest, because if we used any broad spectrum or lingering pest controls, it would affect the bees. They were our miner's canary. We took them down to Florida in the winter when we trucked all the farming equipment down, and brought them back up to Tennessee in the spring.

We were never entirely dependent on chemical farming, and much of our soil was replenished by a large scale composting operation. We gathered organic garbage from all the households and trucked it out to a three-acre area where it was composted using horses to turn it and and a skiploader to cover it with horse manure and sawdust. Since we stopped commercial growing and just started growing for ourselves, we have once again become almost entirely organic.

As we became more involved nationally and internationally helping indigenous peoples survive in traditional ways, we turned some of our agricultural skills to variety trials in Tennessee, Guatemala, and Southern Africa. We tested 20 varieties of soybeans from Mexico at altitudes as high as 7,200 feet and with varying photoresponse periods. We worked with Rodale Research in variety trials on grain amaranth, a balanced protein crop that was a Central American staple before the Spanish Conquest. We also studied and ran trials on Quinoa and Winged Beans. The results of this work was published by the United Nations.31

The Farm's Third World charitable work, and its Plenty projects, would also be a worthwhile subject to explore, but for now I will simply say that many of the soy dairy techniques developed on The Farm were quickly exported to some of the poorest areas on the planet are were immediately implemented in feeding large numbers of people inexpensively, and still do, to this day.32


Our baseline for transportation was what we arrived with or purchased within the first few years of The Farm: gas automobiles, trucks, buses, and tractors. We also cut and pasted large hunks of junk into useful vehicles. Buscrafting was something of an art on the West Coast before the Caravan left, so it shouldn't be surprising to find there was no reluctance in chopping the back end off a schoolbus to make a big pickup truck or a flatbed. We had a few of those. The cutoff sections were turned into houses and sheds. We also applied these skills to truckcrafting. So, for instance, when a 30-foot GMC truck needed to be used for long distance hauling and the crew wanted a sleeper cabin so they could rotate drivers, they welded the front half of a Ford Econoline van onto the roof of the cab. To send the rock music band out on tour, we tore out the seats of a greyhound scenicruiser and put in beds, a kitchen, a ham radio room, and a nursery.

We also experimented with alternate fuels, including propane or methane powered vehicles and electrics. The first experiments with electric vehicles were modifications of old golf carts to suit dirt road driving needs. We tore out the golf club mounts and put in back seats or trunk areas. Then we built our first hybrid electric cart, which used a lawnmower engine to recharge the batteries as the vehicle traveled. This turned out to have some very good fuel economies, because the load leveling was done by the electric motor, rather than the gas engine. The gas engine could run at a constant speed and torque setting to get the best possible gas mileage. It really needed a variable speed transmission to succeed though, and those were simply not available in the late 1970s and still aren't, although Detroit is experimenting with them. Based on the hybrid golf cart experiment, we built two hybrid electric cars, both Datsun wagons with 5-speed Datsun truck transmissions and rear ends. These designs achieved greater than 100 mile per gallon fuel efficiencies with unlimited range, but had very limited top speeds of only 30 and 45 miles per hour, respectively.

In 1981, we built a rechargeable electric cart that was powered by a photovoltaic array of three semiamorphous silicon panels on the roof. On a sunny day, it had a range of about 8 miles. That car was displayed at the 1982 World's Fair, where it was driven in the daily parade through the fairgrounds.

The hybrid and solar electric vehicle research led to interest in a low cost mechanical engine that would generate motive power directly from sunlight. The Department of Energy provided a grant to study some of these concepts, and a prototype heat engine was produced that captured sunlight in a parabolic dish and drove a piston and crankshaft, using plain air as the compressive medium. Research was also undertaken to study other compressive gases, but discontinued when the grant program was ended by the Republican Administration of 1981.

Having built some vehicles that ran on a variety of fuels, we became interested in alternate fuel production. A number of home-scale biogas generators were built, but few had any practical applications. After some success with a laboratory scale ethanol still, we actually constructed a large, community-production scale, fuel ethanol still, which had a 15 foot fractionating column and could do hundred-gallon batches. We hoped, in the giddy days of the late 1970s, to create a commercial gasohol business. That whole program collapsed with the Farm's economic difficulties in the early 1980s, and the concurrent drop in oil prices. The large still never ran very well, and we never had the money to iron out the bugs. We abandoned it in 1982 and tore it down in 1984.


The baseline communications system of the bus caravan was word of mouth. When the buses fanned out through the woods, the first system of mass communication was the chant, picked up and echoed at full volume. In the hippie idiom, "yark" meant something like being shocked or disgusted. Like you are walking down the street and you see a squashed frog. You say, "Yark!" In 1972, the yark was a shared chant, as in Yaaaaaahhhhhh-aaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrkkkkkkkkkkkk, sustained as long as you could, with everyone else joining in over a three-square mile area. It didn't have any real message content, it just let you know we're all still here. Conch shells summoned people to breakfast, or to Sunday Services, or to town meetings. As late as 1974, there was only one telephone for 500 people to use for outgoing calls.

The same phone wire that was used to string electric lights up inside tents and buses was used to wire together an interfarm phone system we called Beatnik Bell. If you were 9 months pregnant and did not have a phone line to your neighborhood midwife, someone came and installed a phone in your bus. It wasn't a dial system. You picked up the phone and hit a toggle switch or button to buzz the system. Everyone with a phone had a different code. The horse barn was long short short short (Morse for "B"). An "all points" was 8 or 10 shorts.

In late 1973 or early 1974, The Farm made a deal with the local phone company in the nearby town of Loretto to take their old dial phone system in exchange for some tree planting. We got 400 phones, a wire and headset switchboard, a big switching bank, and a lot of other goodies. That put Beatnik Bell into a dial phone system. Now, if you could get one of the outside lines, you could call your parents in Indiana from the comfort of your tent. The old system of coded buzzes was kept as a hot line, mostly for the clinic and gate to use, and had a 24-hour operator. The new system gave you a dial tone and we printed up Beatnik Bell phone books. We didn't much like the standard dial tone so it was replaced with music, like reggae or rock and roll, or used for taped bulletins. The all points bulletins got to be so popular that sometimes you had to listen for several minutes to hear the whole dial tone message. It notified you of things like people needed at canning to put up catsup, or a new system for taking turns at the laundry, or someone needed to stand night duty at the gate, or where tomato pickers were needed the next morning.

When Stephen and The Farm Band went out on speaking and free concert tours they often took some of the key people in the Farm's systems with them, sometimes for weeks or months at a time. In order to stay in touch with Stephen, or Ina May, who was the head midwife, or the bus driver, who was also the best truck mechanic, The Farm set up an amateur radio room in the horse barn and built a tall antenna. Another ham set was put into the bus. Using licensed ham operators on either end, The Farm could keep in touch with these people around the clock without paying long distance phone bills. This ham radio system, started by a Farm teenager who had a boy scout ham radio merit badge, became the basis for some of the Farm's most significant technological achievements.

As time went on, more people got ham radio licenses and took turns running the base station. To get a ham license you have to learn fundamental electronics and Morse code. Thirty-eight people on the Farm got licenses. Occasionally people would join The Farm who owned farms in other states and were interested in starting up a kind of Farm-like colony elsewhere. Sometimes people wanted to leave The Farm and return to some other place to start something similar on their own. These people came to be called astronauts, and the way they stayed in touch was as often as not by ham radio. Over the course of some years, the ham base station in Tennessee grew in size and power and began occupying a regular time and frequency on the radio bands. Other amateurs used to tune into The Farm net to follow the action, which was pretty interesting. When astronauts went to Europe, the ham operators at The Farm built powerful, multi-element antenna arrays, called "Yagis," for use at both ends of the link. This greatly extended the international reach of the Farm network.

When The Farm started fielding volunteers to help with earthquake recovery in Guatemala, and orphans in BanglaDesh and reforestation in Africa, we operated what we called the "Plenty Relief Net" to keep the volunteers hooked up to home and family. We loaned ham operators to Greenpeace to set up a better radio system aboard the Rainbow Warrior and at their various European offices, as they non-violently confronted whalers in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. They kept tuned to the Farm net and at one time used that as the principal news link to the international media covering the Greenpeace campaign.33 Reporters from British or Canadian newspapers might be aboard the Rainbow Warrior, but their newspapers got the story by way of a ham radio in a horse barn in Tennessee.34

One of the people we met by way of The Farm radio net was Copthorne McDonald, who had invented a slow-scan (SSTV) method of sending television pictures on ham radio frequencies, but had found few practical uses for it. McDonald donated the first SSTV unit he had built, which had previously been aboard the USS Hope. We installed a TV camera in the barn and put another one at different distant locations like in the highland villages of Guatemala or aboard the Rainbow Warrior or at our California Farm. We could bring Guatemalans up to Tennessee to learn how to fix a truck or a CB and they could go to the barn and wave to the folks back home by ham television.

We also used inexpensive citizen band radios for local communications. The whole population of the Farm was covered by a single FCC license, KHT 1296.35 We found that we could also soup CB antennae up so that we could talk to Guatemala on 5 watts of power, but a more standard (and legal) interface would be for us to patch our CB link into our ham link and reverse the process on the other end. We also had a phone patch so that anyone on the CB or amateur bands could talk to anyone on Beatnik Bell and vice-versa. We actually had situations come up where a nurse used the CB in her truck to call our base at The Farm, which patched it through to our Beatnik Bell operator, who located a doctor and patched the call directly to him. Taking that a step farther, the doctor could have used the CB in his truck to connect either with the Beatnik Bell operator or directly with the ham base on The Farm for international communications with our projects in Guatemala, Lesotho or Ireland. Such a conversation might have run something like this:

1st Ham: This is K4IAP, Net Control for the Plenty Relief Net, calling WB4BWR.

2nd Ham: Roger Dee, K4IAP. This is WB4BWR. We have emergency medical traffic. Can you phone patch us into the doctor? Over.

1st Ham: Roger. We now have the doctor on the phone. Go ahead and put Mary Louise on.

2nd Ham: K4IAP this is WB4BWR preparing to run emergency medical phone patch traffic. A clear frequency would be appreciated.

Nurse: "We have a pulse of 120 and going up, over."

1st Ham: "WB4BFR, over."

Doctor: "What's his temperature?"

2nd Ham: "KHT1296, over."

Nurse: "Temperature is normal, over."

This whole network was also linked to the high frequency FM band used by The Farm Ambulance Service and the local hospitals. We used CB to stay in touch with our truckers, our medical crew (which numbered as many as 60 people at one point), and our sales crews that went out selling produce, books, and other products we made. When CB radio became a big fad in the US, we published the Big Dummy's Guide to CB Radio, which not only told you how to use a CB, but how to fix one as well. This book, originally published in 1975, later came out in a 40 channel edition and a British edition, and was just revised and reprinted last month.36

We also experimented with portable and solar powered radio sets, including lightweight ham sets that could be carried to remote areas, like BanglaDesh, Lesotho and Central America.37 We set up a CB radiophone booth in Guatemala that was powered by a photovoltaic array. We have a photovoltaic powered ham station in Lesotho, still. At one time the ham station at the barn ran on photovoltaics or wind power, or both, simultaneously. In 1981, Farm technicians developed and installed a solar powered communications system to link 10 Indian villages in the Toledo district of Belize.38 This system is still in operation today, linking school classrooms via VHF-FM two-way radios.

After 1985, we moved out of ham radio for the most part and into computer networks. We experimented a little with ham modems, but the prices on electronic bulletin boards like MCI-Mail and the availability of international access points like Tymnet and Telenet made ham radio no longer economically advantageous. You don't need an electronics license to join MCI-Mail. You can send an instant message anywhere in the world for 45 cents. That's what we use now.

We still have fairly sophisticated medical radio systems. The gatehouse at The Farm houses a cellular phone transmitter with a 50-mile range. Anyone on The Farm needing medical assistance can call a local number which will put them onto a relay to that system that will page a medic on call. The responding medic has a small communicator on his belt, or in his jumpbag and he or she turns that on and talks directly to the person seeking help. We call this our First Responder system. There is only one paramedic on duty at any given time, but we can get an ambulance to you within 2 or 3 minutes of when you picked up the phone. In 1977, I was working on my roof and a beam collapsed and I fell 10 feet, landing on my back. My rib was broken and it had punctured my lung. I couldn't get my breath. My wife picked up the phone and within about a minute I had a paramedic at my side administering first aid. The ambulance was backing down my driveway and a doctor was en route. At times like that you are really greatful for the small amenities of a well-organized, close-knit community.

Ham radio was one of the things we did with communications that got us thinking about how we might better communicate with ourselves. One project that came to fruition was our local educational FM radio station, WUTZ-FM. It ran for about 4 years, finally closing when the economy of The Farm collapsed in 1983. During the same period, we had our own local cable TV station, NBS-TV. NBS stood for "No Bull Shit." A lot of the programming was produced by teenagers who went around with a videocam and interviewed people to find out what was happening on The Farm. We had local news shows, Sunday services, reports from antinuke demonstrations, and from the Third World, as well as entertainment videotapes and movies.

What really brought NBS, and the whole cable project, into existence was our fascination with homebuilt Earth Stations. In 1980, some of the ham radio operators built a receiving "dish" out of chicken wire and a square of oak 2 x 4s. They actually were able to see television signals being sent out from the networks and thought that was pretty neat. One thing led to another and pretty soon they were using parabolic dishes 20 feet in diameter and watching TV signals from Europe and South America as well as HBO, CSpan, and network news feeds. Then they programmed a tracking dish with an early Apple computer. Since everyone wanted HBO and CNN in their homes, the Farm cable system was a natural outgrowth, although probably more expensive than the community could really afford at that point. And that led to NBS.

As early as 1974, we were able to broadcast low frequency local television signals to home TVs on channels 3 and 6. The broadcasts used the Farm phone wires as an antenna. Anyone who was within 50 feet of a phone wire could pick up these channels, although the signals were never very good. The phone wire antenna was more useful for broadcasting the FM radio signals that preceded our educational FM radio station, WUTZ.

In the early 1980s, The Farm got into commercial satellite dish sales and installations, and published a book, The World of Satellite Television. When The Farm was going broke and changing systems and most of the people were going out looking for whole new areas of employment, some of the ham and electronics people settled into jobs editing satellite dish trade publications, developing elegant but inexpensive dish controllers and receivers with built-in scanners that map all TV sources in the heavens, working with organizations like Northern Telecom and Aspen Institute doing technical video teleconferencing, or working with Silicon Valley ventures developing new kinds of cellular pagers and portable communicators, and the next generation of space-based communications systems. While we are still in touch with most of these people, they are no longer living on The Farm or directly connected to it.

Healing Arts

The Farm's initial settlers were confronted with a serious dilemma in the surfeit of first-time pregnancies and the absence of nearby hospital facilities. The response to this dilemma was a comprehensive medical program designed almost totally by women.39 I have mentioned some of the communications and other systems used to support the midwives, but it should also be recognized that beyond merely finding low-cost appropriate community medical technologies, The Farm also pioneered in a number of primary health care areas. First time pregnancies, pregnancies out of hospital, pregnancies beyond the fourth, and pregnancies after age 35 are, according to conventional medical wisdom, high risk situations. Our experience delivering for ourselves and for the neighboring Old Order Amish disproved that. In nearly 2,000 births, including 11 sets of twins, 95.3% were at home, 42% were first-time mothers, and we delivered Amish mothers as old as 50 years and with as many as 19 children. Our overall statistics to date are superior to modern hospitals: 0.67% stillbirths, including 0.24% lethal anomalies; 0.61% neonatal deaths, including 0.18% lethal anomalies; 1.8% cesarian deliveries; 0.67% forceps deliveries; 0.3% pre-eclampsia;40 and zero maternal mortality. Our midwives believe that these statistics were made possible by the individually designed care afforded in the system designed by women and by the cultural environment in which mutual support, courage and caring were dominant values. Doctors would never be willing to take the kinds of risks that we took in order to find out the methods we were using were less risky than the "safe" systems used in most hospitals.


As I mentioned, we have largely replaced ham radio with computers these days. The Plenty Net still exists today, but its on MCI-Mail. We have laptop computers that we take home with us and plug into our home computers, or take out of country and plug into whatever systems we encounter on the way. We use MacIntoshes to publish our books (like the new World of CB Radio), and journals and newsletters, and other computers to do our accounting and business management. Some on-the-Farm businesses have multi-user systems or multiplexing networks. We telecommunicate with each other and all over the world.

One of the last new businesses that started and vanished in the change that overtook The Farm in the early 1980s was a software development company called Softwave. In the year it lasted, it produced two programs for home computers, a database manager called Filemaster, and an arithmetic learning program called Flower Power.

When Al Gore left his house seat to run for the Senate, we liked one of the seven candidates who announced for his seat and offered to help computerize his campaign. From our offices on The Farm, we sent out mailings targeting all the voters who had voted democratic in the last three congressional elections. As the primary drew closer, we stepped up the mailings. Our man won, and we repeated the process in the general election. He was so pleased about our work he bragged about us to all the Tennessee politicians who'd listen. One of those who listened was the Speaker of the House, Ned Ray McWherter, who had a mind to run for governor. He hired our two top computer jockeys to work for him, 2 years before the election. They set up a system that managed his mail, finances, reporting and taxes. When he took office in January of 1987, one of the people from The Farm was on his transition team. Now there are people from The Farm working in various functions in the State House, from secretaries on the Governor's staff to troubleshooters in the Finance Department. But the story doesn't end there. These same people are now helping Albert Gore.

Other Farm alumni have also gone out to join the Third Wave. One fellow on The Farm designed a new cordless computer mouse that works in three dimensions. Its called The Bat. He designed it while he was still living on The Farm, but he went out to try to find someone to build it. Another ham radio operator from The Farm is working north of San Francisco building computer teaching peripherals that cross tape recorders and computer display screens to make your computer work kind of like a player piano and teach you things. When he was on The Farm, he designed, built and marketed a doppler fetoscope that monitored fetal heart rate and can image the fetal position without intrusive and potentially damaging techniques like x-rays.

Matthew McClure, who worked on the Whole Earth Catalog before coming to The Farm in the early 1970s, left in the early 1980s to go back to the Whole Earth office and set up a big bulletin board called The WELL (Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link). After helping to develop and operate that, he turned it over to two other ex-Farm members to run and he joined with The Farm's former Softwave family to start a software development company that brings students from China to San Francisco to work writing programs and learning U.S. programming conventions.

Geiger Counters

Finally, the electronics part of this story would not be complete without a look at the Farm's radiation detectors, which are still one of our principal businesses. In 1978, we started going to antinuke demonstrations and protesting nuclear power and weapons programs, and we realized that we were pretty defenseless where environmental radiation is concerned. Radiation is invisible to the human senses, but it passes into your body and destroys your genetic material, creating cancers and birth defects. Bad stuff. To deal with it, you need to be able to detect it. We decided that most Geiger counters that were available were too big, too crude, and too expensive. We wanted to know if we stumbled into a radioactive area, so we wanted something with an alarm on it. What we developed we called The Nukebuster, because it was a cross between a fuzzbuster and a Geiger counter. You put it on your dashboard and plugged it into the cigarette lighter. You could go along monitoring counts per minute, either with a chirper or by LED display. If you got into a field of radioactivity 3 times background an alarm would sound. Another alarm would come on at 10 times background.

The next generation of nukebusters had a little radiation level meter and a window to allow you to monitor alpha and beta, as well as gamma. The Geiger tube had a thin mica window at one end to permit alpha particles to be measured. The box got fancier and began looking more like a fuzzbuster as we tried to sell the product to hospitals, fire departments and state police. We called it Radiation Alert. We developed a smaller case that was about the size of a 100-mm cigarette pack, called Radiation Alert Mini or Mini Alert. The Mini was the first device to provide a regulated 500-volt source to the Geiger tube while only drawing 80 microamps of power. This meant it could be powered by a 9-volt battery, which was good for about 2000 hours of operation. This was the first Geiger counter that could run continuously for 3 months on a single 9-volt battery. The Mini-Alert broke size barriers and price barriers and made light, accurate, compact and inexpensive Geiger counters widely available for the first time.41

In the aftermath of Three Mile Island, the business blossomed. We created our own molded plastic design for our Monitor-4, a small, lightweight counter with an easy-to-read meter. These solid state devices were calibrated to a National Bureau of Standards cesium-137 source. They are very accurate. Recently, commercial health physics users have been interested in specialized models, so we have introduced, or are about to introduce, the Monitor 4E and 5, and the area Monitors 500 and 5000. We still sell Monitor-4s all over the world and had a big surge in sales in Europe last year following the Chernobyl disaster.

Among the more ambitious projects that we have applied these detectors to are remote, photovoltaically powered detectors and stack monitors to enable local governments and citizens' groups to surround the sources of environmental radioactivity with their own monitoring systems. We did a study with Greenpeace to see if we could set up an independent monitoring network around the Nevada Test Site to track offsite releases from the underground weapons tests. We also equipped the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, with its own radiation monitoring equipment which it employed in its North Atlantic operations against French reprocessing at Cap Le Hague, against British reprocessing at Windscale, and against British ocean dumping. Greenpeace also used this equipment in its South Pacific actions in the Marshall Islands and in connection with the French weapons tests in Muruoa that eventually sent the Rainbow Warrior to the bottom of Aukland harbor.42

In 1980, we demonstrated a computer-VHF linkup to a meeting of State and Local Civil Defense organizations sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. With FEMA's assistance, we placed a solar-powered monitor at the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant in Chattanooga. The monitor measured radiation levels and sent the data to a computer terminal at the FEMA meeting in Nashville,43 150 miles away, demonstrating that States did not have to rely upon public utilities to supply environmental monitoring data when making evacuation decisions, as they did at Three Mile Island. We also worked with FEMA and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency in a design study of truck weigh stop monitors that would detect radiation coming from interstate transports of nuclear materials.

One often overlooked radiation monitoring device is the humble spiderwort plant, Tradescantia. Dr. Sadeo Ichikawa at Kyoto University developed a Tradescantia clone, the KU-9, which is a hardy perennial at most latitudes within the continental U.S., and he was kind enough to give some to The Farm when he was in the U.S. in 1978. The KU-9 has two genes for stamen and petal color, a dominant blue and a recessive pink. When a plant suffers genetic damage, such as is caused by environmental radiation, it changes from predominantly blue to predominantly pink. It is an organic litmus test for environmental mutagens. We have continued to propagate this variety on The Farm and still disseminate it to citizens' groups and at and environmental conferences in North America.


The Farm was born in a period of rapid social and technological change and upheaval in this country. It existed as a completely communal system for its first 13 years and continues today as a more hybrid communal living situation. The influence of this place and period extended to farthest reaches of the world, and undoubtedly will reach into the future. It is quite impossible to gauge, from this close up, what the most important or truly great contributions have been.

However, what I have spoken about here have been primarily physical accomplishments, and I have not undertaken an examination of the metaphysical, social, behavioral, or psychological advances of this community. Some of this has already been published to a degree, but much remains unrevealed. In its early years, The Farm had a distinctive language idiom that described a unified spiritual view which held people to their highest selves, which made Herculean efforts seem less difficult, and which elevated complete strangers into a realization of the inherently possible. It was an idiom of boundless optimism and good faith.

The experience of childbirth was returned to the place of a sacrament, and customs of midwifery, home birth, bonding, and infant care were recreated which had almost been abandoned in 20th Century America, though very ancient and natural. Children born and reared on The Farm possess a quality that cannot be described, but which can be recognized by each other and by other children from other communal backgrounds. They look and act the same, but they are subtly different. Among other things, they are willing to experiment, willing to fail, willing to try the unconventional, if it might have a chance of bringing about a better world for everyone.

The Farm is more than a place, more than a group. It is a state of mind. It has a palpable kind of grace. It has a Farm flavor of mind. That is a technology too, I suppose, but not one that is as easily delineated.

© 1987 Albert Bates.

Albert K. Bates* is a member of The Farm spiritual community in Summertown, Tennessee and a practicing attorney. Asterisks (*) will be used in these notes to denote present or former members of The Farm. This article was first presented at the annual meeting of the National Historic Communal Societies Association in Bishop Hill, Illinois on October 17, 1987. This article is copyrighted under the Universal Copyright Convention. All rights are reserved by the author and any use in any medium is prohibited without the express consent of the author, his heirs or assigns.


1 In response to a prosecutor's objection in the Chicago Seven trial.

2 The dopler fetal pulse detector was manufactured and developed by The Farm as a joint commercial venture with Joe Jaffe, who developed the first prototype and commercial model when he worked at Smith Kline Instruments. The doppler detector used low intensity ultrasound (2.25 mHz, which yielded only 10 mW/ to body tissue) to determine fetal pulse and heart rate and to image moving areas within the body. It was powered by 4 "AA" type rechargeable NiCad batteries, and could be recharged in remote areas with a special solar cell peripheral.

3 For an overview of the physical layout, government and operating systems of The Farm generally, see: Rassman, "The Communal Landscape," Landscape Architecture, (Jan. 1978); Murray, "A 60s Commune Ages with Grace and Prosperity," US (May 16, 1978); Groller, "On The Farm With the Flower Children's Kids," Parents Magazine (July, 1979); "A Good Look at The Farm", Mother Earth News 62: 138-141 (March 1980); "Communes: A More Businesslike Style," U.S. News and World Report, (March 3, 1980); "The Farm That Keeps Flowering," Newsweek (August 10, 1981 at p. 14); Jenson, "Down on The Farm," Ithaca (NY) Times 4:30 (May 6, 1982); and Ricci, "The Farm," Detroit Free Press (Aug 31, 1986).

4 The term "hippies" is believed to be a derogatory derivative of "hipcats" coined by the Beat poets to describe the marijuana-smoking teenagers who began hanging out around them in the mid-1960s, but preferred rock music to jazz and LSD to amphetamines. The term was adopted by the young people themselves and entered the national lexicon when it began being regularly used by San Francisco columnist Herb Caen.

5 See: Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (New York: Farrar, 1968); Anthony, The Summer of Love, Haight Ashbury at its Highest (San Francisco: Celestial Arts, 1980) ; Leary, Flashbacks, An Autobiography (Los Angeles: Tarcher, 1983); Perry, The Haight Ashbury: A History (New York: Random House, 1984); Sculatti and Seay, San Francisco Nights (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985); Lee and Schlain, Acid Dreams: The CIA, LSD and the Sixties Rebellion (New York: Grove Press, 1985); Peck, Uncovering the Sixties (New York: Pantheon, 1985).

6 "The juice" as used here, refers to an enthusiastic, vibrant energy; a potent vitality that was observable in both individuals and groups. The term was often used by and about Stephen Gaskin; e.g.: Fletcher Knebel's unpublished novel about The Farm, "The Big Juice."

7 Gaskin, S.* Monday Night Class (Summertown: Book Publishing Co., 1969).

8 Gaskin, S.* The Caravan (New York: Random House, 1972). The Farm was located in Tennessee almost by accident. After going back to California, the caravan had returned to the Southeast and was searching for a large farm in Kentucky, Tennessee or Arkansas. Some of the caravaners went into a music store in Nashville to buy guitar picks and learned about available property in Summertown, sixty-five miles to the south. The caravan rented that land and later bought the farm next door.

9 See: "Why We Left The Farm," Whole Earth Review (Winter, 1985).

10 What the early buildings lacked in amenities, they made up for with colorful names, like "Acorn Falls," "So-Be-It Union," "Tortilla Flats," "Itza House," "Phil Harmonic Hall," "Kissing Tree," "The Hilkton," or the "Wide Load House" (which was bought at auction and hauled in by truck).

11 Kanies,* "Energy Planning Down on The Farm," Solar Valley Magazine (Feb, 1982 at p. 6). Seventeen of the 120 homes on The Farm had south-facing solar greenhouses.

12 See: The Sunday Tennessean, Style Section, March 16, 1980.

13 See: Godolphin, "The Dawber House," Solar Age 7:11:18-19 (Nov, 1982). The Dawber house was built in New York in 1982 by a construction crew from The Farm. It is a 2,460 square foot solar Victorian at a Catskill Mountain lakefront (lat. 42° N; 7,286 heating degree days). It has R-30 walls, R-60 ceilings, a 20-foot arched glass front, and an air-to-air heat exchange system with 70% efficiency. The estimated heating requirement for the house is 2.8 Btu/°F-day ft2 or 50 Mbtu/yr (14,650 kwh/yr) which is expected to come primarily from sunlight.

14 Another school building, which has since become the Community Center, has a rooftop-mounted, 400 sq ft, active hot-air collector comprised of black-coated varigated sheet aluminum sheathed in transparent Kalwall and backed with reflective foil.

15 The solar dehydrator is pictured in the Kanies article, op cit., note 11.

16 For a full technical description of the system, see Johnson,* "Wiring Your 12-Volt Residence," Alternate Sources of Energy Magazine (--, 198-).

17 The power provided was only used for lights and small appliances. The machine shop was wired with three-phase, 220 volt TVA current for the lathes, arc welders, and large power tools.

18 The Bergey BWC-1000 had a cut-in speed of 9 mph and turned out 1 kw at 620 rpm in 25 mph winds. It had an 8.3 foot rotor diameter and weighed 120 pounds. It was financed by research and development funding obtained from Plenty, the Farm's charitable relief and development corporation. The Bergey generator and the semiamorphous silicon cell array both were later sent to development projects in the Caribbean where they are still operating. A picture of the array, atop the Salybia School in the Carib Indian Reserve on Dominica, appears in Plenty Bulletin 3:3:3 (Fall 1987).

19 Johnson, op cit., note 16.

20 The Muscle Shoals array delivered 60 kwh/day to a 120-volt DC storage system. It was inverted to 240 volts AC to power the Visitors Center.

21 For The Farm's views on nuclear energy generally, see Bates, A.* Honicker v. Hendrie, A Lawsuit to End Atomic Power (1978) and Shutdown! Nuclear Power on Trial (1979); Bertell, No Immediate Danger (1985); and Gaskin, S.* Rendered Infamous (1981)(at pp. 241-247); all from The Book Publishing Company, Summertown.

22 See: Bates, A.,* "Portable Power from The Sun," The Tennessee Conservationist, 48:3:16 (May/June, 1982).

23 See: Wallace,* Hergenrather,* Hlady* and Savage, Pollutants in breast milk of vegetarians, New England Journal of Medicine, (March 26, 1981). An ongoing study of growth rates of vegetarian children is being performed jointly by The Farm and the National Center for Disease Control.

24 Largely from Francis Moore Lappé's seminal work, Diet for a Small Planet (San Francisco: Inst. for Food and Development Policy, 197-).

25 Many of the early recipes for soy and vegetarian dishes developed by The Farm were published in Yay Soybeans! (Summertown: The Farm, 1973); Nofziger, et al.,* Prenatal Nutrition and High Protein Recipes (Summertown: The Farm, 1974); and Hagler,* ed., The Farm Vegetarian Cookbook (Summertown: Book Publishing Co., 1975, 1978).

26 The first hour of that is just to remove a trypsin inhibiting enzyme which makes soybeans indigestible to humans. Cows have several stomachs.

27 For The Farm's tofu recipes, see: Hagler, ed.,*, Tofu Cookery (Summertown: Book Publishing Co., 1981); Hagler,* Tofu Quick and Easy (Summertown: Book Publishing Co., 1986); and see: Mozzer, Vegetarian Cooking for Diabetics (Summertown: Book Publishing Co., 1987).

28 See: Pride, ed.,* Tempeh Cookery (Summertown: Book Publishing Co., 1984).

29 Bates, C.* Lyon,* Sorenson,* Keller* and Jenkins,* "Utilization of tempeh in North America," Symposium on Indigenous Fermented Foods, Bankok, Thailand, 1977 (Ithaca: Cornell Univ., 1977); and Steinkraus, ed., Handbook of Indigenous Fermented Foods (New York: Dekker Inc., 1983).

30 Bert and Ray are Roberta Kachinsky* and Ramona Christopherson.*

31 See: Jordan* and Jenkins,* PLENTY Agricultural Program, (Guatemala City: UNICEF Guatemala, 1980); and Jenkins,* Praskin, A.* and Praskin, L.* Plenty Integrated Soy Program, Guatemala, (Summertown: Plenty USA, 1982).

32 See: " A View From Ten Years," Plenty News 4:2 (Winter 1984). Information on these projects, sponsored initially by The Farm and later by international agencies, foundations and private donations, is available from Plenty USA, 610 16th St, Su. 521, Oakland CA 94612.

33 See: Robie, Eyes of Fire: The Last Voyage of the Rainbow Warrior, (--:--, 1987) at p. 11.

34 Skinner,* "Ham Radio," 1983 unpublished monograph.

35 At one time or another, as many as 30 vehicles and 4 base stations operated as units of the KHT 1296 call sign.

36 Long,* Houston* and Keating,* The World of CB Radio, (Summertown: Book Publishing Co, 1987).

37 Miller* and Houston,* "Solar Energy Powers Two-way Radios," Development Communication Report (USAID, Oct. 1979). A picture of one of these handheld remotes also appears in Plenty News 4:2:7 (Winter 1984).

38 Long* and McClintock, "Solar Powered Two-Way Communications System Links Remote Villagers in Mayan Mountains," Communications News (Jan. 1982); Long*, "Solar-Powered Radios in Central America Open New Lines of Communication," Development Communication Report (USAID, Dec. 1981).

39 For more information about The Farm's medical program, see Ina May Gaskin's* quarterly journal, Birth Gazette, formerly The Practicing Midwife, available through The Religious and Educational Fund, 41 The Farm, Summertown TN 38483. See too: Gaskin, I.M.,* Spiritual Midwifery; Nofziger,* A Cooperative Method of Natural Birth Control; and Nofziger,* The Fertility Question, all available from The Book Publishing Company, Summertown; and Rhine,* "Exporting Emergency and Primary Medical Care to the Underdeveloped World, A New Story," Emergency Products News (Feb, 1977); "Self-trained Midwife Talks on Home Birth in Tennessee," Ob.Gyn. News 14:8 (April 15, 1979); Waldholz, "In an Emergency, South Bronx Turns to Hippie Commune," Wall Street Journal (April 15, 1981 at p. 1); Seifman, "Yippie for the Hippies," New York Post (April 16, 1981); "A Hippie Run Ambulance Corps," People 15:19:132-135 (May 18, 1981); Pombeiro, "Commune makes Bronx into a land of Plenty," Philadelphia Inquirer (June 11, 1981 at p. 1); Housel,* "Plenty," Health Services Manager (Oct. 1981); and Housel,* "Plenty of Help," EMS Today (--, 1982).

40 See: Carter, Ferman, and Hutcheson, "Pre-eclampsia and reproductive performance in a community of vegans," Southern Medical Journal 80:6:692-697.

41"Some Hippies find that High Tech Industry can keep them Happy Down on the Farm," People Magazine, (May 31, 1982 at pp. 95-98).

42 See: King, Death of the Rainbow Warrior, (New York: Penguin, 1986).

43 The system was designed to use an FM radio transmitter and the state police radio relay system to transmit the data, but for purposes of the demonstration, the monitor was hardwired into the phone system.

bottom of page