Farm Life

I’m not sure when it I first learned about The Farm, but I know that when I heard about it again in Ricki Lake’s doc “The Business of Being Born” I knew I had to go. I was enamored by the story of The Farm’s founders Stephen and Ina May Gaskin. Their caravan road trip of school buses across the country. Why don’t people do that anymore? Or if they do, why don’t I know them so I can be invited?

Needless to say, when I decided to move to Nashville, I delighted in telling my mom it was in order to live in closer proximity to a commune where renown midwives could help me deliver my sperm donor baby.

So when I began making a list of adventures for my to-do list, a visit to The Farm was high. It was easy to find, and frankly felt more like a rural neighborhood than I expected. It wasn’t apparently what I had in my head pictured as a commune. My Martha Marcy May Marlene Mary Anne/Wanderlust dreams were dashed. There were even satellite dishes.

But there was also The Wholeo:


Finally. Let’s get this hippie party started!!


That’s a lot of incredible glasswork right there. And I’m pretty sure with certain mood enhancements or the amount of light a full moon offers it could be quite the experience. It was lovely on a sunshine-y summer day. I got the feeling thoughts really flow well in there.

We walked through a school that looked like it had been longer than a couple of months since it had been used, but I’m hopeful as it seemed like a place where creative brains could blossom without messy things like standardized testing.

As we walked from the building, a low-budget documentary crew asked me if I had seen Arthur (?). If you know me, you know how thrilled I would be at the thought that I could pass for a resident somewhere I was visiting for the first time.


As we continued our self-guided tour (you can take an official one, but I’m a fan of getting an overview and then finding my own way…HOWEVER…you can stay the night with a family, and I definitely want to do that) we came upon a group of guys (some of them barefoot) burning bamboo for energy. It was loud, and aromatic, and I never knew the value of bamboo.


We talked to a couple who just moved onto the property, walked through a community building being built, and then wandered into a small shack that was a bookstore of sorts. There was nobody inside, and for seemingly no reason but my entertainment, there was a crocheted romper hanging on the wall. I looked at my friend and warned her of my plan: I was going to put this romper on and we were going to have a photo shoot on the porch. Proof:


I was really happy in that romper. I’m not sure what its story was, but I hung it back up like I found it.

From there, we went to visit the midwives. Needless to say, they were lovely, and answered all of our questions, and told me I still have eggs left.

As we drove away, I said, “I think I could be convinced to live there,” and my friend responded: “Um, you totally could.”

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One Response to Farm Life

  1. Bargen, Larry says:

    Good morning, Mary Anne!!!

    It is so great to see you blogging again!!! I have really, really missed your blogs!! Your blogs have allowed me to watch you grow into the beautiful woman you have become. I can tell how much you enjoyed your visit to “The Farm”. I wasn’t even aware that it existed. Hopefully, you can take Mom and me there when we get to Nashville. I have no trouble picturing you on a commune. You would fit right in. That’s why the doc crew thought you belonged there. I have always been fascinated by the “hidden gems” that are out there, waiting to be found. Unfortunately, I have only found them through my reading, rather than actually experiencing them. I’ve been there in spirit, though.

    Love Ya!!!!!!!


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