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Subject: Stpehen Gaskin, founder of The Farm, dies at 79

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 07/02/14 at 10:42 pm

Not all hippies sat around smoking dope and complaining, some of them smoked dope and did something about it. Stephen Gaskin was among the best of these.
Stephen Gaskin
February 16, 1935 - July 1, 2014

My parents had friends who lived on The Farm.  in 1970, they rode the old schoolbuses with Gaskin from Haight-Ashbury to Tennessee where they lived on Gaskin's farm.  Among other "counter-cultural" practices, they participated in organic agriculture, vegetarianism, transcendental meditation, natural home midwifery, computer technology, and social egalitarianism.  At least they made the best go of the last one as any group ever has.  Gaskin was as interested in satellite technology as he was back-to-the-land farming.  Many of the things we take for granted in the mainstream today got started on successful commune experiments such as The Farm.

Some residents of The Farm worshipped Stephen Gaskin.  That was there choice.  Gaskin didn't ask anybody to worship him.  He did establish the general guidelines and social mores of life on The Farm, but nobody was compelled to live there.  General good will and cooperation made The Farm succeed.  A lot of people found they didn't like The Farm, and they were free to seek fulfillment elsewhere, with Gaskin's blessings.  Hundreds of people were enthusiastic members of the farm for years and years, and helped Gaskin address such issues as feeding the hungry and working towards a sustainable future even after they moved on from The Farm.

The Farm itself ended in 1984 as people moved on and there were not enough new folks to replace them.  This didn't make Gaskin cynical.  He continued right on developing soy products, writing books, giving lectures, and doing his thing.  His wife, Ina May, whom he married in 1976, became a world-renowned practitioner of natural midwifery. 

R.I.P. Stephen Gaskin, you made the world a little bit better than you found it.

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