The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


February 3, 2014

The Farm of Franklin became a 'commercial for God' in the 1970s

Their mission was pretty simple.

“We’re out to save the world,” said Martin Goldberg, then 25, speaking about what was called a “spiritual community” near Franklin, better known as The Farm.

Goldberg spoke with The Daily Star in the early days of March 1976, about 15 months after he and about 30 others, ranging in ages from 18 to 40, purchased a farm on Campbell Road, about five miles south of Franklin. The group operated this farm as a religious, nonprofit organization.

The Farm became an offshoot of a parent farm in Lewis County, Tenn., and was one of 15 across the nation, a concept that was born in the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco by a religious leader, referred to by Goldberg only as “Stephen.” When times were turbulent in the 1960s, thousands of college-age students turned their backs on conventional society and sought their own alternative lifestyles. Stephen was later identified as Stephen Gaskin, a former teacher at San Francisco State College and founder of the Tennessee farm.

The idea for the local farm began while Goldberg and about a half dozen friends were students at Syracuse University. They visited the farm in Tennessee and liked what they saw. While that farm wasn’t accepting any new members, Gaskin was encouraging the formation of similar communities.

Goldberg and his friends pooled their money and bought land in Franklin in late 1974. Others came to live on the 300 acres, some in trailers, a few in a tent, but most shared a house.

The men of this community — they didn’t like it to be called a commune — worked together as contractors in a firm called Primo Construction to provide a source of income. Profits from the business went into a collective fund. Once a year, after taxes were paid, the income was divided among members. When not out on contract jobs, all members farmed their acreage for vegetables, as they were strict vegetarians.

Text Only
Big Chuck D'Imperio
Cary Brunswick

Chuck Pinkey
Guest Column

Lisa Miller

Mark Simonson

Rick Brockway

Sam Pollak
William Masters
  • Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues

    As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.

    September 18, 2012

  • Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner

    An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.

    September 4, 2012

  • Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity

    Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.

    August 21, 2012

  • Romney shows little regard for common man

    The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.

    August 7, 2012

  • Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists

    The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.

    July 24, 2012

Additional Content
Join the Debate
Additional Resources
CNHI News Service

Is Israel justified to conduct its military campaign against the Hamas in Gaza?

Undecided/no opinion
     View Results