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Cultural Integration in Vermont

Posted on July 18, 2008 by
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Vermont Public Radio carried a news magazine about how intentional communities interacted with the surrounding rural culture in Vermont.

The program description states,

Our guest Tom Fels of North Bennington has just published a book on the network of communal farms that he was part of in northwestern Massachusetts and southern Vermont. Also with us is poet and teacher Verandah Porche, who still lives on the farm in Guilford where she settled with her counterculture friends in 1968. Together we examine how the commune movement shaped, and was shaped by, Vermont’s culture.

Fels’s book is distributed by Chelsea Green.

Both Fels and Porche talked about how there was a shift in local attitude toward the new communities as time passed.  I am not clear on whether these were income-sharing communities per se, or cooperatevely run houses and farms.  Porche notes in the interview, “in fact, it was the press who referred to us as a commune”.

Porche also was able to observe changes in their acceptance in the local communities over time.  A close farmer’s fraternity, Vermont Grange, once turned away members of her community, but now accepts them.

Listen to the full story here.


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