Report From Kharma Farm, a Small Commune in Pennsylvania

It wasn't easy, but the eight adults of Kharma Farm got their homestead up and running.

| July/August 1976

After faithfully reading your magazine for years, we decided it was time to write and let you know about our attempts at "doin' it" . . . or almost doin' it, as the case may be.

By way of introduction, we are eight members—Lynn, Mary, Othello, Tia, Bob, Leslie, Daphne, and Woody—of an extended family called Kharma Farm. We became "extended" a couple of years ago in an attempt to buttress ourselves against the slings and arrows of a faltering economy . . . and our attempt—we're glad to say—has been largely successful.

After buying forty acres in Potter County—otherwise known as God's Country (just read the bumper stickers if you don't believe it!)—we're now living the good life. That means, among other things, killing ourselves to finish a dome started three years ago, so we can stuff eight people into it while we build a house and a barn.

Yeah, we know you can do anything you set your mind to, but couldn't someone have told us about all the suffering and hard work and hours of expended energy and all the disappointments and problems? Sure, it's all worth it (we didn't say it wasn't!), but damn if it wasn't a hell of a struggle.

And the struggle ain't over yet. We sweated out this month's mortgage payment on the land, and the 30' X 40' pole house we're erecting is unfinished for lack of funds.

Nonetheless, we did get some good news of late: Grit bought three articles we wrote and submitted, and the Star-Gazette has hired us to report local news. And we do have two other newspapers buying pieces from us on the political, social, and cultural goings-on in good old Potter County. But the pay is so out and out poor that (as you can see) we need no less than four papers buying our stuff to make just one living!

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