New Buffalo was one of the most successful of the collective farms that
dotted the country in the 1960s and 1970s. Arthur Kopecky's journals take us
back to that era as he and his comrades wend their way to the area near
Taos, New Mexico, where they encounter magic, wisdom, a mix of people, the
Peyote Church, planting, and hard winters.
The journals trace the groups evolution to adulthood as the party mood of
the early 1970s gives way to the concerns of maintaining a growing farm. By
1975, several hundred people had called New Buffalo home and the business
turned away from their counterculture goats, focusing, instead, on dairy
New Buffalo was emblematic of any number of communes where people came
together by happenstance and grew a life together. The struggle and costs,
the hard work, the endless labor and attention required to be
self-sufficient; the learning of new skills, social and physical, that made
every day an adventure are all here. . . . Remember or learn what it felt
like to be young, optimistic, empowered and dedicated to making a better
life. You will be amazed to see what persistent, dedicated, selfless, hard
work can accomplish.
actor, activist, and former resident of the Olema commune
New Mexico Press in February 2004.
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