Commune Scene

Green, green, green! Last night, reading about Vermont’s commune scene in the 1970s, I had to laugh about hippies coming to Vermont in the glory of summer, and then finding winter a different reality altogether. In a Vermont spring, every day, the black earth yields violet, buttery gold, emerald green.

Working in the garden in the late afternoon, I can fully imagine the hippie joy at this green paradise. Come the snowy season, though, and the idealism must have quickly faded. Having written a book about Vermont and youthful idealism, having given my own blood to this black and sometimes cold earth, on a day like today, Vermont is well worth enduring the stay. Today, I can pass on the Huck Finn advice.

(The back-to-the-landers of the 1970s) were acting, in part, on a characteristically American assumption that if things get bad where we are – too hectic, too dangerous, too messy – we can simply decamp to a new frontier and start again, that all we need to begin a new venture or even create a new society is a new piece of land.

– Kate Daloz, We Are As Gods: Back to the Land in the 1970s on the Quest for a New America


Woodbury, Vermont



About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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