From Morninglory to Manhattan

MORNINGLORY – Ben Anderman has gone from living an off-the-grid, natural lifestyle on Morninglory Farm to living in New York City working as a self-taught computer programmer.

Ben is the son of Robbie and Christina Anderman. He was born at Morninglory, between Killaloe and Wilno, and lived there until he was 22 years old.

Morninglory Farm was founded in 1969 and is an intentional community of around 25 residents, co-operating in nine separate family households, situated on 100 hilly acres of woods, fields, gardens and orchards.

Homes are powered with solar electricity, and heated with wood and solar. Grass, hay and straw is cut by hand scythes and farming practices are similar to those of pioneer days.

While living at Morninglory, Ben grew up with no structured schooling.

“I essentially just did whatever I wanted, and learned whatever I was interested in,” he said.

For his first eight or so years, he spent most of his time playing outside all the time, with his friend and neighbour Nadia. When she went to school and Ben didn’t, and his family got a computer, Ben spent his time learned how to work the new piece of technology.

“At first I just wanted to play games and browse websites,” Ben explained. “But then I started socializing online, learning programming to make games, and learning web development to make websites.”

When he was around 11 or 12, he was learning to computer program while also learning how to spell.

“I got used to American spelling for words like ‘center’, because that’s how they’re spelled in web programming languages,” Ben said.

Get your July 13, 2016 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.