One day in late 1984, while driving in the Wooden Shoe Hollow/Winton Hills area scouting for a new home in a more rural setting, I had the thought to go down Gray Road. I knew that Gray Road and Wooden Shoe Hollow were once an agriculture district, settled by German farmers in the early 1900's, and had supplied Cincinnati with most of its produce. In the 1960s the fields were sliced through with the construction of Winton Road. Dividing this historic farmland contributed to the decline of the agriculture/greenhouse activity, however today the land supports a number of agricultural projects, including the greenhouses along Gray Road, the Bahr Family Farm (in continuous operation since the early 1900s) as well as a native plant nursery in Wooden Shoe Hollow.
Driving past the four flourishing green houses on Gray Road I came upon a sign "For Sale by Owner” and found a large neglected but elegant brick farmhouse. Typical of farmhouses of the 1890's it had a small detached summer kitchen. The house and summer kitchen had been made into rental units. The place was in decline and used by a construction company to bury and store construction materials everywhere. However it was on two and a half acres of land and had beauty and promise. I bought it. Several years later the adjacent farmer's property on the same driveway came up for sale. I was lucky enough to find out about it in time to add it to the property, making Homemeadow Song Farm four and a half acres with two houses.
Over the years I planted apple trees, restored the land, landscaped a spiral garden, and with the help of dear friends the houses were slowly remodeled and occupied by families whose children grew up here and shared my love of the place. The summer kitchen gradually grew into a home and music studio for me.
From the very beginning, I envisioned Homemeadow Song Farm as having an educational purpose - especially for young children. My childhood experience attending a farm boarding school had awakened in me a vision of a place for community, agriculture, festivals, and music. My experience as an early childhood teacher at the Cincinnati Waldorf School nourished the vision and provided me with the ingredients to "bake the cake.” And indeed, Kindergartens began to visit, and festivals began to take place on the land almost from the very beginning.
As you will see from what follows, this vision is taking shape due to the wonderful work of the people who live on the land, who love it and who have the will to nurture it. The vision is much greater than the land we share; its mission is to radiate health, joy and harmony to the city and its children. It is founded on the recognition of the spirit of the place itself which seems to have found us rather than the other way around. It is no longer the vision of any one person, but of each one who holds it in their heart.
- Leslie Poindexter
Homeadow Song Farm, 2006