Friends of Ohio Barns had their picnic at Slate Run Living Historical Farm last fall. This 1880’s farmstead has been restored and is operated by Columbus Metro Parks as a working farm. Farmhands and homemakers are in period dress.
Every farm animal you can think of is found in the barn or around the farmyard. Percheron horses, dairy cows, pigs, sheep, turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese and a number of other kinds of fowl make up the extended family on the farm.
The big barn, a granary and the summer kitchen are some of the timber frame structures that stand out among the dozen or so farm buildings. The root cellar is stocked with canned vegetables and the smoke house has several select cuts hanging from the rafters. A blacksmith shop, a broom shop and several tool sheds are loaded with all of the implements of farming in that time period. The windmill towers over the haystack.
The vegetable garden, grape arbor, orchard, corn field and sorghum patch are all showing signs of abundance as harvest time approaches. Onions are drying on racks by the summer kitchen. In spite of the world economy and the global financial crisis, Slate Run demonstrates that life on a productive subsistence farm can be separate and apart from the bigger mess
Slate Run is more than a working historical farm. It is 1700 acres of forests and fields and wetlands rolling over the glacial till plain. Extensive open water areas and the edge between forests and field provide an abundance of wildlife habitat. A spotted fawn grazes along the roadside. Green and great blue, and night herons can be seen stalking along the marshy borders. Footpaths roam over and through the wooded hills that are old glacial deposits.
Other timber frames at the park include the entry to the historic farm which was raised by a workshop of the Timber Framer’s Guild a decade ago and a shelter house recently built by Amish craftsmen. For directions and more information on the park, check out www.friendsofslaterunfarm.org