The Spring House is a small place on the earth. Only 1/80,802,000 of what is now the state of Tennessee. A tiny 1/3 of an acre and a home.

This land is the ancestral home of the Shawandasse Tula (Shawnee), the ᏣᎳᎫᏪᏘᏱ Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East), and the S’atsoyaha (Yuchi) people. 

At first glance, it appears to be a simple home in a neighborhood that might be found any where, but The Spring House is a place with a story to tell.

It is a place of “springs”, where the muses are at work. It is a place of flora and green; of living on the edges. A place of growing, healing, music, art, and history. And most importantly, it is a place of peace and love.



The Spring House is both a botanical sanctuary and urban farm. We use organic, permaculture and biodynamic principles on our land to grow food for ourselves and others. As part of the entire system, we are working towards creating a habitat for us, as well as for the pollinators, birds, and other creatures living here, so that the whole property can function as a whole. At-risk plants are incorporated as well, to both add to the biodiversity and to support plant conservation.

Our little 1/3 acre home has been slowly transforming from a typical 1950’s neighborhood suburban property, to its current status as a botanical sanctuary and urban farm. When the house was first built in 1951 the house and property seem to have been well cared for for a number of years, but then later, it saw years of neglect. This was a blessing in disguise, since the “weedy” lawn showed no signs of having chemicals used on it any time in the recent past, giving us a good start to growing things organically and chemical free here. Previous to that the land had been pasture, and many years before that it had been forest, so the soil is rich and deep.

Though our property is small, we have everything from the dense shade of a narrow strip of woodland in the back, to full sun in the front yard where we grow most of our food, as well as a little of everything in between. This great diversity allows us to grow a wide variety of plants and trees.

The Spring House is also the home of Helicon Herbs & Botanicals and On the Edges Permaculture Design.

The Spring House is a little corner of the world that we hope that we will tend well, as we share it with you.

– Robert & Joni McKeown (East Nashville TN)


More about The Origin of The Spring House



From the Heliconian Muses let us begin to sing, 
Who hold the great and holy mount of Helicon,
And dance on soft feet about the deep-blue spring…

When they have washed their tender bodies…
In the Horse’s Spring…
Make their fair, lovely dances upon highest Helicon…
and utter their song with lovely voice.

– Hesiod, Theogony and Works and Days