The Beanfield

Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio
Summer 2006 – Autumn 2008

Beanfield   site

Beanfield site


Overlooking the central Ohio State University campus green (known as the Oval), The Beanfield is a work of ecological, educational, and social encounter recalling the agricultural roots of the school as a land-grant college. Inspired, in part, by the 2 1/2 acres of beans cultivated at Walden Pond by Henry David Thoreau, this 500 square foot demonstration plot included 49 sets of poles planted with 4 varieties of beans—Kentucky Wonder Brown, Rattlesnake, White Half-runner, and Blue Lake Stringless. The beans were harvested and distributed free as food for thought and seed for the imagination. The Beanfield was a project for the Living Culture Initiative in the Department of Art in partnership with the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Social Responsibility Initiative in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

OSU Orton Hall   with crop planting , circa 1889

OSU Orton Hall with crop planting, circa 1889

Setting bean poles , spring 2006

Setting bean poles, spring 2006

Tending the Beanfield , spring 2006

Tending the Beanfield, spring 2006

At mid-summer

At mid-summer

Seed packets

Seed packets

Related articles and writings
Beanfield Sprouts on Ohio State Campus: Wexner Project Celebrates Culture, Agriculture, in OARDC Report, November/December 2006. 
Field of Beans, in Ohio State Alumni Magazine, November-December 2006.
More than a Hill of Beans, by Bill Mayr in The Columbus Dispatch, August 20, 2006.