The Beanfield

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

Beanfield   site

Beanfield site

I did not read books the first summer; I hoed beans.
                                                                       Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

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