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), 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. 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