Tonight I began my internship with Homeadow Song Farm. Working alongside Vicki Mansoor, I will contribute to the Green Acres exhibition that opens on September 21st, 2012 at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. As well as helping with the show, I hope to expand my knowledge of organic farming and draw inspiration for my own work.
Arriving at the farm for the first time, I was in awe of the beauty that surrounded me. Walking up a long gravel path, I saw a cottage-like building to my left and an assortment of tall trees and colorful plants to my right. Passing the house, I walked further to find a chicken coop and a barn. Content in this aesthetic paradise, I soon found Vicki and introduced myself. After getting a tour of the farm, we went straight to work on building and stringing bean poles.
The first order of business was weeding, the second, stringing the pole. Although our initial conversation was small talk, the more we worked, the deeper our conversations grew. After a few hours of working, we covered a range of topics from gardening to relationships to God. I observed that in the same way as when I make art, the repetitive act of pulling up weeds and tying strings to poles for a long period of time brought me to a higher level of thinking.
Before starting the stringing of the bean poles, we found ourselves in a dilemma; one half of the ball of string we wanted to use had been sitting in water for a few days. Because of this, the string would break into pieces after unraveling it. Rather than throwing out the ball of string all together, we instead took cooperating wet pieces of string and tied them to dry ones. Although this added extra effort to our process, we found a way to save a material that was perfectly useable.
After the bean poles were completely strung, I felt fulfilled and refreshed from working with my hands to create something grand. It was also gratifying knowing that because of our efforts, the beans would now have something to climb up.
There truly is so much beauty in dirt.