Plot 46: Beans, Beetles, and the Soil Biome

For two growing seasons I planted and maintained my 400 square foot allotment at Maple Hill Urban Farm. According to my master plan (see earlier post), the second year was about exploration of the underground soil food web – the unterwelt. In learning what the soil food web comprised, I realized there was more healthy soil than all things underground. The plants are the source of energy that fuels the food web though the root exudates. In return the soil takes up water and nutrients that the soil organisms produce or release. Beetles represent the life forms that occupy both above and below ground spaces, depending in their life stages. So I changed my title of second phase from Unterwelt to Beans, Beetles, and the Soil Biome. I have so much to learn about and to picture in my art, that I know I will remain in phase two for at least another year.

Meanwhile I am participating in a bookbinding swap with ten members of the local chapter of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG-OV). This year’s theme is “a special place.” Since I am spending a lot of time at the farm during growing season and even more time in off season learning and researching about regenerative organic agriculture and the like, I thought that plot 46 was, indeed, my special place. These four images each 5X10 inches have been printed and constructed into an accordion format for exchange.

This spring we will exchange our “signatures” – the name given to a group of pages in bookbinding lingo. Other than size and theme, anything goes. Each of the ten swappers will receive ten signatures to be bound into a unique artist book. Later in the year we will meet for the big reveal of the bound books.