In 2020 the Dark Mountain Project collaborated with UK grain and pulse pioneers Hodmedod in the gathering of regenerative stories and art about grains and the people who grow them. We invited three writers to write, in fiction, nonfiction and poetry, of days spent on different farms in Somerset, Suffolk and Essex, before and after harvest. That project led to Sheaf: Writers in the Field which inspired more writers and artists to venture out to meet more of the farmers and makers in their network.
The result is this beautiful softback collection of interviews, fiction, photography, recipes and reports from the field. A polyphonic swarm of interconnecting stories about agroecology, roots, peas, long straw deep time, future thinking, radical producers and seed preservers.
This year Sheaf’s contributors have visited farms in Suffolk, Essex and Shropshire and ventured onto allotments in south London. They’ve met bakers, farmers and researchers, photographed the seasons and captured images of roots, flowers and seeds. They’ve imagined the future, seen how the present can be informed by the past and heard how the microscopic world shapes our lives – whether in the soil or in our bodies.
This second Sheaf is a turf lifted on the mycorrhizal network we’re a part of […] Art and imagination weave through these stories, bringing new perspectives and connections.
– Josiah Meldrum, Hodmedod co-founder, from his introduction to Sheaf
Writers: Charlotte Du Cann, Julius Honnor, Josiah Meldrum, Olivia Oldham, Nick Saltmarsh.
Artists: Richard Allenby-Pratt, Anne Campbell, Anne-Marie Culhane, Popeye Collective, Freddie Yauner.
Farmers and bakers: Peter and Andrew Fairs, Andy Forbes, William and Miranda Kendall, Vanessa Kimbell, Mark and Liz Lea, Paul, Tobias and Emma Watkin,
Editor: Charlotte Du Cann
Sheaf is an all-colour softback booklet, 52 pages long, printed on recycled and FSC-certified paper