A small book of regenerative stories about grains and the people who grow them by three Dark Mountain writers
What became immediately clear is that it is stories – narratives – and the relationships we build with each other through telling and retelling them that create lasting change, not bald facts about a climate emergency, or nitrogen fixation, or biodiversity loss, or diet-related poor health
– Josiah Meldrum, Hodmedod co-founder, from Sheaf introduction
What does it take to regain a right relationship with the land and what we eat in a time of fall? Sheaf is our first co-produced publication with grain and pulse pioneers Hodmedod, celebrating regenerative farmers and the crops they grow that foster resilience and beauty in the face of environmental breakdown.
Once there were stories that kept us close to the land, that told us about a spiritual and physical negotiation between the wild world and the domesticated grasses that fed and maintained us. In an increasingly industrialised world that dialogue has broken down with catastrophic consequences for the whole planet. We asked what would happen if writers were to go inside the agricultural fields of Britain and tell a story that was about the future: about farmers and farms that were remembering that original contract people made between their food crops and the territory that hosted them?
Last year, Dark Mountain three writers set out to write, in fiction, nonfiction and poetry, of their days spent on three different farms in Somerset, Suffolk and Essex, before and after the harvest. This booklet of their testimonies and accompanying artwork of grain and field speak of relationships between people, creatures and plants that you don’t always see, but are there nonetheless.
Sometimes, as the fairy tales and myths tell us, you only need the smallest of things to help you to change the course of destiny: an ant, a reed, an ear of tufted barley, a handful of coloured beans.
Writers in the field: Cate Chapman, Nick Hunt, Joanna Pocock
Artists: Anne Campbell, Kit Boyd
Producers: Charlotte Du Cann, Josiah Meldrum
Farmers: Col Gordon, Fred Price, Martin and Toby Wolfe, George Young
Cover: Domesticated Emmer Wheat by Anne Campbell, grown by Col Gordon
Sheaf is an all-colour softback booklet, 48 pages long, printed on recycled and FSC-certified paper
|21 × 15 × 1 cm