New site coming up, new project on De reis naar Batik

Dear readers,

Sorry for the long quiet on my site. I'm making a new website, but it's not going so fast. I have to do also a lot of sidejobbing and work behind the scenes.
For updates on my upcoming project, my second journey to Batik,  please visit my blog De reis naar Batik, I'm preparing a great project later this year on Java, so make sure to follow!

I will be sending a newsletter soon, so if you want to receive it send me an email at sabine{@} and note if you like to receive in in Dutch or English.

Thank you,

Sabine Bolk

Hill of beans - End project during Harvest Fest

'Hill of beans'-carpet

After selecting, sowing, watching the beans grow and harvesting, it was time to reap what I sowed.
Early morning, at 8, I arrived at De Kapeltuin. It was cold, but the Sun was shining. In my corner under the Sweet Chestnut I started preparing myself and the ground. With the spider spinning her web that week in front of my window in mind, I started laying the beans. 
Beans are bigger and therefor you can make a bigger carpet, but because you have to lay each single bean (rice you can sprinkle) it takes more time.
I never worked with just beans, and my plan was to use all seed-saved beans in the carpet. The other beans I used to make jewelry and little packets for dried beans to eat.

Making the carpet, photo by Marlies Hermans

After two hours making my beancarpet was complete. Small, but with every bean used and with an interesting end-form. Somewhere between a spiderweb, sunflower and wind-rose.
In my plot and the rest of De Kapeltuin I made a photo-exhibition. I made little booklets of the transformation of my 'Hill of beans' plot and my (Instagram) beanfies. On my 'bicycle-wheel-on-stake' were pictures of how the bicycle wheel got overgrown by the Runner beans. So between the last ripening pods, the visitors could see the growing of the beans.
In the garden I extended the exhibition I made during the Kunstroute Haagse Beemden. Photos of the history, the oldest from beginning 1900, the most recent from a few weeks before, were placed in the garden where they could be viewed with the same location today in one frame.
These historical pictures together with the pieces of history every visitor got when they took a bean (or packet or earring) from my carpet, told the whole story of De Kapeltuin. The little pieces of history had on one side a date in time with a little information and on the other side information about beans like the beans I used for my project and favorite bean-recipes of Kapeltuin-volunteers.
The bean in this way was not only a bean to sow or eat (or wear), but a bean that hold a part of history of the place were it was harvest, and everyone together, the whole carpet, told the whole story. So in this way you learn more by sharing. Which for me was a key part of the story of De Kapeltuin. A rough grassland in time turned into a community garden by a group of volunteers in which sharing is the main goal. Not only sharing of harvest, but of a place to enjoy, together or alone by everyone in the neighborhood. 

View on my 'Hill of beans' plot, a little booklet showed all the views from Januari

Morning Sun on my bean-carpet

Visitors "shopping" seeds, herbs, beans and jewelry from my plot
Photo by Emile Waagenaar

Overview Kapeltuin
Photo by Emile Waagenaar

Visitor, in the front, looking through one of the booklets
Photo by Emile Waagenaar

Freek's Ground Finds (artifacts dug up in De Kapeltuin)
Photo by Emile Waagenaar

Two talks were scheduled during the day, but I talked all day. 
A lot of interest; people that followed the whole project and a lot of bean-questions
Photo by Peter Eerhart

Freek's Ground Finds (artifacts dug up in De Kapeltuin)
Photo by Emile Waagenaar

Vistors could take beans during the day to sow them next year

* For more about 'Hill of beans' see the previous posts on my site

Hill of beans - Harvest Time

27 August

The Harvest started with a late night sprint to my bean-plot. Me and Freek wondered if my beans were ill, so to stop spreading, I took out the sick looking plants. 
Unfortunately this were all the bean plants in the first row on my plot, the Lekatt beans. This dual fate of the 5 plants is clear if you saw the documentary 'Eeuwig Moes'.* The Lekatt beans are a legacy of Ruurd Walrecht. That of all my beans, these one failed, is a coincidence of a sad synchronicity. 

Jacob Cattle Amish Bean

The bright  yellow leaves were fortunately just the normal discolouration

28 August, basket full of ripe bean pods

The End of August and the rest of September were filled with harvesting beans and herbs, drying the beanpods & herbs and selecting the best dried beans for the carpet. The other beans I used to make jewelry like Holy bean hangers & bean earrings. I harvest also the seeds of the Marigolds and folded a lot of seed-bags using old folders.
This process of harvesting and handling the different things from my plot took a lot of time, but I absolutely loved sitting in the Sun with a basket full of beans and the sound the cracking pods made when you are getting the beautiful beans out. I made a little video of that, you can watch it on my Instagram.

29 August, still very green

Moth on the Holy beans

1 September, every bean pod is like opening a present

5 September, rainy harvest run

10 September, more yellow appearing in the leaves

Almost ripe Runner beans/Pronkbonen, just in time for my carpet

"Hill" in the front with Holy beans, "Hill" in the back with blooming Runner beans

11 September, graphic beauty in purpelpink and greyish blue

On 10 September I had finally my first ripe Runner bean pods. Already worrying for some weeks if all my beans would ripe in time, all of a sudden Fall set in. The leaves started to turn yellow and the bean pods went from a moist green to a dry brown. Shaking the beans to check if they are ripe is so much fun and I can recommend planting some beans just for this experience!
From all the beanplants, only the Lekatt failed and the Holy Monstrance beans were to late. The other ones I could all harvest in time for my end project, which my next post will be all about.

15 September


Little presents, even with a bow wrapped around the pods

18 September, Sun breaking through after a lot of rainy days

Escaped bean, the pods pop open if you're to late to Harvest them

21 September, last Harvest before the Harvest Fest

* Watch the documentary 'Eeuwig Moes' in Dutch online  
* Read the previous posts about 'Hill of beans' also here on my site

Hill of beans - surviving stormy weather with flying colours

18 juli 2015

When they start to grow, it goes fast! Every time I went to check on my beans, every time I found more pods and every time I got a bigger longing to see what was happing inside of them. It was really testing my patience this project. Like every project I start, and testing my fear of heights...
When I was hanging pieces of wallpaper on a 3 meter high metal thing on a wobbly ladder in the Grote Kerk two years ago, I promised myself I wouldn't make such installations again. Sitting on Koen's neck trying to get a beanstalk released from a ribbon, I remembered myself again to this promise. This promise failed already last year, when I choose the highest point on Vlieland as a viewing point for my work. What is it with making projects that involve this parts of yourself that you normally try to avoid? 

Beans pods!
24 july 2015

Flowers of the Pinto bean / Drentse Kievitsboon

28 july 2015

Arriving at De Kapeltuin I saw that my 'Bicycle-wheel on stake' was hanging skew ('scheef'). The windforce was about 8 and with every windflaw the stalks were working as sails. Not the kind I wanted though. The other 'Bicycle-wheel on stake' was good. The stalks grew more equal on every side which made it more closed up and therefor protected from the strong wind.
Standing on Freek upper legs I tried to get a rope around the bicycle wheel to make an extra guy rope. I couldn't reach it and remembering my promise. Instead of trying more risky moves, I went to the school next to the garden and just borrowed a ladder. 
With the extra guy rope the stalk hold steady and was ready for more stormy days...

Windforce 8

Monstrance bean reached the top

31 july 2015, skew but steady

Runner bean pods / Pronkbonen

Tiger Eye bean pod

7 August 2015

The Runner beans are getting bigger!

New guy rope is already in use

14 August 2015

The night before we went on Holiday (our first real Holiday ever), I couldn't sleep. I was not nervous for our vacation, I was worried about my beans! It was storming soooo heavy with downpour on after another. With my skew bicycle wheel in mind, I was imagine the stalks breaking, flying around, destroying De Kapeltuin and finding this plot in the morning that was visited by a tornado...
So before we start our journey, we went to my plot. Oh nooo, oh noo, went through my thoughts. And my plot was fine, just very wet, nothing else. I was so happy and ready to go on Holiday!

22 August

Blue sky, green beanstalk full pretty red flowers

Three "Hills" 

On 27 september from 14:00h till 18:00h everyone is welcome at De Kapeltuin to see the end of my project 'Hill of beans'. I will give a presentation about my project around 14.30h and 15.30h. Next to my bean-project you can get a lot of vegetables, seeds, herbs, honey & ointments from the garden on that day, so bring some pocketmoney! There will be music & poetry, food & drinks and the beekeepers will tell something about the Kapeltuin hive too.
See you Sunday 27 September at the Harvest Feast / Oogstfeest!