Welcome

” …. now they’re digging ancient summers, bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the fiery sheaves (Tams).”

Welcome to the Living Field web site

Latest …..Repurposing grass pea for embroidered textiles and hand-made paper ….. latest articles in the Climate and Sustainable Food series on Temperature and Plant life cycle ….the Bere barley landrace at the Living Field for #SeedWeek 2021 ...New pages on Climate and sustainable food production …. Celebrate the year’s turning Through the Solstice …. News from Common Grains and Seed Sovereignty projects on upcoming events in cluding the 2021 Seed Week …. No new planting or ground care in 2020 ….. Food systems are adapting to the pandemic…so far ….More online learning at the News page  ….. Hutton wildflower seeds 2020 ….. Grannie Kate’s Spicy two pulse patties ….. at the News page resources for home-education in crops, soil, environment, farming, archaeology and baking  ….. Agrostographia – lessons from the 1800s for re-diversification todayFrom a muddy field – Gladys Wright’s contributions to the Living Field….. Chickpea gram flour flatbreads ….. Edible campus? Visit from Transition St Andrews …..Five spheres: City Uni food chain diagram ….. Key pattern in natural fibre from Ruth Black ….

Standing stones at Calanais, Lewis, in an island region cultivated for thousands of years, after the spring equinox.

The Living Field is run by staff at the James Hutton Institute, Dundee, UK. We work through outreach, education and shared experience to promote sustainable production of food and other products from the land.

The web site opened in spring 2014 to celebrate 10 years of the Living Field Garden. We hope you enjoy visiting the site. You will find news and updates of all current activities (Regular Content) and reports of long-running themes and collaborations (Projects and people, below).

Lungwort, Pulmonaria officinalis, in full flower, the plant covered in hairs each a few mm long, visible on inset, the species introduced and naturalised in places.
Regular content
  • New images, articles and opinion pieces are posted frequently under Notes and Images, the most recent listed in the left hand margin.
  • The News page links to what’s going on in the Living Field project, updates to the web site and matters topical.
  • The Garden relates the evolving habitats and and living plant exhibits in this centrepiece of the project, created in a corner of the Institute’s farm in 2004.
  • The Year records the seasonal cycle in the croplands through the quarter days and cross quarter days.
  • Our About page gives more on the history, aims and funding of the Living Field.

Projects and People
  • 5000 years is a long term project on the innovations that have sustained life in the maritime croplands and more widely since the neolithic. We begin with 5000-Plants – fibres, dyes, weeds, and coming soon  – cereals and legumes.
  • People profiles collaborations with the Living Field in art and science, including Jean Duncan (archaeology, food, Capsella), Tina Scopa (plant pressing workshops) and the family of Slovenian artist Vida Fakin.
  • Global field presents an occasional series of articles through  Urban-field and Water-field, for example: Inle Lake Burma, Dundee’s waterfront, winter floods in the croplands and the hills around the Parthenon.

Contacts

The Living Field exists through the efforts of many people. It was until recently managed by Gladys Wright and Geoff Squire.  For more information on its origin, aims and charitable funding, please see the About page.

Gladys wright, who had been involved since the beginning of the Living Field in 2001, retired from the James Hutton at the end of 2019.  We hope she will continue to be part of the Living Field community.

For now, all enquiries on the Living Field project, garden, CD, study centre, web site, The Year, the 5000 Years project, contact: Geoff Squire at geoff.squire@hutton.ac.uk or geoff.squire@outlook.com.

Photographs

All images on this site are taken and prepared by the Living Field team unless stated otherwise. Please respect our ownership of these images . The Living Field is funded by charities and is not profit-making.

Photographs on this Welcome page change with the turning of the year. The current images were taken in February and March. Thanks to Living Field correspondents gk-images and Tim McPherson for the use of their photographs.

Quote at the top of the page is from John Tams’ song ‘Man of Constant Sorrow’.

Icy and wet? Not now in the Kosciuszko National Park, Australia, where it’s the height of summer. Photograph taken 06:30 early Feb by Living Field correspondent Tim McPherson, who is making/repairing the metal walkway.

Living Field images (top right): drawn or painted by members of the Living Field community. Today’s is one of Reno, the archetypal fox, crossing the land bridge to Britain, painted by Marion Demade, a student from France, who spent some months in Dundee working on an EU project. Clicking the image leads to Reno’s page on this site.

sustainable croplands