Farm Stories

organicARTS was lucky enough to get funding from Cyprus Wells / Wordquest for a short project exploring the farming landscape through stories.

Extract from funding application ...
"William Hoskin's pioneering book The Making of the English Landscape explores the impact of human activity on the evolution of the landscape.  The Farm Stories project seeks to make this Exeter born author's ideas relevant and accessible to two different groups of visitors to the farm and through this deepen an understanding of the farming landscape and allow a creative response to this landscape!

West Town Farm has rich farming landscape with layers of geography, history and environmental stewardship. Farm Stories will engage groups from the city in interpreting this landscape in their own words through the context of farm based story walks with organicARTS resident storyteller creating text and audio trails for other visitors."

The Farm Story project will take the following stages:

Research. OrganicARTS storyteller will research the history of the farm identifying key changes to the landscape along with their associated stories.

The map shows the key areas. I was looking for physical features that can carry a story and an action.

Contact. The two groups will be introduced to the material in the form storytelling session.
A walk with words around the farm. Enclosure with 3 year olds?
Walks. The groups will engage in two walks each when they will put these stories into context and create their own responses. This might be in the form of a commentary or retelling of existing material or the creation new tales. The recording of this will be in the form of digital recordings, traditional pen and paper and unconventional writing forms using natural materials.
We wave good bye as the steam train leaves from under the high stone arch. Who are we waving to? Where are we going?
From the top of the hill looking at the 6 farms of West Town back over 100 years. What names would we call our farms? "Muddy Farm" "Fairy Farm" "Cow Farm" I think "Cotters" 'cos that is who I am!
We make a field for sheep, for cows, for horses, for grass. Enclosing the open hills. 
Gathering. The storyteller will gather the material together and shape it.

Presenting. The collected stories will be shared back to the groups and also published through the farm's website alongside a record of the sessions.
Evaluating. There will be short discussions with members of the groups. 

This project has been funded by

For more information visit here