Press Kit


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Press release


For more information contact:

Donna Neuwirth, Wormfarm Institute Executive Director, 608-415-0347,

Joann Mundth Douglas, Fermentation Fest Project Manager, 608-393-2795,


Farm Fields Sprout Art Tour For Fermentation Fest

REEDSBURG, WIS., Aug. 2, 2013 — There’s something brewing in Reedsburg, Wis., as the farming community of 9,000 prepares for as many visitors to its third-annual Reedsburg Fermentation Fest—A Live Culture Convergence, Oct. 4–13, 2013. The 10-day food and farming festival includes 42 classes and tastings about fermented foods, cooking and farming, and a 50-mile self-guided tour through working farmland punctuated by temporary art installations.

“Artists, farmers, chefs, performers, brewers and eaters converge to celebrate live culture in all its forms,” explains event organizer Donna Neuwirth, executive director of the Wormfarm Institute of Reedsburg, Wis. “Visitors can explore, make, taste and play.”

The Fest’s signature feature is the Farm/Art DTour through northwestern Sauk County’s scenic hills and farmland punctuated with temporary art installations, live pasture performances, interpretative field notes, roadside stands and roadside poetry. Discover the tour by car, bike or buggy. View images of the previous DTours at

Bicyclists can join organized DTour rides during both weekends.

In downtown Reedsburg, learn to use beneficial bacteria to make kimchi, yogurt, hard cider, cheese, bread and more, and sample ferments like kombucha, soda, chocolate and natto. Sharpen growing skills in classes about brewing soil, composting, beekeeping, fermenting livestock feed and cultivating your dream livelihood.

Children can participate in interactive musical stops, a Cow Convention, corn maze, and in the classroom cooking and making worm farms.

Featured speakers Gary Paul Nabhan and Nikiko Masumoto will discuss fermentation as a metaphor for community transformation. Nabhan of Patagonia, Ariz., is a research social scientist at the University of Arizona and author of Growing Foods in a Hotter, Drier Land:  Lessons From Desert Farmers on Adapting to Climate Uncertainty, among other books. He’ll speak Oct. 6 about fermenting a revolution of human, soil, community and economic health. Also, he’ll demonstrate making kishk, a Lebanese ferment, and corn beer.

Masumoto of Fresno, Calif., is a fourth-generation fruit grower, agrarian artist and co-author with her parents, David Mas and Marcy Masumoto, of The Perfect Peach: Recipes and Stories from the Masumoto Family Farm. She’ll speak Oct. 11–13 about cooking with peach preserves, and stories of her roots and work in agrarian art, feminism, social justice and agriculture.

Masumoto and Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland will offer workshops that help folks capture their stories and sense of place.

A free 16-page event guide with the DTour map and descriptions of farm tours and 42 classes and events is available throughout the state. The DTour map can be downloaded at beginning Aug. 5, 2013, or picked up during the event at the Reedsburg Area Chamber of Commerce. Registration is required to attend classes, tasting events and farm tours. Register online by Sept. 15 for a discount, or until Oct. 1.

The Wormfarm Institute, with help from Sauk County U.W.-Extension, the Reedsburg Area Chamber Of Commerce, public partners and sponsors, collaborate to host this event that celebrates food, farming and fermentation.

Visit for more information about Reedsburg Fermentation Fest and its Farm/Art DTour.

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Media tip sheet

For more information contact:

Donna Neuwirth, Wormfarm Institute Executive Director: 608-415-0347,

Joann Mundth Douglas, Fermentation Fest Project Manager: 608-393-2795,


To receive a press kit by postal mail with the event guide, an area map and booklet about Reedsburg, please contact us.

Photo opportunities abound during this visual and performing arts event complemented with hands-on classes. Download high-resolution photos from past Fests at Contact us for additional images.

Join us during the event to capture what interests your audience. Please contact us to reserve your complimentary admission to classes, tastings and tours.

Meet The Visual Artists

A six-member jury selected seven professional artists during a three-month competitive process. The selected artists will build nine large-scale temporary art installations in farm fields, drawing inspiration from cooking, music, rural origins, labor, hand tools, and the land itself. They are:

The Performing Artists

Various 20-minute performances occur both weekends on three unconventional stages throughout the DTour and at the CAL Center in Reedsburg, Wis., featuring:

  • American Players Theatre’s Apprentice Company of Spring Green, Wis., performing on the DTour Oct. 6, 2013,
  • Milk–The Play, an adult-themed play about relationships, recovery and renewal, is a premiere production directed by Dave Miotke and starring Los Angeles actress and playwright, and Wormfarm Institute artist-in-residence, Anike Tourse. She will perform with the Reedsburg Players at the CAL Center in Reedsburg, Wis., Oct. 11 and 12, 2013 at7:00 p.m., and Oct. 13, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.
  • D-Composition, a one-time concert by Graminy of an original bluegrass symphony in D entitled Germinations followed by three D-composers’ responses at St. Boniface Church in Lime Ridge, Wis., 11 miles southwest of Reedsburg, Oct. 5, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.

Contact us for a list of individual performers and their schedules.

Landowners And Farmers

Those providing space for the installations and tours each have unique stories of how they steward the land. For the first time at Fermentation Fest, farm tours will be offered: a grass-based and organic dairy; a dairy and beef operation with grain, a woodlot, sunflowers and vegetable crops; and retired farmers focusing on wildlife habitat restoration. Contact us for more details.

Featured Speakers

Gary Paul Nabhan of Patagonia, Ariz., research social scientist at the University of Arizona Institute of the Environment and author and

Nikiko Masumoto of Fresno, Calif., fourth-generation fruit grower, agrarian artist and author

Max Garland, Wisconsin Poet Laureate and U.W.-Eau Claire professor of English literature and creative writing, and

Community Revitalization Through Creative Placemaking

The Wormfarm Institute’s work to create connections among culture and agriculture, people and land, and rural and urban infuses rural communities with economic development. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) describes the Institute’s award-winning work as an innovative rural development strategy. For details contact Chris Beck at the USDA or Donna Neuwirth.


Reedsburg Fermentation Fest—A Live Culture Convergence, Oct. 4–13, 2013, Reedsburg, Wis. A multifaceted food and farming festival with a focus on fermentation—in all its forms. Featuring the 50-mile Farm/Art DTour along with performances, farm tours, and classes and tastings about fermented foods, cooking and farming. Featured speakers are Gary Paul Nabhan and Nikiko Masumoto. Explore, learn, taste and enjoy live culture. Learn more at

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About Wormfarm Institute

The Wormfarm Institute is an award-winning non-profit organization working to build a sustainable future for agriculture and the arts by fostering vital links between people and the land. Generating, supporting and promoting these links among our creative selves, our work and our place on earth are essential for a thriving community.