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Please contact:

Donna Neuwirth, Wormfarm Institute executive director

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Photo opportunities abound during this visual and performing arts event complemented with hands-on classes. Contact us for additional images.


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Come capture what interests your audience. Contact us to reserve your complimentary admission to classes, tastings and performances.

Press Kit

To receive a press kit by postal mail with the 20-page event guide, an area map and booklet about Reedsburg, contact Donna Neuwirth.

Press Release

Fermentation Fest’s Farm/Art DTour Explores New Route Of Farm Fields Growing Food, Art, Music and Poetry

REEDSBURG, Wis., Aug. 14, 2015 — As farmers harvest crops this fall, professional artists from around the country, regional performers and community members will transform the working landscape around Reedsburg, Wis., into a magical Farm/Art DTour exploring a new route through Sauk County’s farm country for the fifth-annual Fermentation Fest—A Live Culture Convergence, Oct. 2–11, 2015. In Reedsburg—55 miles northwest of the state’s capital, Madison, in rural south-central Wisconsin—chefs, scientists, brewers and cheesemakers will offer more than thirty classes and tastings about fermented foods, beneficial bacteria and the rural renaissance.

The multifaceted 10-day food and farming festival is “An opportunity for people to experience the beautiful land that sustains us through a celebration of live culture in all its forms—from dance to yogurt, poetry to sauerkraut,” explains event organizer Donna Neuwirth, executive director of the Wormfarm Institute.

The city of 9,000 is preparing to welcome about 17,000 people from the upper Midwest and beyond. The Fest has burgeoned since its inception in 2011 when 4,000 visitors meandered the first Farm/Art DTour, the Fest’s signature feature.

The Farm/Art DTour’s new route is this year’s highlight. Also new are limited-edition passports with special offers to enrich DTourists’ travels encouraging exploration across the county.

The Farm/Art DTour is a free and interactive, 50-plus-mile self-guided ride through working farmland punctuated by temporary art installations, pasture performances, field notes about agriculture, food stands and roadside poetry. Discover the DTour by car, buggy or bike, cue sheets and outfitters are available.

“Interest around the country is growing, for this event, for site-responsive public art and for a renewed connection to where our food is grown,” Neuwirth stated.

Expect to see an illuminated circus elephant, an ethereal ghost barn, stories told in storefront windows, a quilt painted by soil microbes and much more.

Giant chimes rising out of the land become an interactive percussion instrument, jars of fermenting vegetables make music, and classes and tastings invite visitors to explore live cultures and participate.

As you wind through the natural amphitheaters of this driftless area you’ll encounter dancers, acrobats and original music, such as the fourth annual DComposition concert by acclaimed Phox musicians Matteo Roberts and Zach Johnston on Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Before beginning the DTour stop at the Reedsburg Area Chamber Of Commerce to get a free 20-page event guide with driving map and daily specials. The event guide is also available throughout the state.

Downtown Reedsburg hosts more than 30 weekend classes and tasting events about fermented food and drink (kimchi, yogurt, hard cider, chocolate, cheese, beer, bread, etc.), preserving the harvest and more. Register for these online by Oct. 2 at

Featured speakers Dan Bussey and Rachel Reynolds Luster will address apple diversity in the Midwest and ways to strengthen small communities through a sharing economy.

Bussey operated an heirloom apple orchard and cider mill in Edgerton, Wis., for 24 years before becoming the orchard manager and apple historian for the Seed Savers Exchange of Decorah, Iowa. He will talk about his work at the Seed Savers Exchange and apple diversity in the Midwest.

Luster, a folklorist, fiddler and community organizer, will lead a discussion on reviving and supporting sharing economies, a variation of the barter system. Luster’s talk will address the value of sharing resources within communities to minimize monetary expenses and strengthen social ties. She has worked with her neighbors in Oregon County, Mo., to form the Oregon County Food Producers and Artisans Co-Op (OCFPAC). Luster’s interactive session will offer examples of how this view of land-based economy has worked through OCFPAC. She will engage the audience members to identify ways a sharing economy could work in their communities.

Connect with Fermentation Fest on Facebook at and on Twitter @FermFest.

Fermentation Fest is an initiative of the Wormfarm Institute, a nonprofit organization in Reedsburg that integrates culture and agriculture. It collaborates with Sauk County U.W.-Extension, the Reedsburg Area Chamber Of Commerce, public partners and sponsors to host this live culture convergence.

About Wormfarm Institute

The Wormfarm Institute is a nonprofit organization in Reedsburg, Wis., working to build a sustainable future for agriculture and the arts by fostering links between people and the land. An evolving laboratory of arts and ecology, and fertile ground for creative work, the Wormfarm explores the links between urban and rural communities within and beyond the food chain, creating opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. Learn more at


Fermentation Fest—A Live Culture Convergence, Oct. 2–11, 2015, Reedsburg, Wis. A multifaceted food and farming festival celebrating live culture in all its forms—dance to yogurt, poetry to sauerkraut. Featuring the 50-mile Farm/Art DTour, scenic farmland punctuated with temporary art installations, pasture performances and more. Classes and tastings about fermented food and drink, farming and the rural renaissance. Explore, learn, taste and enjoy live culture. Learn more at


For more information contact:

Donna Neuwirth, Wormfarm Institute executive director


To receive a press kit by postal mail with the 20-page 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 professional 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 performances.

Meet The Visual Artists

A six-member jury selected 10 professional artists and teams who will create large-scale temporary art installations in farm fields and storefront windows, and weave into gates and fences, taking inspiration from the working landscape, rich localhistory from geology to circus, folk-art traditions and the fermentation process. They are listed here, following their map stop numbers and installation titles:

Stop 1: Lucky 13: Elephant In The Room: Erika Nelson, Lucas, Kan.

Stop 2: Monday Is Wash Day: Brenda Baker, Madison, Wis.

Stops 6, 30, 34 and 41: Flood: Molly Rideout, Grinnell, Iowa

Stop 15: Tree From Within: Peter Krsko, Washington D.C.

Stop 19: Land Chimes: Joshua Lantzy and Jamie Topper, Chicago, Ill.,

Stop 22: An Axe To Grind: Baraboo Range Preservation Association, Baraboo, Wis. 

Stop 23: Ghost Barn: Sarah West and Christopher Field, Mt. Sterling, Ky.

Stop 32: ReBoot: Chris Lutter-Gardella, Minneapolis, Minn.

Stop 42: Fermentophone: Joshua Pablo Rosenstock, Somerville,

Several stops unmarked: A Mutual Curiosity: Thomas Ferrella, Madison, Wis.

For descriptions of these art installations visit this Web site page and click on the artists’ names or contact us.

The Performing Artists

Various 20-minute performances of music, dance and theatre occur both weekends on two unconventional stages in hay fields and cow pastures along the DTour. See Stops 3 and 23.

Contact us closer to the event for a list of individual performers and their schedules. There will also be surprise performances that crop up along the DTour route.

In addition is the fourth-annual DComposition Concert, a premiere of original music that explores themes of decomposition and renewal, Oct. 9, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., at the Old School Art Asylum in Lime Ridge, Wis., 11 miles southwest of Reedsburg, Wis. Tickets are $12.00 available online. Wormfarm’s DComposition project is a cycle of collaborations between composers who take excerpts or themes from previous D-Composition pieces and remix, rearrange and expand upon them to create a new musical experience. This year’s composers, Matteo Roberts and Zach Johnston, will perform a mixed-media tone poem that incorporates film images and recorded conversation with live music. Roberts and Johnston are Baraboo, Wis., natives and members of the acclaimed band PHOX,

See a partial list of performers and links to their Web sites here

Featured Speakers

Dan Bussey, orchard manager and apple historian, Seed Savers Exchange

Rachel Reynolds Luster, Oregon County MO Food Producers and Artisans Co-Op, folklorist, fiddler and community organizer

Landowners and Farmers

Those providing space for the installations, farm forms and performances each have unique stories of how they steward the land. Farmers and landowners hosting the DTour feature: grass-based and organic dairy, small and large dairy and beef, grain, woodlots, apple orchards, conserved wetlands, sunflowers, vegetable crops, and retired farmers focusing on wildlife habitat restoration. Contact us for more details.

Community Revitalization Through Creative Placemaking

The Wormfarm Institute’s work occurs across disciplines, connecting urban and rural, people and land, culture and agriculture. It serves as a national model for rural creative placemaking defined as asset–based community economic development with arts at its core. The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) describes the Institute’s award-winning work as an innovative rural-development strategy.