Now that it’s nearly winter, we’re collating data and relishing memories of the complex creativity and camaraderie of Fermentation Fest, our annual Live Culture Convergence. Over 15,000 visitors came from five countries, 20 states, and all over Wisconsin to experience the Fest’s signature event, the 50-mile Farm/Art DTour. This enthusiasm surprised and thrilled us, prompting new ideas for next October and continued exploration of the fertile intersection of culture and agriculture.
Great press has great power to both spread the word and amplify our work. Wormfarm Institute had its share this year. Although the New York Times may be the most prestigious publication in which we were mentioned (“Green Acres, the Place to Be” 08/29/14), our favorite headline appeared in the Green Bay Gazette, “Fermentation Fest Celebrates Controlled Rot.” Written by Wisconsin travel writer Mary Bergin, she recognized that some of the most engaging things to experience can be works in progress, temporary wonders, places in transition—where borders dissolve, and disciplines converge.
We ask for your help at this exciting time to feed the starter culture for 2015. Please consider giving a tax-deductible donation to Wormfarm today. Fertile places were found throughout Wormfarm’s 2014 programs, which we will build upon for next year:
- Our Artist Residency Program hosted 12 artists from Australia, Ecuador, Spain and the U.S., including two sculptors, a ceramicist, fiber artist, composer, and Holy Sheboygan, a seven-piece band of farmer/ fermenters who experienced the agri/cultural immersion that is the heart of a Wormfarm residency.
- Roadside Culture Stands through the Food Chain Project linked entrepreneurs, producers, and community based organizations along a rural/urban continuum with new collaborations in Milwaukee and Chicago with Arts@Large, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and The Mycelia Project.
Our 2nd annual Decomposium brought together poets, scientists, farmers, musicians and resulted in the creation of four original musical compositions inspired by decomposition (the rot goes on!).
- The fourth annual Fermentation Fest hosted 40 classes from kefir to mezcal and thousands of visitors traveled the DTour to see temporary art installations in farm fields, pasture performances, and more––all free of charge. Local business benefitted, community pride swelled, farmers’ work was celebrated. Join us in October 2015, when the DTour route will shift to another part of Sauk County, highlighting four new communities through beautiful working land and striking natural landscapes.
Help us take the current abundance and do what fermenters have always done: make it last. Make a contribution that is critical to the growth of our 2015 season. We can’t wait to share it with you!