REEDSBURG, Wis. — Wormfarm Institute and Grassland 2.0 are teaming up to host a new iteration of Wormfarm’s popular Fermentation Fest. The festival, dubbed Fermentation Fest: Grassland Edition, is dedicated to celebrating rural culture, regenerative grazing and the interwoven connections among art, dance, music, and perennial agriculture. The event will bring together folks from across the rural-urban continuum for a weekend jam-packed with local food, live music, demonstrations, tastings, dance performances, educational activities and more.
“Fermentation Fest: Grassland Edition is a celebration of rural culture and the power that regenerative grassland agriculture has to unite rural and urban communities. We are excited to share a great line-up of events – a ‘Grassical’ jamboree showcasing music that bridges grass roots and classical traditions, ready-made food and beverages, demonstrations, tastings – there will be something for everyone!” notes Laura Paine, grass farmer and the outreach coordinator for Grassland 2.0. “It will be a great opportunity to bring folks from Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and other areas to Sauk County to share good grass-fed food, great music and activities, and cultivate positive transformation on the land and in our communities.”
The festival will take place outdoors at the historic Witwen Park and Campground located 12 miles west of Sauk City, Wisconsin on September 25-26, from 11am to 6pm. A few program highlights include:
● A grass-fed cheese and cider tasting where participants will get to experience the unique flavors of grass-fed products and taste some of Wisconsin’s best grass-fed cheese paired with local cider from Brix Cider in Mount Horeb.
● A grazing demonstration and pasture walk of the Gasser Farm organized by Grassland 2.0 and Sauk County Land Resources and Environment.
● A performance by Kanopy Dance and the musical act Elm Duo, a duet with Michael Bell of Grassland 2.0 and his daughter Eleanor Mayerfeld, who will present songs ranging from Klezmer to classic French and English vocals of blues and jazz.
● A performance and participatory workshop on Kulning – a traditional form of cow-calling used in Norway and Sweden.
● A kombucha demonstration from health food expert Laura Poe Mathes followed by a workshop where participants can make their own water kefir and “ginger bug” to take home.
● Lou Bank from S.A.C.R.E.D. and brewer Dave Dietz from Hillsboro Brewing Company will introduce participants to a new world of chocolate, focusing on how different cacao nibs translate to beer while also exploring cacao seed varietals from the forests of Chiapas and Tabasco, Mexico.
● Musical acts including Katrin Talbot & Parry Karp who will bring the rich sounds of cello, viola, and poetry and Taylor Ackley and the Deep Roots Ensemble, performing a traditional American repertoire and original music, and more.
Many events at Fermentation Fest: Grassland Edition are free to attend but some music performances, fermentation workshops, and other special events require tickets. For full event details and to purchase tickets, visit fermentationfest.com.
About Wormfarm Institute
Wormfarm Institute is a nonprofit organization in Sauk County, Wisconsin working to build a sustainable future for agriculture and the arts by fostering links between people and the land. An evolving laboratory of the arts and ecology and fertile ground for creative work, Wormfarm explores the links between rural and urban communities within and beyond the food chain, creating opportunities for cross-sector collaboration. For more information, visit wormfarminstitute.org.
About Grassland 2.0
Grassland 2.0 is a collaborative group of producers, researchers, and public and private sector folks working to increase grasslands and grazing lands in Wisconsin and beyond. In the upper Midwest, annual cropping systems such as corn and soy cover more than ¾ of agricultural landscapes and cause significant environmental degradation. Economic instability and policies are driving farmers out of business and off the land. Restoring perennial grasslands and grazing lands can be less costly and more profitable, use less machinery, and be less work for farmers while benefiting consumers, the land, and our rural and urban communities. At Grassland 2.0, we are using an integrated approach to develop technical and financial tools for farmers, expand grass-fed markets, cultivate positive institutional policy changes, and empower producers and consumers in the journey to agricultural transformation.
— Grassland 2.0
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