Fermentation Fest Converges Once Again

Touring Sauk County for Fermentation Fest 2015

It’s been a full month, but I’m still sighing with warm reminiscings of our Octoberfest Brewery Tour. The culmination of this glorious trip was Fermentation Fest in Reedsburg, Wis. We couldn’t have had a more flavorful or beautiful encore to our week than this.

In case you’ve missed my incessant promotions—deservedly so—Fermentation Fest is an annual, 10-day blending of agriculture, arts, food and appreciation of the land. Initially one considers this a rather eclectic mix, but once you experience everything the festival has to offer it all melds together in the most appreciative of ways. I find it especially exciting because in designing the event guide, I have the honor of being part of the event’s promotional team.

Fermentation Fest, Reedsburg, WI

Disregarding the well-worn travelers, check out this stunning entryway to the Fermentation Fest Headquarters. The building is a historic railway station and it otherwise serves as the Reedsburg Chamber of Commerce.

Details of Fermentation Fest entryway, Reedsburg, WI

Yes, these are the details of the entryway. It’s a collage of wine corks, seeds and beans all converging to represent the delightful elements of Fermentation Fest. Imagine the work put into this!

Lucky 13: Elephant in the Room, by Erika Nelson

This year our schedule didn’t allow us to participate in any of the food fermenting classes but we instead did the 50-mile Farm/Art DTour. The weather was glorious, the scenery stunning and the art installments were divine. Lucky 13: Elephant in the Room, by Erika Nelson, celebrates the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s announcement to discontinue using elephants in circus performances.

Fermentation Fest's appreciation of the land

Monday is Wash Day, by Brenda Baker

There’s something truly heartfelt about art displayed in the middle of such beautiful land. With her Monday is Wash Day, artist Brenda Baker pays kudos to the “historical and undervalued part of rural life.” I live in the country. I hang clothes to dry. So of course, I loved the story-telling thoughtfulness of this piece.

Meandering roads in Sauk County, WIsconsin

Farm structures in Sauk County, Wisconsin

Sauk County, WI

With meandering backroads, rolling hillsides and idyllic farm scenes,  Sauk County is a magical place. When we came upon Amish children riding home from their one-room school, my heart simply melted.

Red Piano, Fermentation Fest, Reedsburg, WI

Stevens Signs, Rock Springs, WI

Flood, by Molly Rideout, Rock Springs, WI

Flood, by Molly Rideout, Rock Springs, WI

Art comes in many forms: Music, architecture and storytelling. This story, Flood, by Molly Rideout, really hits home, given our fragile state of human relations. Must history always repeat itself? Can we ever learn to love one another?

antique farm machinery, Sauk County, WIsconsin

You can’t celebrate agriculture without appreciating its heritage. Farmhenge, created by Harlan Ferstl and the McCluskey Brothers was an arrangement of new and old farm machinery pieces. The artistry of old iron is beautiful, isn’t it?

So there you have it—my favorites of the Farm/Art DTour. You can see more beautiful shots posted by some of the 20,000 festival-goers who made this year’s Fermentation Fest the biggest and best yet. Check them out here!

Our previous Octoberfest stop: Leinenkugel’s Brewing Company

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