Grassland 2.0 and Wormfarm Institute partnering for Fermentation Fest: Grassland Edition September 25th and 26th

The 2020 FoodChain Festival hosted by Wormfarm Institute and held at Witwen Campground

Grassland 2.0, a USDA-funded project working to transform agriculture so that it works for everyone, is happy to announce that it is partnering with the Wormfarm Institute to host Fermentation Fest: Grassland Edition! The festival features a two-day jamboree of live ”grassical” music, fermentation tastings and demonstrations, grazing demonstrations, art activities and local food. The event will showcase the promise and possibilities of regenerative agriculture to support healthy ecosystems, communities and people across the rural-urban continuum.

The open-air tabernacle at Witwen Park and Campground. Image by TKTK

The festival will take place Saturday & Sunday, September 25 and 26 from 11AM to 6PM at the historic Witwen Park & Campground in Sauk City, Wisconsin – a beloved destination for social gatherings for more than a century. Witwen Park features an open-air tabernacle built in 1918 that will feature a series of concerts, a gazebo for a variety of musical acts, and a gathering space for fermentation tastings and demonstrations.

“Wormfarm Institute is a great organization. Last year, Grassland 2.0 collaborated with Wormfarm to highlight the voices of and stories of Wisconsin graziers at their 2020 Farm/Art D’Tour. We are excited to partner with them again this year on their signature event – Fermentation Fest,” notes Michael Bell.

Bell leads the education work for Grassland 2.0 and is professor and chair in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology at UW-Madison. “This will be a great opportunity to bridge the missions of both organizations and share the benefits and promise of managed grazing and perennial agricultural with a diverse group of folks.”

Central to the Fest will be the Grassical Jamboree. This showcase of grassical music ‒ music that bridges grass roots and classical traditions ‒ will feature both nationally and locally known groups. As well, Grassland 2.0’s own Michael Bell will be performing as part of the Elm Duo, a duet with his daughter.

Among the musicians in the Grassical Jamboree will be Cait Vitale-Sullivan, a graduate student in Agroecology. She will give a performance of Scandinavian music in the tabernacle, including a performance of Kulning – a traditional cow-calling from Norway and Sweden. She will also offer participatory workshops on kulning both days.

Graduate students Kase Wheatley and Hannah Kass will also be leading sessions. Wheatley will be leading participatory ‘Grassroots Theater’ and Kass will be leading a ‘zine-making session and sharing her grazing-themed Gra-zine.

The festival will also feature local food vendors and ready-made food and beverages in what promises to be a fun polycultural rural revival. The event will be held outside and while concert tickets and special fermentation events will be available for purchase online, many events will be free to attend.

So save the date!… and be sure to check for more information and tickets in the coming weeks!

Image of the 2020 FoodChain Festival
Family around the Food Chain campfire on the 2020 Farm/Art DTour. Image by Wormfarm Institute

Fermentation Fest: Grassland Edition is organized by Wormfarm Institute in collaboration with Grassland 2.0. Support for Fermentation Fest comes from the Educational Foundation for America, National Endowment for the Arts, Wisconsin Arts Board, Sauk County Extension Arts & Culture Committee, and anonymous donors.