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Installations of all kinds are beginning to dot hillsides and pastures around Reedsburg ahead of the fifth annual Fermentation Fest Farm/Art DTour, beginning Oct. 2 and continuing through Oct. 11.

Presented by Wormfarm Institute, the 50-mile self-guided tour starts in Reedsburg and meanders through the hills and valleys of Sauk County, including the Loganville, Hill Point, North Freedom and Rock Springs areas.

“This is a new route, and landowners have been so generous in offering their property to this event,” said Wormfarm Executive Director Donna Neuwirth. “Even though the concept has been going on for four years, this will highlight another beautiful part of the county.”

This year installations will include audio and musical elements.

Various pasture performances will take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on both weekends along the route. Watch for the mobile roadside culture stands, where fresh and locally grown products will be sold. There also will be places to shop and eat, points of interest, and various attractions to consider.

“New this year we are offering passports for $35, which will help support the free cultural programming that thousands enjoy, and also will include special gifts and perks,” Neuwirth said. As in past years, a wide variety of classes are offered. Neuwirth encourages anyone who wants to learn just about anything about fermentation, from cider to sauerkraut, to register early.

The visual artists use a wide range of materials in the outdoor creative works situated on the property of the local landowners. Professionals presenting this year include:

  • Baraboo Range Preservation Association, Baraboo
  • Brenda Baker, Madison
  • Erika Nelson, Lucas, Kansas
  • Joshua Lantzy and Jamie Topper, Chicago, Illinois
  • Joshua Rosenstock, Somerville, Massachusetts
  • Molly Rideout, Grinnell, Iowa
  • Peter Krsko, Washington, D.C.
  • Christopher Field and Sarah West, Mt. Sterling, Kentucky
  • Thomas Ferrella, Madison
  • Chris Lutter, Minneapolis, Minnesota

One Madison artist is installing pairs of eyes that will appear to stare at passers-by in eight locations along the route. Using the theme of A Mutual Curiosity, the eyes of both people and animals in Sauk County were photographed and enlarged onto vinyl banners with night lighting added.

The work aims to show visitors and passersby that the local people are looking right back.

Other “farm form” creations of farmers, landowners, area businesses and community groups tie into the hillside artistry. One farm form entitled “Farmhenge,” created by brothers Pat and Brian McCluskey of Hill Point and Artist Harlan Fersti of Milwaukee presents farming through history, featuring both antique and present-day machinery arranged into a structure reminiscent of Celtic stone circles.

Eighteen quilt-style paintings on wood entitled “Gallery of Stitches” by Vicki Baumgarten and Ruth Roecker of Loganville add foreground color and intrigue to the large pasture with corn and woods as a backdrop.

For a complete list of events, presentations, and a route map, visit www.fermentationfest.com.