If you’ve been around here for a while, you may recall that the DTour, where live cultures converge, started in 2011 as a feature of Fermentation Fest. It has since become a key and growing component, offering a new way of seeing the landscape to the tens of thousands of visitors who make the 50-mile journey through Sauk County’s farmland.
In 2020, the pandemic prevented us from hosting our typical roster of in-person fermentation classes at the fest. Since viewing the site-responsive artwork and experiencing the DTour itself was well-suited for this new reality of social distancing, this program which had anchored the ten-day event became the central focus of Fermentation Fest that year. We were thrilled to still welcome more than 18,000 visitors to Sauk County to travel the DTour free of charge, while also supporting over 100 artists and performers and connecting local farm stands, shops, restaurants, and cottage food entrepreneurs to new customers. If you’re reading this, there is a good chance you helped make this possible—thank you!
This year, we’re formally embracing that transformation. The Farm/Art DTour will now be the banner event for the art, performances, roadside poetry, food, and all the agri/cultural experiences we’re organizing this fall. Keeping with the theme of “a live culture convergence,” there will still be fermentation-related experiences that bubble up from time to time over the ten days (don’t worry, you’ll still be able to enjoy local beers, cheese and sourdough!), but without the roster of fermentation classes.
At its heart, fermentation is all about transformation so the fest taking on a new form was inevitable. We look forward to sharing more with you as plans develop. In the meantime, mark your calendars for October 1-10 and stay on the lookout for more details about this event under the Farm/Art DTour name. We hope to see you there!
Dan S. Wang reflects on a conversation with participating DTour landowner Scott Sprecher.
Elena Byrne profiles farming family William & Alma Gasser and DTour artist Tory Tepp.