Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Farm/Art DTour?

The Farm/Art DTour is a free, self-guided excursion open from October 1-10. The 50-mile route winds through working farmlands in southern Sauk County, WI, where you will see artworks by local and national artists installed in farm fields, pasture performances, local food markets, and more. The majority of DTour activities take place along county roads.

Where do I get a DTour Map? Should I travel the DTour in a particular way?

DTour Maps are now available for free at the two Trailheads: the Kraemer Library & Community Center in Plain, WI, or the Sauk Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce in Sauk City, WI. We recommend starting at one of the two Trailheads, and using the DTour Map to locate the next stop. The route is shaped like a figure-8 (or infinity loop) and artwork is oriented to be viewed from the recommended direction of travel. So, you may not see everything, and experience the Map Stops numbers in a strange order, if you choose to go in a different direction (which is perfectly fine! Just something to note for navigation purposes).

When are the trailheads open?

The lobby of the Sauk Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce is open 8 am-8 pm. During the DTour, the Kraemer Library & Community Center is open 10 am-5 pm.

Where can I learn more about the DTour and region?

Read the 2022 DTour Guide, a 36-page literary zine of articles, artworks, poetry & recipes by a wide range of contributors from our region! You can pick up a free paper copy at both Trailheads and you might spot copies at your favorite spots throughout Wisconsin as well as Chicago and the Twin Cities. Click here to read the Guide online (scroll down to the Issuu).

Is there a schedule? What about pasture performances?

The majority of the DTour can be experienced from sunrise to sunset, October 1-10. There will be weekend Pasture Performances (weather permitting) as well as special events at the Witwen Food Chain. See the full calendar of events.

What are Offshoots?

Offshoots are attractions that are located 5 miles or less off the DTour route. Look for orange "Offshoot" signs on the road (and sometimes sandwich boards) that will point you in the right direction. Mileage from the route to each Offshoot is listed on the paper map.

What about Fermentation Fest?

In 2020, the pandemic prevented us from hosting our typical roster of in-person fermentation classes at Fermentation Fest so the Farm/Art DTour became the central focus. This year, we’re fully embracing that transformation and the DTour is now the banner event for all of the agri/cultural activities. Even though a full roster of fermentation classes wasn’t possible this year, there will still be some fermentation-related experiences.

How long will the DTour take?

The best way to experience the DTour is to take your time. Everyone goes at their own pace, but we recommend planning for 4-6 hours. If you’re doing the DTour all in one day, we recommend you follow the figure-8 route. If you have a couple of days, you might consider doing the east loop one day and the west loop the next.

I’m traveling from out of town. What should I pack?

It’s Wisconsin in the fall, so be prepared for any kind of weather. Check our Visitors’ Guide for nearby places to stay and eat (including places with outdoor decks and patios). In addition to a variety of inns, B&B’s, and motels, there are plenty of campgrounds.

Can I bike the DTour?

For those looking for a workout, there’s no better way to enjoy the sights, sounds & aromas of the DTour than on a bicycle. The driftless, hilly terrain is not for beginners, but experienced riders will enjoy this way of traveling the route. We encourage riders to start at one of the two trailheads to pick up a DTour Map and cycling cue sheet. Please be cautious when riding, as bikes share the road with cars, trucks, motorcycles, tractors & buggies.

Is the DTour free?

It sure is. The majority of DTour activities take place along county roads so it’s open to the public. In fact, some folks just stumble across the experience! We do require registration or tickets for some special events. While the DTour is free to attend, it’s hardly free to produce. Please consider joining our partners by making a tax-deductible donation to Wormfarm Institute. Donate here to help keep the DTour free for thousands of visitors.

Where’s the food?

Stop by the Food Chain at Witwen Park for ready-to-eat options, local delicacies and ferments from an array of vendors. Music, conversations, and an art shop too! Beer & Cider Tent open on weekends. You can check out this list of restaurants, taverns & cafes and also refer to the detailed Trailhead bubbles on the printed Map.

What about cell phone service or WiFi?

Depending on your carrier, cell phone service may be spotty throughout the DTour route. There will be WiFi access at both Trailheads and Bug Tussel is providing WiFi at the Witwen Food Chain.

Where are the restrooms?

We recommend using the restrooms in Plain or Sauk City before you start the DTour. Remember that the DTour is a drive in the country and facilities along the route are limited.

Are dogs allowed?

On a leash, yes.

What else should I expect?

There is a lot to discover on the DTour. See artwork inspired by the land, hear songbirds and pasture performances, smell fresh cut hay and campfires, discover roadside poetry around the next bend in the road, learn about the art of what farmers do everyday, and enjoy an abundance of local delicacies. Come closer and get curious!

I’m not comfortable traveling at this time. Are there virtual ways to enjoy the DTour?

We understand that everyone’s comfort level is different. Follow along on Instagram at @fermentationdtour for lots of photos and videos of the DTour, and everything else in-between at @wormfarm_institute. You can also sign up for our newsletter (scroll to the bottom of this page) and like our Facebook page.

What is the Wormfarm Institute? Do you really grow worms?

This is a common question! We do grow some worms but it is a part of our larger mission as a nonprofit organization working to build a sustainable future for agriculture and the arts. Our name is inspired by a Charles Darwin quote: “Every fertile grain of soil has passed at least once through the gut of an earthworm.” It all started with an artist residency program on a farm growing organic produce – and some worms – as part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farming model. Similar to how CSA’s help reconnect consumers with the source of their food, Wormfarm Institute works to connect urban and rural, people and land, culture and agriculture. An evolving laboratory of the arts and ecology, Wormfarm continues to explore these links and create opportunities for cross-sector collaboration.

Other questions?

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Ready to check out the DTour? Let us know your favorite part!

Use #FarmArtDTour to share your experience. Find us on Instagram at @wormfarm_institute and @fermentationdtour and like our Facebook page.