We had a successful 2023 growing season of Test Plots! Taking their name from designated parts of a field where crops and agricultural techniques are trialed, Test Plots are nimble projects used as research for the biennial Farm/Art DTour.
Imagining the Future
Wormfarm collaborated with conservationist and writer Curt Meine to invite writers, artists and community voices to imagine thriving rural places 50 years into the future. We gathered essays, artworks, poems, and speculative fictions into a zine publication that was released October 7-8 at Fermentation Fest and is featured on our website.
Community and Ecology
This growing season, we've reimagined the foundational artist residency program. We've invited back former residents and Rural Urban FLOW artists to get dirty, eat well, make art, and collaborate with local conservation partners including Savanna Institute and Aldo Leopold Foundation. We'll share more as the summer continues.
The Final Phase
Artist Tory Tepp completed the final phase of his continually evolving Sauk County ARK installation this fall. As a group, we manually harvested a test plot of kernza, a robust, edible perennial grain related to wheat that holds promise for restoring degraded soil ecosystems. Fruits of this labor were made into crackers and bread at this year's Fermentation Fest!
The two-year cycle (Test Plots to DTour) gives time for these experiments to lead to new discoveries, build community friendships, and spark conviviality & joy as we gather artists, farmers and community leaders from southern Wisconsin and further afield.
2021 Test Plots included:
- Artist Tory Tepp and a local farming family collaborated to plant & harvest kernza in a field anchored by evolving earthworks created with local students
- DISCover Art Golf: nine artists installed temporary artworks in a disc golf course along the Baraboo River in downtown Reedsburg
- Rural Urban FLOW seed exchanges, shared meals, and a zine that invited poets to write odes that were composted and planted with seeds grown by CSA farmers
- Fermentation Fest teamed up with Grassland 2.0 for a rural revival & grazing renaissance, welcoming 2,000 visitors to the historic Witwen Park for delicious food, music in the tabernacle, bubble dancers, cow callers, cattail weavers and fermented concoctions.