Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Farm Art DTour

Sunflower fields near Reedsburg
Fall is lovely in Wisconsin, especially if you can drive through the rolling farmlands on the western side of the state when hay is being harvested and cows still dot the pastures.  There's an event that is well worth seeking out, should you want to see this for yourself- Fermentation Fest hosted at Reedsburg, WI.

The festival itself embraces all things fermented- kimchi, beer, and yogurt to name a few.  The classes fill up fast, but it you have time and plan ahead, you can learn a lot, judging by the classes they offer. There is also music and places in the community where you can bike, eat, and buy produce.

I went with a young friend and my son.  It was a pleasant day.  We drove across the state from Milwaukee, taking lunch and a short duck boat ride on the Wisconsin River at Wisconsin Dells to break up the long drive. If you've never done this, you have to try it.  It's an incredibly heavy machine that can drive like a tank, but then bring up the wheels so it can float on the water.  They were used during WWII, but not for long.  They aren't very energy efficient, but they can move troops and supplies.  These Ducks are surplus.  We also stopped by Madison to visit the Dane County Farmer's Market enroute.  This is the largest Farmer's Market in the US, but in fall is generally much smaller than summer.  There was still plenty to see and buy.
The capitol as seen from Monona Terrace at Madison

Anyone selling has to be the producer so you can get canned products from farms

Colorful peppers for sale

View of Wisconsin River from the Duck
We went only for the driving tour, called the Farm Art DTour.   This was a 50 mile route through the agricultural area surrounding Reedsburg.  It's well marked by signs for the event, and you could download a map with narration about each of the stops.  Just because it's 50 miles, don't believe you can do it in an hour.  If you plan to stop at every installation (and there were more than 30 of them), it could take you all day.  We talked to someone who had done all of them in 6 hours.  We drove the entire route but only paused briefly at a few.  We began the tour later in the day when most of the live performances were already done.  There was a fuel pitstop included in the tour, so don't worry too much if you're hovering low on the gas gauge.  They are changing the route for next year, so you won't see the same farms or art installations.  This will give you an idea of what you can see.  It's free to do the tour.

Decorated Corn Cribs

A collection of historic tractors put out by a number of local residents

Pigs escaping their fence- these were huge!

A plein air artist painting the pigs

They made the local waterfall part of the tour

There were a variety of these signs telling you about local history, scenery, and lore

A lovely throne encased in mirrored tiles

At an Amish farm, my son fell in love with the goats

Amish Laundry

Amish mules ready to take people on a ride through the woods

We saw many creative uses for these large hay bales

Yes, it definitely is wealth


No comments:

Post a Comment