This wiki platform supports vision of non partisan urban rural culture exchange across geographic and identity boundaries that will have an impact during the 2020 Iowa Caucus season, bringing competence, empathy, the Golden Rule, and hope to the candidate gatherings of all relevant political parties.

Wormfarm Institute, Sweet Water Foundation, UW Cooperative Extension Rural Urban Exchange Conversations

Wormfarm First Draft

The recent election put the reality of an urban rural divide in high relief while many of our peers are building bridges between urban and rural places, cultivating a genuine growing interest in what each of us can bring to a shared table. Art and food are the chief currency in these exchanges and traveling outside ones neighborhood or news feed may be essential. Our programs and the Farm /Art DTour in particular seems to have resonated by linking; art and food, people and land, rural and urban. Our programs work to affirm our connectedness across sectors, geography and divisive politics while being deeply yet subtly non-partisan.

Wisconsin after a generation of being just barely “blue”was flipped and Sauk County, where we are based, was reportedly the closest county race in the country. This recent national attention paid to this part of the country may an opportunity to study and learn from this inflection point.

The rural diaspora is a global reality, however, agricultural recreational and natural resources remains rooted in rural sparsely populated places upon which we all continue to depend. Aldo Leopold, the brilliant & prescient author of A Sand County Almanac reminds us that “populated” can be thought of more expansively. He posits a “biotic community” that consists of: people, animals, plants and the land itself.

Our best known program, Fermentation Fest explores the literal and metaphorical implications of this universal process a Fermentation demonstrates how the small, even microscopic agents of change can have a beneficial impact upon our lives. As a microbiome can influence our physical and mental well-being we believe that art can serve as a powerful social probiotic, inoculating our systems to process input in a more salubrious fashion As our work l evolves we hope the growing populations of our cities come to believe that Rural is not “them”, it is an important part of “us”. (not sure why this last sentence is here)

A 2011 recent article by architect Rem Koolhaus asserts that overlooked rural areas are actually laboratories of transformation “…too little attention is paid to the countryside, where change is happening at a faster rate than in most cities.” In this illustrated essay, he argues that architects need to take stock of a new agricultural revolution”   

Last edited by Godsil.   Page last modified on February 14, 2017

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