Art Works Blog

Art Works Podcast: Wormfarm

In this week’s podcast, we talk to the co-founder of Wormfarm, Jay Salinas. "What is Wormfarm?" you may ask. Good question! Wormfarm, a recent Our Town grantee, is a 40-acre organic vegetable farm and creative hub in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. It was started 15 years ago by two artists, Salinas and his partner, Donna Neuwirth, both of whom are Chicago-born and bred. Though the pair had a lot to learn about farming, they brought with them a deep appreciation of culture in all its forms, not to mention a genuine curiosity about their new community. Wormfarm developed with the goal to recreate the link that once existed between culture and agriculture, as the word "agri-culture" implies. Salinas and Neuwirth have come up with innovative and intuitive ways to develop this connection: they have begun an artist-in-residency program in which artists are required to pitch in on the farm in return for time and space to create; they’ve opened a gallery in town where they present exhibits and readings that touch on specific geographic concerns (the current show is called Water Mark); and they'’ve launched a wildly inventive and very successful Roadside Culture Stand project. Just think of the vegetable stands we’ve all seen on country roads. But, as Salinas explains, the Wormfarm Culture Stands sell a lot more than apples.

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