Harvestores on the Horizon

Harvestores on Horizon, Long Lake Road near Brillion, Wisconsin (1.31.2014) © J. Shimon & J. Lindemann

Harvestores on Horizon, Long Lake Road near Brillion, Wisconsin (1.31.2014), Cyanotype Print,
© J. Shimon & J. Lindemann

Driving across Wisconsin, Harvestore® silos punctuate the Wisconsin landscape with their verticality and glimmer. The iconic blue silos were the ultimate vessel for fermented silage (animal feed) used on dairy farms. Made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by A.O. Smith, the structures became a symbol of progressive farm practices. From 1949 until 1984, 75,000 Harvestores sprung up across North America until sales bottomed-out. Small farms struggled, the silo unloading mechanisms malfunctioned then feed storage went horizontal (ag-bags and covered piles) to better service the 21st century industrial farms. In less than a half century, the Harvestore went from state-of-the-art to relic.

In collaboration with Worm Farm Institute, we designed a band shell to be made of salvaged Harvestore® parts for  Fermentation Fest October 2014 near Reedsburg, Wisconsin. An Indie Go Go campaign raised $6,500 to purchase parts, hardware, lumber, and supplies. The band shell stage hosted a number of scheduled and impromptu performances including J. Shimon and Lawrence University music conservatory colleagues (see below). Plans are in motion to reinstall it permanently in Reedsburg, Wisconsin in 2015.

We Go From Where We Know with John Shimon (guitar), Brian Pertl (Tibetan horn), Leila Ramagopal Pertl (Harp), John Gates (Metal) performance in Harvestore Bandshell, Fermentation Fest, Lime Ridge, Wisconsin, October 12, 2014. Photo by Paul Gaudynski

We Go From Where We Know with (L to R) John Shimon (guitar), Brian Pertl (Tibetan horn), Leila Ramagopal Pertl (harp), John Gates (metal) performance in Harvestore Bandshell, Fermentation Fest, Lime Ridge, Wisconsin, October 12, 2014. Photo by Paul Gaudynski

View the We Go From Where We Know improvisational performance on YouTube

Read Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Review 10.17.2014 by Mary Louise Schumacher

Hear Wisconsin Public Radio 7.31.2014 segment by Patty Murray

View The Wisconsin Project Blog

View Indie Go Go Havestore Bandshell Campaign Archived Post

Read about Fermentation Fest

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