What do you imagine when you hear the phrase "pizza farm?" A field of thin, crispy crusts? Tomato sauce lightly fading out to the horizon? Sprouts of mozzarella cheese randomly dotting the landscape? Light oil glistening in the sun?
You're probably imagining this!
It's okay, we all are.
Just the phrase "pizza farm" sounds like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Automatically you imagine machines cultivating slices of cheese and pepperoni pizza.
And even though that's not exactly how pizza farms work (sorry to burst that bubble), the reality of pizza farms is still pretty exciting!
A pizza farm is a farm that serves pizzas made from ingredients grown right there in the area, either on the farm's property or on neighboring properties. Sometimes the crops and livestock pens are even organized into "slices," made into the shape of a giant pizza, as is the case at "R" Pizza Farm in Dow, Illinois.
Pizza farms exist all over the country, but have recently become concentrated in the Midwest, specifically in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
"R" Pizza Farm, Dow, Ill
Most of these farms host pizza nights where the pizza of your choice is cooked in an outdoor brick oven, then you picnic on the farm and stuff your face full of pizza. People come from all over the country, road tripping to pizza.
One of the more notable farms is A to Z Produce And Bakery in Stockholm, Wisconsin, which has been doing this since 1998. A to Z's pizza nights start in February and go through October. They happen every Tuesday night, no matter what the weather conditions. Of course, for those brave enough to hit up a pizza farm in the Midwest in February, you can always get it to go, and some pizza farms have indoor facilities.
Are you hungry yet? Well, here are a few more reasons you and your tummy should get better acquainted with pizza farms.
Who doesn't like a bring your own booze situation? Drink what you want, save a bunch of money -- everyone wins. (Of course, a designated driver is a must.)
There's not much better than hanging out in the fresh air, away from the city, with good food and good friends. So throw down a blanket, bring some lawn chairs, whatever you need, and let's eat, drink and be merry.
3. FRESH, HOT PIZZA
Literally (well, not quite) FRESH out of the ground. You can't get fresher pizza than this. The good news is this will be the freshest pizza you've probably ever had. The bad news is every pizza from that point on will basically seem old.
It's so fresh, you'd swear pizza was made like this:
4. FASTER THAN FARM TO TABLE. IT'S LIKE FARM TO... TUMMY.
Farm-to-table restaurants are all the rage these days. These are restaurants that get a significant portion or all their ingredients straight from local farms. With pizza farms, you pretty much bring the table to the farm.
A to Z Farm And Bakery in Stockholm, WI
5. YOU'RE SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES
Supporting mom and pop businesses is very important. Many of these farms employ a small group of workers, and in the more rural areas, employment may not be as accessible. Much like tourist-heavy destinations, these farms grow to depend on visitors to help support the local economy.
6. GETTING PIZZA BECOMES A ROAD TRIP
Since these pizza farms are located in rural areas away from the city, this gives you a chance to take a road trip. Plot some extra stops along the route, see the sights, but never forget the ultimate goal: PIZZA. Come on, PIZZA ROAD TRIP??
Let's pause a second so you can stop smiling and drooling.
And how about class trips? How about instead of the farm museums, we take kids to the pizza farm. That's what they suggest at Cobb Ranch in Madera, California, possibly one of the oldest pizza farms in the country. Talk about tricking students into learning.
Mmmmmmmmm, delicious, tasty learning.
Pizza farm. Pizza road trip. Farm to tummy. How many sexy new food porn buzzwords do we have to unleash on you before you're convinced?