There’s an agricultural trend that’s been taking root the Midwest since the late-’90s, and it’s pizza farms. Pizza. Farms.
No, this doesn’t mean farmland where pizzas are springing up from the earth, but it’s the next best thing. An increasing number of farms in places like Wisconsin and Minnesota are hosting pizza nights, serving pies made in wood-fire ovens from their own fresh crops, with locally sourced toppings based on what’s in season.
There are pizza farms all over the country, but most, like Suncrest Gardens Farm, are in the Midwest, where the pizza nights create extra income for small farms. The pizza nights are usually picnic-style, with visitors bringing their own plates, utensils, blankets, towels, and chairs, and expected to clean up after themselves.
One of the first Midwestern farms to start hosting pizza nights is A to Z Produce and Bakery in Stockholm, Wisconsin, which started the ingenious tradition in 1998. Since then, other farms have followed suit, and each has its own selling point. Suncrest Gardens is particularly family friendly; children are freer to run wild than on other farms. There’s also live music. Two Pony Gardens, in Long Lake, Minnesota, is particularly close to a city, making it a more convenient trip than most pizza farms, which can take two hours to reach from the closest metropolitan area.
Pizza farms do have elements that require more diligence on the part of visitors than the average pizzeria. The animals are usually fenced in, but the fences tend to be electric, so it is generally a good idea to give them and their fences space. The same goes for fields on unpicked crops. That said, exploring the farm is usually encouraged as part of the unique and delicious experience.
Know Before You Go
Different pizza farms host their pizza nights on different days and at different hours. It is a good idea to call or email ahead and make sure they have room rather than just showing up.