Have you ever been to a pizza farm, much less an organic pizza farm? Have you ever even heard of one? I had not until I read an article in our local paper some time ago about this novel concept! Several different pizza farms were reviewed and we thought this was just too unique and fun sounding to pass up. We decided to drive to LoveTree Farmsted. According to their website,
LoveTree is an organic farm with 100 acres devoted to grazing and 100 acres devoted to wildlife habitat; they are primarily a cheese-making farm. What they were offering was called Pizza by the Pond. We invited friends to join us and we packed lawn chairs and our appetites and made the hour and a half trip to northern Wisconsin. We drove up a dirt road to the farm, parked and carried our chairs to our new adventure. We walked toward a makeshift grotto constructed with walls of old tires where the pizza is cooked. Their organic homegrown vegetables, herbs, meat and special cave aged cheese are piled on their fermented organic cage aged pizza dough! Oh My! Oh Yum!
A few tables and chairs were located in the grotto for dining, however, we chose to place our chairs in the small glade overlooking the pond. After all, they call this Pizza by the Pond! We then ordered our pizzas and watched as they were cooked in the wood-fired oven. Here are our friends enjoying the finished project.
We loved the concept of a pizza farm, so when another article appeared this summer, listing more pizza farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin, we became aware of how this novel idea was catching on. We were ready for another pizza farm adventure.
We chose to return to Wisconsin, this time traveling less than an hour to the Borner Farm Project in Prescott, Wisconsin, where they host semi-monthly community pizza night. The town has built up around the farm, so we were definitely in a neighborhood, however, once we entered the farmstead, we knew we were on an actual working farm and not just in someone’s yard.
To say it was festive would not be an understatement! It reminded me of the family picnics I attended when I was growing up: all ages, kids running around making their own fun in the outdoors, laughter, good food, community! This was pizza night on the farm! We brought our own utensils, blankets, and chairs and found a spot to hang out and relax.
Of course, on a working farm, the pizza ingredients change with the season, fitting right in with the Chinese concept of eating with the Five Seasons. The Five Elements: Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal, have a corresponding season, with its attributes and its foods. The belief is eating locally sourced foods, in season where we live, is especially nourishing for our bodies; we are “in sync” with nature.
During late summer, we experience the transition from the fiery energy of summer to the quiet yield of autumn; we are starting the decent from the Yang of summer to the Yin of winter. During this interim, the days are still hot, the evenings turn cooler, the sunsets come a bit earlier and the harvest begins to shift to the heartier foods of fall. We experience the Earth Element, which is the most stable of the Five Elements; the color for Earth is yellow and the flavor is sweet. What food personifies this season in Minnesota? Sweet corn, of course!
There was a long line to order and an hour wait to get our pizzas. No worries! This was a laid-back Friday night; no one was in a hurry. It was a crisp evening with a beautiful sunset, conducive to relaxing, people watching and exploring the farm. In keeping with the Earth season the specialty pizza was a fall harvest of sweet corn, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and onions. Cooked in wood-fired brick ovens, the pizzas were outstanding!
Having an opportunity for a behind the scenes tour of what sustainable, humane, organic farming looks like this past July, it was especially delightful to have a different experience provided by other organic farmers. As I said in my July blog, I am grateful to all small farmers who are committed to providing us a powerful source of energy to fuel and nourish our Chi! These pizza farms not only nourished the Chi of our bodies, they nourished the Chi of our souls.