Tag Archives: organic

An Organic Pizza Farm

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!

WWWaA 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.

Pizza06We 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 thePizza01 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.

Pizza05During 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! Pizza04This 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.

An Organic Farm Tour

We recently devoted a Saturday to an organic farm tour, sponsored by our local co-ops. When I saw the flyer, I immediately knew this was a timely and must-do adventure. On the designated day, we began with a local urban mushroom farm and ended with a small, family owned organic farm located a little over an hour south of the cities.

My earliest awareness of the connection of the food we eat and its potential impact on our health came when I was a young child. My sister and I fondly remember our Father reiterating, “Your body is a temple and you must honor it by eating healthy!”

2412965 - green alfalfa sprouts growing in a glass on white background My father’s advice took on additional meaning when I was a young mother and read a nutrition book entitled, “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit” by Adelle Davis. It made me aware of the high salt content, refined sugars, pesticides, growth hormones, preservatives and other additives present in the excessive processing of our foods. I began to change how I shopped for groceries and prepared meals for my young family. My first food co-op experience was going to the home of nearby neighbor who started a co-op in their garage. The only thing I remember of that experience is bringing sterilized glass jars to fill with natural peanut butter. At that time, I was sprouting my own bean sprouts and making yogurt from scratch. We had also planted a large vegetable garden in our back yard. During that period, a nearby church opened a food co-op in a small red house on their property. As a member, I wrapped cheese every Thursday morning at 7:00 a.m. That little co-op is what we now know as Lakewinds.

When I began reading Adelle Davis, my study of Feng Shui was many years in the future. When 73932498 - chinese farmer weeding in the been  field with hoethat time did come, I learned our kitchen, after our entryway, is the second most important room in the house. The Chinese attach great importance to the kitchen and revere the cook. The kitchen is the room in which the cook prepares the food that fuels our energy (Chi) and nourishes us spiritually and emotionally. Of course, in an ancient agrarian culture, the food was raised, grown and prepared by the people who owned the land; there were no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. Food was inherently healthy! And to keep it healthy from land to table, the ancient practice of Feng Shui advises us to be mindful of our personal energy during food preparation. Why? It is believed the energy of your mood is absorbed by the food you are preparing and affects everyone who partakes of it!  If you are upset, angry or sad, avoid preparing food for yourself or for your family! Now that is food for thought!

42039528 - gas burning from a kitchen gas stoveOf course that ancient wisdom was based on food preparation from scratch at home and over an open fire. Since, we’ve moved from open fire to gas stoves to electric ranges to microwaves. We moved from locally grown food to grocery stores where packaged and frozen foods became available. We became accustomed to the “convenience” of pre-prepared, fast foods and supermarkets, where almost anything we desire to eat is available from almost anywhere in the world, prepared by unknown people in unknown environments. Many of us have been eager participants in this “luxury” until, that is, our awareness of the connection of the food we eat and its impact on the health of our bodies and our environment began to filter back in.

 “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.”–Brillat-Savarin

  Two blogs from modernpioneermom.com. provide fascinating reading on the history of processed foods from the 1910s to the 1950s and from the 1960s to today.

Recently,  when talking with a local butcher at a major grocery store, I expressed concern about what humanely raised and cage free labels really mean and if we can trust them. Unfortunately, he reinforced that concern! But, as luck would have it, the opportunity to tour the organic farms presented itself, affording the opportunity to learn first hand what organic, humanely raised and cage free look like.

MushroomsWe began our tour at Mississippi Mushrooms.This urban farm is fascinating and, fortunately, they are open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 to 2:00. If you love mushrooms, this is a must visit!

From there we visited two additional farms and were absolutely delighted to meet young farm families committed to growing and raising healthy, sustainable food. We saw chickens Chickenprovided with lots of room to free range, not on gravel, but on vegetation. We were introduced to hogs that have their own names. Touring the farms and hearing the passion of the farmers for creating “real food” reinforced our intention to support our local food co-ops and farmer’s markets. For specific information, check out TC Farm.

Having an opportunity for a behind the scenes tour of what sustainable, humane, organic farming actually looks like was both eye opening and encouraging. I am grateful to all small farmers who are committed to providing us a powerful source of energy to fuel and nourish our Chi! Please support them! The quality of our lives, and our planet, depends on it!