Pizza Done the Farm-to-Table Style

Pizza night on the Stoney Acres Farm in Athens, Wis. PHOTO: Stoney Acres

Pizza night on the Stoney Acres Farm in Athens, Wis. PHOTO: Stoney Acres

The farm-to-table concept is one that we keep revisiting often. And get a taste of almost everyday, be it in the hills of Thekkady, Kerala or in the Costa Rican valley. Farm-to-table can mean different things to different people. At its heart, it means that the food on the table came directly from a specific farm. Literally, the table could actually be at the farm and cooks or chefs prepare and serve the food at the farm (even in the field). Akin to what farmers in the Midwest are doing.

It’s a new way of doing business.

At Stoney Acres in Athens, Wis., the farmyard is transformed every Friday night between May and October — as hundreds of people come to order organic pizza. Two large, wood-fired ovens dominate the outdoor area between the barn and the farm’s commercial kitchen. Old picnic tables are scattered across the yard.

On one summer evening, Brenda and Josh Murray order one of the simpler pizzas: pepperoni. All the ingredients, except the cheese, are grown on the farm. The cheese is made at a neighboring family farm. Even the pepperoni and sausage are from hogs raised at Stoney Acres.

Kat Becker and Tony Schultz, the owners of Stoney Acres, have been selling weekly shares of their produce through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. They also produce honey and supply vegetables to a local school. But pizza is opening a new frontier for their farm.

“We’re developing some areas that are growing, but our CSA, which has been our backbone, which used to be about 85 percent of our income, is now a little bit less than 50 percent of our income,” Becker says.

Becker and Schultz started making pizza in 2012, exploring it as a new way to both connect with consumers and infuse some cash into the farm. Becker says that on very busy nights they have made between 230 and 240 pizzas.

Read more of this story from The Salt here.

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