• Pizza farms: The Midwest's newest trend

    2016-12-16

    Pizza may not have originated in the U.S., but it's considered an American favorite alongside hamburgers and hotdogs. While the country is flooded with pizza parlors and Italian restaurants with menus that cater to pizza lovers, a new trend has started to pop up in the upper Midwest: Pizza farms.

    These unique eateries offer hungry diners a combination of breathtaking outdoor landscapes and mouthwatering pizza made on-site with organic cheeses, meats and herbs. Stop by one of these pizza farms on your next vacation to the Midwest and see what all the fuss is about.

    A to Z Produce and Bakery, Stockholm, Wisconsin
    One of the first pizza farms on the Midwest was Stockholm's A to Z, which opened up shop in 1998 for pizza enthusiasts. According to CNN, the farm is so popular that many people travel from Minneapolis - a 90-minute drive - just to experience a dinner on the farm, which often requires up to a two-hour wait.

    "A late night dinner on the farm with a blistered, yeasty crust topped with vegetables picked at their peak, sometimes augmented with a little happily raised pork - it is magic," Joy Summers, the Eater Minneapolis magazine editor, told CNN.

    Guests are allowed to bring their own drinks, as well as chairs and blankets for a true picnic experience. You'll get front row views of fields littered with cows, horses and sheep as you enjoy your freshly baked pizza - an experience that outsells a sticky booth in a crowded pizza joint.

    Two Pony Gardens, Long Lake, Minnesota
    Long Lake's newest pizza farm is attracting travelers from all across the country. What makes the destination such a hot spot for pizza lovers? The restaurant's website pointed out that Two Pony Gardens is one of the only pizza farms located in close range to a city. Andrew Bernhardt, a community food systems specialist, told Eater that it's the rare experience offered by pizza farms that attracts so many people to places like Two Pony Gardens.

    "They're selling an experience by letting people come to their farm, and I think there are a lot of people out there hungry for this experience," said Bernhardt.

    The easiest way to ensure a spot at the newest pizza farm is with reservations, which are available on select Saturdays each month and can be made on the farm's website. The pizza is known for its sweet tomatoes which are specially grown on the farm. The eatery also boasts 40 acres of rolling hills to gaze out at while guests enjoy their one-of-a-kind meals.

    Suncrest Gardens Farm, Cochrane, Wisconsin
    The Suncrest Gardens Farm focuses on catering to families looking for a true bonding experience. The Mpls.St.Paul magazine explained that it has special hours and is only open in the summer. Hungry guests can stop by on Thursday and Friday evenings from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. The garden also serves beverages, including ice-cold beers, which is a relief to many visitors who would have to carry a cooler to most other pizza farms. The source also noted that the farm is popular for group events and parties, hosting family reunions and friendly get-togethers with at least 30 people.

    "I know the stress involved when taking young children out to eat," Suncrest Gardens owner, Heather Secrist, told CNN. "Our farm is a great place for kids to run, spill and holler as they eat and play throughout the evening. The parents are happy as well as the kids."

    Swing sets and sand boxes cater to the young ones while adults relax and listen to the live music available most nights on the farm.

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