What’s a Pizza Farm?
Whatever it is, Wisconsin's got plenty of them.
Contrary to the name, these farms do not pluck pizzas out of their fields. But they do serve up pies fresh out of a wood-burning oven and topped with what’s grown or harvested on the farm, such as mushrooms or sausage, and a tomato-rich sauce. Some even go further by topping with farmstead cheese or growing their own grains to make the dough. What’s not on-site is sourced locally. Remember the 100-mile diet? This is basically it, although seriously shrunk in its footprint. Pack a blanket or comfy folding chairs and head out to these farms. Just know that the trend is so—pardon the pun—piping hot that pre-orders are encouraged because pizzas do run out. This only means that your pizza is in the bag, totally guaranteed.
Amy Ellis Photography
A to Z Produce and Bakery
With its first pizza-farm event in 1998, this is likely the first example of this genius food concept in the Dairy State. What Robbi Bannen and Ted Fisher bring to the pizzas—which are baked in a brick oven—are flours culled from wheat grown on their 80-acre farm, then ground in a stone mill; vegetables sliced and diced for toppings; and pasture-raised pork.
A to Z Produce and Bakery
Suncrest Gardens Farm
Choosing not to shutter after the snow falls, the farm opens up indoor seating in its barn as part of its “Winter Pizza” offerings (select dates in February and March). Year-round, pizzas are baked in a wood-burning oven. Gluten-free crusts can be made upon request (personal-sized only) and topped with vegan cheese if desired. Owner Heather Secrist is so green-minded she’s even sourced a cardboard pizza box perforated to cut into four “plates.” Live music accompanies the events often and there’s a cash bar for wine, beer, and sodas—with mostly local roots.
Amy Ellis Photography
The Stone Barn
Matt and Marcy Smith are the fourth family to own this 35-acre farm, which dates back to the 1890s, and happily continued a tradition set forth by the previous owner in 2006: pizza nights. Their organically grown herbs and meat (locally procured lamb, sausage, and chorizo seasoned in-house) top a menu of 11 signature thin-crust, Neapolitan-style pizzas baked in a wood-fired brick oven. Choose from fun twists like Alaskan (smoked salmon and cream-cheese sauce) and Modena (includes balsamic chicken). Tack on beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages—as well as ice cream for dessert—to your order. Seating is both indoors and out (and less subject to weather). Wait out your pizza’s baking time while playing yard games.
The Stone Barn
WHERE: East Troy
Megan and Chaz Self bought this 210-acre, certified-organic farm in 2016 and quickly got started on a few priorities, including rolling out “pizza on the farm” (they also opened a health-food store on the farm). Live-music concerts and viewing cows at pasture are your treat while you dine or wait for your order. Ancient grains grown nearby are folded in with the farm’s cheese and meat toppings, with veggies bought from a local farm’s community-supported-agricultural program. Gluten-free crusts can be made upon request. No need to pack drinks: you can snap up beer, wine, hard cider and seltzer, and non-alcoholic options here.
Borner Farm Project
Located in the heart of a small town (pop. 4,276) along the Mississippi River in Northwest Wisconsin, this working farm may hum on a tiny slice of land (about one acre) but goes big when it comes to pizza nights. Chemical-free vegetables (like peppers, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, onions, garlic tomatoes, and basil) top pizzas or—with basil, tomatoes, and garlic—are churned into the sauce for these pizzas, baked in two wood-fired brick ovens. You can easily make a multi-course meal out of this thanks to a menu of starters and desserts, plus drinks (alcoholic and non).
Borner Farm Project/Facebook
If you’re totally into the boho-chic vibe, this pizza farm is for you. Engaged couples even opt to swap their “I dos” here via the farm’s “Un Weddings” package. Meat to top the pizzas comes from local farms while vegetables are harvested at the farm. There’s also a “fully stocked bar,” say the farm’s owners. Not ready to go home? You can rent a one-room cabin or pitch a tent. And if you have a talent other than eating pizza, consider coming on a Thursday night for open mic.
Stoney Acres Farm
The third-generation owners of this farm don’t just make darn good pizza in a wood-burning brick oven: they also craft amazing beer (ciders, bocks, lagers, and stouts). Try both on a visit, perhaps in the new indoor beer hall. Wine drinker? No problem. California wines are also poured. Pizza options include “five veggie” (changes each week based on what’s in season), cheese, sausage, pepperoni, and—come July, when basil is fresh—Margarita. Cheese is sourced from local creameries and the crust born out of the farm’s whole organic spring wheat, plus vegetables and meats harvested on-site. Vegan or gluten-free tweaks can be accommodated.
Stoney Acres Farm/Facebook
Andy Watson (who used to work in fine-dining, farm-to-table restaurants such as Harvest in Madison) bought into the pizza-farm trend in 2019, cultivating a festive environment on the certified-organic, 20-acre farm where he grew up, 20 miles from Madison. One example is live music during “Pizza on the Farm” events. The farm’s vegetables often make appearances on pizzas, which can pivot to gluten-free crust or vegan cheese if you like, or be DIY with your dream ingredients. There are also nine signature pies (such as Margarita or Triple Pepper) and sides like calzones and garlic bread, even gluten-free desserts. Sip a beer from a woman-owned, certified-organic Madison brewery: Giant Jones Brewing Company Double IPA.
Winghaven Pizza Farm
Since 2017, this pizza farm has been manned (literally: its owners are Rob Grover, whose family has farmed here since the 1850s; and his buddy Greg Roskos) by the fifth generation. Stone-fired, thin-crust pizzas are accompanied by—for the kids—play equipment and, for all ages, live music. There are even the wacky but tasty “Soft Bavarian Pretzels”: Milwaukee Pretzel Co.’s soft Bavarian-style pretzels slathered with pizza seasoning and garlic butter before baked in the same oven as the pizzas. Gluten-free crusts upon request and Ellsworth Creamery’s fresh cheese curds tide you over until the order’s ready. Locally derived craft beers and wines are available, too. Curious about the name? It’s an ode to the property’s former chapter, as Winghaven Orchards.
Winghaven Pizza Farm/Facebook
Stone Bank Farm Market
WHERE: Stone Bank
Located near Oconomowoc, in a tiny village 32 miles west of downtown Milwaukee, this example of a slightly urban farm hosts occasional pizza nights. These are paired with tractor rides, live music, and lawn games. Guests are also encouraged to make their own ‘za. Arrive early to roam the gardens and say hi to the cows. Tucked into a former church, complete with a steeple and crisp-white exterior, is the market with to-go meals, specialty meats, vegetables grown on-site, and a bakery line rivaling anything in France (seriously, the lemon-blueberry scone is far from dry).
Stone Bank Farm