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Forget frozen, ditch delivery: Pizza farms thriving in MN, WI

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"Farm food" usually implies fresh, healthy ingredients.

"Pizza" usually makes people think of crispy melted cheese, fatty ingredients, unhealthy toppings, likely frozen ... basically, not "farm food."

But the two have found a marriage in the Midwest on so-called pizza farms.

CNN calls the pizza farm a growing trend, "particularly along the Mississippi River in Minnesota and Wisconsin."

The Associated Press recently published a lengthy story on pizza farms, saying they give local, small farmers an opportunity to make some extra money, while providing urban residents with an opportunity to get their food as fresh and natural as possible.

So what is it?

The deal, Explore Minnesota explains, is diners bring the non-food items – plates, utensils, picnic blankets, drinks, etc. etc. – while the farm bakes a fresh pizza using its available ingredients.

That, CNN says, means a "healthier, tastier, better-for-the-environment alternative" to most pizzas available.

At Midwest Living, a husband and wife team chronicled their journey to a couple of Wisconsin pizza farms, The Stone Barn and Suncrest Garden Farms. They write:

"With our number and drinks in hand, we head out to a table in the courtyard. Jazz plays, and other diners sip wine and talk quietly at their tables. Some head over to the antiques store housed in the old granary or snap photos in front of the cornfield at the courtyard's edge. A massive central planter holds basil, rosemary and other pizza herbs. All other toppings Pam gets as fresh and local as possible."

Chop't Creative Salad Company also recently wrote about their experience.

So where can you find these "magical places," as The Consumerist described pizza farms?

Explore Minnesota lists three options in the state: Red Barn Farm in Northfield; Two Pony Gardens in Long Lake; and Dreamacres Farm in Wykoff.

You can also check out the two in Wisconsin mentioned above, plus A to Z Produce and Bakery in Stockholm, and LoveTree Farmstead in Grantsburg.

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