Have you heard about the A to Z Pizza Farm in Stockholm, Wisconsin? It’s a truly unique experience and an honor to be able to spend an evening on the farm enjoying the art and ambition of a couple of foodies and their family. I’m not going to attempt to recreate the evening for you or describe the experience. Others have done a fabulous job with that already and their links are below, but I am going to leave you with some suggestions because the Pizza Farm experience has some quirks.
Pizza Time: The A to Z only does the pizza thing on Tuesdays.
Drive Time: The farm is open for business at 4:30 and it takes about an hour and a half to get there from Minneapolis. I would recommend leaving no later than 3:30 because all the orders for pizza are taken in the first two hours of business. If you arrive later than 6:30 you run the risk of being greeted by the “Sold Out” sign. I would estimate they prepare approximately 350 pizzas each Tuesday night.
Bathrooms: The farm has a conventional bathroom as well as a composting “Bran Can” so you won’t suffer while you are waiting for your your pizza. However, the lines are very long so I highly recommend unless you want to make lots of new friends, you take a bathroom stop in Red Wing or some other place before you reach the farm.
Arrival Time: If you arrive late, the cars will be lined up for a great distance from the farm. I would recommend you pull up to the driveway, unload your gear and send someone on to park who won’t mind a little work out.
Gear Gathering: The farm provides the pizza, the rest is BYO EVERYTHING. If you have time, it’s great fun to do it up Martha Stewart style with a table, table clothes and candelabra, but you can also keep it simple by bringing only picnic blankets. Remember, whatever you might want, you will need to bring. A light jacket is highly recommended as it gets cool when the sun goes down.
Line Time: When you arrive, you will wait in line to order your pizza. There is a board describing seven or eight pre-designed pizzas to choose from. All the ingredients for the pizzas are grown on the farm, so they have lots of veggie varieties, but also offer meat selections. Our group ordered a Margharita with fresh tomatoes, cheese and basil, a Four Cheese and Tomato, a couple of “Happy Piggies” and a couple of Italian Gardens. The Italian Garden had fresh tomatoes, zucchini, beets, garlic, onions, fennel and swiss chard. You will order and be given a number for each pizza. They will take your name and you can watch the numbers board to check to see how much longer it will be until your pizza is ready. You’ll most likely have a lot of wait time.
Wait Time: While you are waiting for your pizza you can take a little tour of the farm, stroll through the fields, check out the animals and visit with your friends. We didn’t get our pizzas until well after nightfall, so come prepared.
The Farm Pizza experience is worth it, and hopefully this information will help you be well prepared for your trip.
The waiting in line to order line.
The “Sold Out” sign went up around 6:30.
Notice the number is 135. We had numbers 307-312 - almost two hundred pizzas to wait.
While you wait you can watch the ballet of pizza making,
visit with your FarmBoy friends,
enjoy your surroundings with the real Farm Boys,
or relax in some comfortable chairs.
You’ll want to bring a first course. We brought a Caesar Salad and an Heirloom Tomato Basil Salad. We also ate dessert well before the pizza arrived: Cheesecake, Caramel Apple Pie, Eclairs and Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Expect great people watching! It was a beautiful crowd.
The animals were fun to see.
Plan to take a stroll through the fields.
You can see all the veggies that go on the pizzas growing in the fields.
It will start to get dark and a little chilly. Make sure you bring something warm to throw over your shoulders when the sun goes down.
If you take kids make sure they have lots of options. Some folks brought lawn games – not a bad idea. Max practiced cartwheels, hand stands and flips.
He also took funny pictures of the animals.
The wait is almost over – only twenty more pizzas to go!
Yeah! A big cheer goes up when your name is called. Your pizza is ready.
A trip to the A to Z Pizza Farm is a quintessential part of a mid-west summer experience – truly a must do, but an experience that requires a little planning ahead and the knowledge that it will be a late night if you don’t get there early.