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With inflated prices and production costs, family
farms are taking the matter into their own hands by embracing the farm-to-table
strategy throughout the Midwest. Stoney Acres in Athens, Wisconsin, has been transforming its quarters into a summer food destination for organic pizza since 2012.
Every Friday night from May to October, hundreds
of people flock to Stoney Acres for a taste of its farm-to-table pizza, for
which all the ingredients are straight from the farm (even the sausages and
pepperonis come from the hogs raised on the premises)—with the exception of
cheese. That is made at another nearby family farm. With two large wood-fired
ovens in the outdoor communal kitchen, aligned with vintage picnic tables in the
yard, the Stoney Acres pizza experience is every family's dream.
never experienced anything like it before," customer Sarah Lakewood told
NPR. "It got to the point where we were coming every week and, then, when
we were here that last night the first summer, I felt like we were going to
lose some friends for six months."
In addition to serving up pizza, the owners of
Stoney Acres Kat Becker and Tony Schultz sell their produce through a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program and to local schools, which made up 85 percent
of their income. Now with their new pizza venture, their summer profits make up a whopping (yet seasonal) 50 percent of their income. On busy nights, they produce 230 to 240 pizzas.
whole summer kind of every week has broken a record," Becker told NPR.
"But, assuming that people are splitting a pizza three ways, which I think
is reasonable, that would be between 700 and 800 people on a busy night."
number of family farms have been dwindling in the last ten years, additional farm-to-table
ventures like pizza nights are not only helping families to make ends meet. They also create a bridge between farm and local communities, and bringing them
Photo credit: John Ivanko/Courtesy of Stoney Acres Farm