Wisconsin’s ‘Pizza Farms’ Bring New Meaning to ‘Farm to Table’ Dining

Your life is not complete until you have a pizza served in the pastoral setting of a Wisconsin farm.

The sun is as penetrating as a sudden, drenching rainstorm. A hazy heat hangs in the air when we pull into the driveway of Grassway Organics farm in East Troy, hosting its Pizza on the Farm on Saturdays (4-8 p.m.) through October. Grassway isn’t the only Wisconsin farm operating as a seasonal pizzeria. Scattered through the state, the venues may operate differently but all provide a break from the urban routine.

After navigating a few quiet, hilly back roads, we roll into the driveway, past a farmhouse and a towering red barn flanked by a tiny house, “Farm Store” hand-painted above its baby-blue door. Cows lazily graze in the pasture; chickens free-feed under the sun. We park, haul a blanket and head in the direction of voices, banjo picking and the aroma of warm crusty food baked in an oven fueled by the farm’s own oak.

Grassway Organics

W2716 Friemoth Road, East Troy
Pizza on the Farm: Saturdays through October, 4-8 p.m.

Photo by Sara Stathas

Giggling kids in rubber boots chase after the farm dog, and folks camp out at tables and on the grass to dig into their hot, chewy pizza, blanketed with mozzarella made from the farm’s cows’ milk. Farm co-owner Chaz Self, surrounded by pizza helpers of all ages, greets us with a wide grin and breaks from manning the wood-burning pizza trailer parked on the 390-acre dairy and beef farm to talk toppings. The hand-written menu board of 12-inch pies lists “classics” such as Cheesin’, Boris (with the farm’s pork sausage), Grazer (all-veggie) and mushroom/onion-dotted Pork in the Woods, $20 each. The Selfs offer specials too, like BBQ chicken ($24 each).

After ordering our pie – half Grazer, half Pork in the Woods – we grab a number, beverages (Wisco craft beer, soda, juice and water, for sale) and unwind at a picnic table, soaking in the bucolic setting. Fifteen minutes later, we’re devouring slices of lightly charred, oozy-cheesy deliciousness. This is how to savor a carefree Saturday.

Photo by Sara Stathas

Road trip!

Three more Wisconsin pizza farms

Stoney Acres Farm

Central WI / Athens
Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 3, 4-8:30 p.m.

A to Z Produce and Bakery

Western WI / Stockholm
Tuesdays through October, 4:30-8 p.m.

Suncrest Gardens

Western WI / Cochrane
Fridays and Saturdays through September, 4-8:30 p.m.

“Pastureland Pizza” appears in the September 2018 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning September 3, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.