Feast of The Field

Troy Community Farm’s Pizza Picnics

By Rachel Werner | Photos Courtesy Patricia Espedal

Three years ago, Troy Community Gardens, the only CSA fully grown and operated within Madison city limits, decided to launch one more service for its members and its northeast neighborhood—wood-fired pizzas. The pies are served piping hot, straight out of a brick oven located in the main garden area.

Farm director Garrett Peterson explains, “Thursday Nights At Troy complement our overall mission. Plus, the increased traffic on those evenings also drives more business to the farm stand, raises awareness about the CSA we offer and provides an opportunity to introduce visitors to Gardening For Good— the supported gardening program we operate for individuals with developmental disabilities.”

Another benefit is providing a solid example to the community of what it means to eat local, fresh food. Most menu selections’ main ingredients travel about 100 yards from field to plate, since every pizza prepared is vegetarian or vegan, loaded with peak produce harvested on-site. The handful of other remaining items used, such as olive oil and sea salt, have been donated this year by Willy Street Co-op.

Three to four different items are on the menu, and patrons can also opt for dairy free flatbreads or a seasonal salad. Troy staff and volunteers enjoy the chance to demonstrate their culinary skills to guests and mentor farm trainees in skills they can use after the apprenticeship.

Peterson explains, “Even being right in the city, it’s becoming harder to sign up new members. We realized we needed to create something to distinguish our CSA from other local options—and expand our revenue stream while still fostering the grassroots partnerships we’re known for.” communitygroundworks.org.