Struggling Small Farms Transform Into Outdoor Pizzerias to Stay Afloat
With shrinking acreage, rising production costs, and low profits, modern agriculture can be a frustrating business. That’s why small farmers across America are turning to increasingly creative ways to stay afloat.According to a recent report by NPR, one of the trends on small Midwest farms is to create pizzerias with homemade pies made with ingredients from the land and cooked in large outdoor ovens. Farmers say that it’s a new way of doing business.
At Stoney Acres in Athens, Wisconsin, for instance, neighbors flock to outdoor picnic tables every Friday night between May and October to order some pizza. The pepperoni and sausage come from the farm’s hogs, and the mozzarella is from dairy cows the next farm over. On busy nights, they make between 230 and 240 pies.
"We're developing some areas that are growing, but our CSA [community-supported agriculture], which has been our backbone, which used to be about 85 percent of our income, is now a little bit less than 50 percent of our income," Kat Becker, owner of Stoney Acres, told NPR.
Stoney Acres is just one of many family farms that have all but given up on the traditional method of farming as a reliable profit-maker.