By Carrie Anderson
This past Friday night was full of buzz at the Wolf Ridge Farm.
With the sweet smells of homemade tomato sauce prepared earlier that day, neighbors from Silver Bay, Finland, and other North Shore communities were there to pick up their very own wood-fired pizza made by farm staff and volunteers.
Inspired by other small produce farms located in Southern MN, the Wolf Ridge farm manager, Sarah, thought it would be fun to bring a pizza venture to those of us living in the Northwoods as a way to share all the farm has to offer: great produce, a wood-fired oven, and commercial kitchen space.
Each Friday, three types of pizza (meat, veggie, or cheese) are offered, based on what’s ripe for harvesting that week. For instance, June’s “Dilly n’ Hog Wild” featured bacon and a scrumptious leek-chard-sunflower pesto topping freshly made tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. One person declared July’s arugula-prosciutto pizza drizzled with balsamic reduction “the best pizza I have ever eaten!”
After being built with freshly picked veggies and sauces, each 10-inch pizza makes its way to either the freezer (to be bought frozen), or placed on a wooden pizza peel and taken to the 700-degree oven where it would cook for 2 to 3 quick minutes before being sliced, boxed, and given to the person who ordered it. The cooks assume most of the hot pizzas don’t make it all the way home but are instead enjoyed as a picnic along the shore of the Baptism River or another favorite outdoor spot. Yum!
Last summer was a bumper year for cucumbers on the farm, and the farm staff has made a sweet treat out of it, to say the least. Thought of by former naturalist, Jenna Pollard, they have been whipping out sweet pints of cucumber-lime sorbet, also known as “cucurbert.” The name is a fun spin on the word, “cucurbits,” the plant family that cucumbers fall within. New sorbet flavors are cooked up regularly- recent additions include blueberry-lemon and strawberry-rhubarb.
With the lack of summer campers wandering the farm in wonder this season, the staff is enjoying the opportunity to share fresh, locally-grown food with local residents. And it’s a great way for us all to get out of the house, soak in some nature, and munch on great-tasting pizza with family and friends!
All are welcome to join in on the fun. Order online Tuesday noon through Friday noon, for pick up on that Friday from 5-6:00.