We live in the Midwest, in the St. Croix Valley to be precise. It’s a very beautiful area surrounded with farmland, rolling hills and trees as the as the St. Croix River flows into the Mississippi River and cuts through the valley. Today I’m going to share with you a day trip in the St. Croix Valley, Wisconsin my husband and I recently went on.
I’ve pondered why it is that for the 2 weeks a year we’re on vacation, we can do all kinds of fun day trips and exploring, while visiting somewhere we don’t actually live full time, but when it comes to our home area, the place where we live the other 50 weeks of the year, we frequently fail to look at it with an exploring fun heart. I think partly it’s because we get in the ‘work mode’ and frame of mind, thinking about what needs to be done etc. and forget to ‘smell the roses’ along the way.
Well a few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to take a day off ‘work mode’ and just enjoy a little of the valley. (and because we’re in the process of selling our house by ourselves, it was extra nice to get away and just turn it all off for a day!)
If you’ve never been to the St. Croix Valley, it is really is a very beautiful area of our nation! The countryside is dotted with many small towns and farms as the rolling wooded hills slope down towards the river that divides Wisconsin and Minnesota. The St. Croix River flows into the Mississippi River in the St. Croix Valley. We traveled down along this area to Pepin, Wisconsin.
This is a view from the bluffs above a little river town on the Wisconsin side looking across the Mississippi River toward Minnesota. This is a lock and dam on the river that you can get up close to and see it work.
After we explored a bit of the valley and pretty little river towns with their fun shops along the way, it was time for dinner. We had read about a pizza farm and decided to check it out.
This pretty country church was along the road on the way to the pizza farm:
The farm had no signage that we could find, so fortunately we did have the address to pop into our GPS.
We knew we had arrived when we saw the cars parked along the road and up the driveway in what was otherwise a very quiet country road barely wide enough for 2 cars to pass:
This was the only ‘signage’ we saw… once on the farm:
This is really a working farm, it’s called A to Z Produce and Bakery. (no affiliate link here, ha ha… just a fun place to share with you!) I love to see the wonderful old out buildings, like this grainery. On the farm, they grow a lot of vegetables and crops. That’s probably why the pizza part of the farm is only on Tuesday evenings, they’re quite busy on the other days.
Here is the pizza menu:
The people gather at the order window, with the barn and addition that houses the wood fired pizza ovens.
Once you order, you’re assigned a number and you wait. Some people waited in the back, by the owner’s farmhouse:
But most folks set up their lawn chairs and picnic blankets and visited or played games until their pizza was ready. Depending on how busy the pizza farm is, your wait could be just a few minutes to over an hour. (I think ours was about 45 minutes)
The pizzas are made in the kitchen of the barn, where they make all their own doughs and breads… and trek them across to the wood fired pizza ovens:
Here are the 2 wood fired pizza ovens:
Each pizza will go into both ovens. For a total cooking time of something like 90 seconds.
Once your number is called you can sit anywhere you like and enjoy your dinner:
This pizza farm we found on our daytrip in the St. Croix Valley, Wisconsin is only open on Tuesday evenings for pizza March – October. You may bring your own salads and side dishes if you want, and your own beverages, (except no byo alcohol) it and other beverages are available for sale at the barn. Besides pizza on Tuesdays, the pizza farm also sells their homemade breads, which smelled wonderful! I think they grow and grind their own wheat for the dough too…
One more beautiful view of the St. Croix Valley across the Mississippi River:
Check out the website for the A to Z Produce and Bakery pizza farm!
So how about you? What’s in your neck of the woods that you’re missing because of always being in ‘work mode’? Work is good… but resting and enjoying life is necessary as well… We’d love to hear about your exploring by your home area in the comments below!
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