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Farm-fresh pizza on the flyFarm-fresh pizza on the fly

Foodies favor farm-to-table ingredientsFoodies favor farm-to-table ingredients

The New York Times recently highlighted family farms that specialize in growing fresh ingredients and then baking them on-site into tantalizing pizzas. Here are several farm-to-pizza experiences located close to general aviation airports that can provide you with opportunities to log flight time while exploring new horizons.

The latest foodie craze involves sourcing ingredients from farms for fresh pizzas. Photo by David Tulis.

Follow your nose to sample piping hot pizza served at several locations that are accessible by GA aircraft.

Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett, New York

Local flour is the key ingredient for Amanda Merrow and Katie Baldwin, who praise the cultivation of grains—along with farm-fresh vegetables—as ingredients that help make do-it-yourself pizza nights at Amber Waves in the Hamptons popular. The sourdough starter for their pizza crust has been going since 1968. “The taste of flour made from freshly harvested grain is a totally different thing,” Merrow told the newspaper.

Fly to East Hampton Airport in East Hampton, New York.

Hawkins Family Farm in North Manchester, Indiana

Former pastor Jeff Hawkins “was called” to the family farm near Salamonie Lake when he felt preaching had become too corporate. He committed his family to producing vegetables, honey, grains, pigs, chickens, goats, and cattle. The crackly edges of wood-fired pizza became the calling on Friday nights. The sustainable farm also donates funds to a nonprofit that reconnects members of the clergy with agriculture.

Fly to Wabash Municipal Airport in Wabash, Indiana.

Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, New York

“I never knew there were pizza groupies,” Liz Neumark told the newspaper. Her certified organic farm is dedicated to building connections among consumers, food professionals, and families. Weekend collaborations with Hilltown Hot Pies include hyperlocal ingredients “inspired by the bounty of our local farm” baked into sourdough wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas celebrated on Instagram.

Fly to Columbia County Airport near Hudson, New York.

Luna Valley Farm in Decorah, Iowa

Maren and Tom Beard of Luna Valley Farm near the Iowa-Wisconsin border specialize in a traditional Margherita pizza that has fresh tomatoes, basil leaves, and mozzarella topped with zingy Italian sausage crumbles. Leave your airplane keys at the motel because there are also three breweries within a 10-mile radius of the farm.

Fly to Decorah Municipal Airport in Decorah, Iowa.

Millsap Farms in Springfield, Missouri

Sarah and Curtis Millsap make mouthwatering pizzas with a New Mexico-style mud oven technique that was pioneered centuries ago for high-heat baking at about 800 degrees Fahrenheit. The pizzas are cooked in the earthen oven in about two minutes and are served buffet-style through October with seasonal toppings. “If you can grow it, we have put it on a pizza,” the Ozarks family told the newspaper. Bring chairs, a picnic blanket, and your appetite.

Fly to Springfield-Branson National Airport in Springfield, Missouri.

Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm in Waseca, Minnesota

Emily Knudsen and Bill Bartz founded their farm in 2014 after he had a Sound of Music moment atop a hillside and saw his destiny. The couple provides homegrown basil, tomatoes, peppers, and local honey for the brick-oven pizzas they assemble. Favorites include the Sweet Georgia with mozzarella, prosciutto, arugula, goat cheese, and honey; and the Pig and Pork with tomato sauce, mozzarella, sausage, pepperoni, and green olives. Patrons can bring everything else including dessert, snacks, drinks, and—most importantly—a garbage bag to keep the picnic surroundings clean for others. Listen to live music on Sundays.

Fly to Waseca Municipal Airport in Waseca, Minnesota.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a private pilot with single-engine land and sea ratings and a tailwheel endorsement. He is also a certificated remote pilot and co-host of the award-winning AOPA Hangar Talk podcast. David enjoys vintage aircraft and photography.

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