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Wood Fired Pizza at Grand View Farm

Beets, Swiss Chard, and Black Olives

My husband is a good sport. He married a visionary, and I am not sure he fully understood what that meant when he married me. He often finds himself in the middle of some huge project that I thought of. I constantly look at things from a different viewpoint than most other people. I tend to see the potential in something, and have a vision for what it could be. This gets me in trouble, as most of my ideas require work and money. A couple of years ago, I imagined walking through the garden, picking vegetables along the way. Then, passing through the herb garden for some oregano and basil, assembling all my harvest on a thinly rolled pizza dough, and popping it into a piping hot wood-fired oven-right there at the end of the garden. I thought our B&B guests would enjoy eating pizza while watching the sheep in the pasture behind the house, and the neighbors would enjoy an annual community pizza party at our farm. Perhaps we would even take the pizzas to sell at the local farm market.

Smoke Rises as Oven Warms
I gave my husband a book on building earth ovens for his birthday in October, two years ago. Being an engineer, he studied that book all winter and even went online to investigate the intricacies of building outdoor ovens. What started as a simple earth oven, turned into an amazing work of art which involved fire brick, custom cut stone, a chimney, multiple bags of concrete, and hours of labor. Almost every person who has come to our farm the past three summer seasons to “lend a hand” has touched my husband’s project. From B&B guests, to woofers, to curious neighbors, to our daughter’s college friends who want to be immersed in farm life, all have worked a shovel, or lifted a stone, loaned a saw or concrete mixer, or smoothed cement, or offered a word of encouragement.
The First Pizza Cooks by the Open Flame
This past weekend, we fired the oven for the first time, inviting a few friends over to partake of the first wood fired pizzas! Smoke curled out of the chimney as the oven heated. We brought tables up to the garden to lay out all of the pizza toppings: swiss chard, beets, summer squash, fresh herbs, and tomatoes. As we assembled each one, we slid it onto the floor of the oven. Within just a few minutes, the pizza was cooked to perfection, and within another few minutes, all that was left were a few crumbs on the cutting board. The Perry Family Farm brought along some home-brew to go with the pizza and we provided some Vermont Wine by Fresh Tracks Farm and Vineyard. By the end of the evening, all that lingered were a few olives and a crumble or two of pizza crust.
Perhaps I can get the master oven-builder to write a tutorial, for me to post on building outdoor ovens!

The Master Oven Builder Takes His First Bite of Pizza!