Last Friday, I was eating a sandwich from a place called Home Grown that was really good, and it came with some chips that were also really good. One of my co-workers wondered aloud if they actually grew the potatoes themselves to make the chips. That lead me to then say, “Nope. I think they grew the chips in the garden in their back lot.” Then I was reminded that the reason I hate gardening, despite the fact that my last name is Gardner, is because the food that is grown in a garden is so boring.
What kinds of foods would bring me out of my 42 year retirement from gardening? Tomatoes and potatoes and corn and wheat are not an enticing thing for me. How about something that I would actually eat? How about something that is bad for you? Why is dirt so restrictive? Why can’t things grow in the dirt besides fruits and vegetables? Where is the multi-ingredient foods, the stuff that doesn’t need to be combined with other things? And what about desert? If Moses got manna from heaven, why can’t I grow Ice cream in the fields?
Let’s get down to the real question. Why can’t I grow a Pizza Gardens? Or better yet, become a pizza farmer. Because if there were, I would quit my job right away and tomorrow there would be a pizza garden growing in my back yard.
I would wake up early every morning(around 11 am), waddle out to garden, pound my chest from last night’s heartburn, and pull a pizza tenderly from its stalk and taste if it was ripe enough for harvesting.
Then my garden would expand. I would start investing in some center pivot irrigation, which would properly Pepsi and Coke the pizza fields just right.
Then I would start sprinkling just the right amount of yeast with the pizza seeds and my pizza stalks dough would start rising better than the neighboring pizza farms.
I would then start making sure the sun was rotating through the fields at just the right rate and at the perfect 350 degree temperature, so that the pizza was not too doughy or not too burnt.
Then I would start expanding to new fields. The west fields would be extra cheese fields that would make sure it wasn’t just a little bit more cheese, but double the amount or the regular cheese. And I would make sure that even though there was twice the amount of cheese the rest of the ingredients would still show through.
I would make sure the stuffed crust fields were not only getting the right amount of cheese in the edge of the crust, but that the rest of the crust wasn’t thin. And if a crust ever did get too thin, I would just have to grind that crop into the ground and start over again. Because pizza should never have too thin of a crust.
I would come home in my overalls sweaty, smelling like cheese and tomato sauce and pepperoni. I would go to the feed store for more yeast and cheese and complain with the other Pizza farmers about the surplus this year and how we are getting too many buy one get one free’s at the local Pizza hut, or how Little Caesar’s is going with that new farm for supply because they are adding bacon around the crust.
My kids would get sick of eating pizza every night. “Can’t we have some corn or wheat or rice tonight?” And I would say, “No, now eat your pizza and Pepsi and then go take your heartburn medicine. And no snacking on that kale or salad. You’ll be strong and healthy if you keep eating those vegetables and fruits!”
And I would get old and realize that my bitter Pizza farm was for nothing but cheap local pizza franchises and I would have been better off selling the place long ago. And my son never really liked pizza farming with me and never intended to take over the family pizza farm anyways, but never told me, because I was too gruff and bitter. I discover that he wanted to do something more with his life like become an office drone, a customer service rep, or stuck in middle management somewhere.
And then some corporation would come buy my land for pennies on the dollar so they could build a bunch of Pizza hut parking garages on the land. And I would retire to Florida where it is way hotter than the 350 degrees I was used to. The Bitter Life of a Pizza Farmer.
Bitter Pizza Famer Ben