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I know most of us get our food the easy way. We make a list, head to the store and stock up on provisions. Sure, some of you more adventurous types might be raising your own chickens and tending ample vegetable garden plots but this little project is something we can all embark on with little to no trepidation, the pizza garden! Not only can you grow the ingredients but with a little planning you can cook and enjoy your efforts alfresco style, right on your own patio.
WHERE TO START
The sample garden shown below was created by my good friend and colleague Cheryl Beesley, landscape designer and author of Landscaping with Edible Plants in Texas. Her plan includes all the elements on a grand scale. With a pergola covered picnic table, an outdoor kitchen equipped with a builtin pizza oven and dedicated vegetable garden beds this design covers all the bases but you don’t have to go that far. Even the smallest of patio spaces can accommodate a few edible potted plants and a freestanding pizza oven.
HOW TO BAKE
The key element of the pizza garden is the pizza oven itself These dome shaped ovens with terracotta like material as their foundation distribute heat evenly with natural convection across the cooking surface. Large ovens require a little more preparation to reach ideal temperatures. Any of the ovens shown below can be used with wood-fire, coals or even after the fire is extinguished since the oven walls are designed to retain heat. Whichever method you chose your creation will crisp to perfection and be ready to eat in as little as 4 minutes.
WHAT TO PLANT
Now that you have some ideas about how to add pizza garden elements into the landscape and how to bake the pizza we need to get to the best part of the project, the plants! Not only is it easy to grow your own ingredients but when all is said and done you get a pizza rather than a salad. That’s a win in my book any day. The plants required will thrive in a dedicated garden or in a planter on the patio. I’ve listed a few key ingredients on the graphic below but with a little imagination I am sure you can come up with a few of your own.
I did a little research on Pinterest and found some amazing pizza sauces and spice mixes to help spur your creativity. I have to thank Jen at Home in the Finger Lakes for her amazing Pizza Seasoning Recipe and Allrecipes.com for their Pizza Sauce from Scratch Recipe. I even found a Cauliflower Pizza Crust. I could barely believe it myself!
I hope you are inspired to start a new garden project. As always, feel free to comment and share your own pizza garden adventures.