Why We Do What We Do
In response to the many questions regarding our farm (and our sanity!)
A trip to LoveTree for "Pizza By the Pond" is about more than just eating great pizza.. We are about taking the time to unwind, relax, and detach from the craziness of the "civilized "world. It's a time to visit with friends and family, enjoy new "pizza comaraderie:", and touch base with a little corner of the world that reminds us that life still can really be this simple.
We are never quite sure what to expect for a crowd or if there will even be a crowd. Sometimes the wait for a pizza is around 15 minutes, sometimes the wait is an hour or more..... Some folks go for a walk, or enjoy a bottle of wine by the pond. Many parents find this a great time to play with their kids or even milk a sheep...or two!
When you visit LoveTree you will not see pretty white picket fences, manicured yards, or shiny equipment. You will see recycled, reused, refurbished "stuff" in an environment that is a true bastion to gastronomic (and environmental) preservation. Our goal is to bring you the taste of the northwoods of Wisconsin in every morsel of our cheese and wood fired pizza.
Why do we reduce, re-use, recycle, re-store? LoveTree is not supported by any "off farm income," we are a 200 acre family owned grass farm with half of that acreage dedicated to our wild life refuge.
We are located in a very fragile region of Wisconsin that is rated by the WI Department of Natural Resources as 'Most Highly Susceptible To Ground Water Table Contamination."
We learned years ago that, just like buying clothing at a thrift store, our recylced and re used equipment could be just as functional as more modern (and much more expensive) items...and easier on our overall global natural resources and environment, it is in this spirit that we operate our 'bare bones-low input" (mimimal equipment ) operation.
But even more immediate, we love our amazing water!
The bottom of the Trade Lake Valley is full of artesian springs which bubble forth water that is full of minerals and hard as granite yet honey sweet. Great water creates great forage for our livestock, which creates great milk for great cheese! The water itself is a HUGE component in the cheese make and aging process, I know without a doubt that our cheese could not be what it is without this phenomenal water source, we believe it is our responsibility to protect, preserve, and to re-store it.
The benefit of preserving our water supply for our own sustenance is obvious, but the real "giggle" is in the ripple effect that "paying it forward" creates for the wildlife and natural flora. You cant have one without the other... in order to give water room to recharge, filter and purify, land needs to be set aside, natural buffers that consist of a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and grasses. As a result of the land "set- aside", the fauna that know how to use the available flora gathers. A perfect example of "If you build it they will come!"
We could not play host to the resident wildlife and maintain a peaceful coexistence for our livestock and ourselves, without the help of our Livestock Guardian Dogs. Quite literally, we can not farm ( in a predator friendly fashion) without them here, these extrordinary dogs make it all possible. Under their watchful eye the sheep, goats, cattle, and even chickens, all graze and live without becoming a "buffet table" for the local predators....and, just as importantly, the local predators can continue their existence, they have learned that if they stay clear of the livestock, the dogs will leave them alone. The resident coyotes go about their business doing what they do best, snacking on field mice and rodents, the local bear forages on what is naturally available, and the occassional pair of wolves (and even cougar), continue down the road, looking for easier, less guarded "targets".
All of this included in a bite of pizza and a piece of cheese!