Sophomore Erin Cummings pours flour from the Champlain Valley Milling Company into the blender at Paul Smith’s College during its local baking day March 6.
Deborah Misik was hoping the A.P. Smith’s Bakery at Paul Smith’s College would be a little busier when the doors opened at 9 a.m. March 6.
What she saw even surprised her.
“Usually there are 10 or 15 people waiting when we open our doors at 9 a.m.,” said Misik, the Program Coordinator for Baking and Pastry. “Instead, there were 50 to 60 people at the door.”
The line was customers showing their support for the first local products day at the bakery, where around 70 percent of its ingredients from in and around the Adirondacks.
“We had flour from Champlain Valley Milling in Westport and King Arthur Flour of Vermont, eggs from the Ottisville Eggery in Paul Smiths, chevre and feta cheeses from the Asgaard Farm and Dairy in Au Sable Forks,” Misik said.
Other local companies involved in the local ingredients day included Adirondack Cheese Co., Adirondack Popcorn Co., Cabot Creamery, Fledging Crow Vegetables, Harmony Hills Farmstead, Rivermede Farm Market, Saratoga Olive Oil Co., S.N. Rinas Apiaries and Tucker Farms.
“One person said they drove in from town because they had heard that we were making everything out of local foods,” Misik said. “This caught on right away and we are going to be doing this again.”
The event was organized by student Alex Puglisi.
“The farm-to-table movement is significant,” said Puglisi, a sophomore from Fayetteville. “It supports local agriculture and at the same time reduces dependence on pesticides and hormone- and antibiotic-treated meat.”
All the producers donated their products to the bakery for the day.
“My plan was for this to be the initial movement but I did not realize it was going to be as big of a topic as it became,” Misik said. “I wanted to be able to make those initial connections through a student and make a path to start purchasing through these people.”
Misik said the event was a learning experience on many different ways, including the chance to see the difference in the local products.
“We cracked into the eggs and noticed the yokes were more yellow and bigger then what we had been getting,” she said. “With Champlain Milling, we noticed more grain then what we would normally get. This is stuff they can keep in mind as they compare local foods and how they taste different and the flavors are more pungent.”
The local baking day also joined with trips the students had made to different bakeries through the region, including Dogwood Bakery in Westport.
“At Dogwood they get to take a look at a brick oven and Courtney (Fair) shows them how to do it,” Misik said. “It’s great because we do not have a brick oven here and that is their chance to see one in action.”