The process is equally as important as the product!
Last weekend, the Ellie’s team took a field trip to Maine Grains in Skowhegan, ME, where we camped out at one of their suppliers, the Rusted Rooster Farm, to get a better sense of the ingredients that we use in our bakery and the work that goes into growing and processing grains before they even get to us!
Maine Grains is a manufacturer of locally grown, organic, stone-milled grains that sources from about 35 farms in the Maine area. Their products are sold widely to the greater New England market, which helps to support the growth of Maine’s local food and farming economy.
At Ellie’s, we use Maine Grains’ high-quality flours in many of our products, from our croissants and chocolate chip cookies to our frangipane, biscuits, and sourdough bread!
It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to visit with and learn from these talented folks, who certainly left our staff with a deeper appreciation for the ingredients that we use daily in the bakery. Be sure to check out Maine Grains at www.mainegrains.com/ and check out Rusted Rooster’s YouTube page![ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”15″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_imagebrowser” ajax_pagination=”1″ order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]Like many of the foods we modern humans consume, flour is a depersonalized ingredient—plain, thrown around like it’s nothing, separated from its source. Touring the Maine Grains facility was exciting, but visiting the grain farm and standing in a field of oats felt enlightening and truly humbling. I couldn’t stop picking apart the husks just to hold the raw grain in my hand; the true beginning of everything I do as a baker. We got to see the care and detail that goes into harvesting the grain that in turn becomes our flour, and the attention to quality made me feel like the products we create with it are even more extra-special. I’m so thankful that there are people who care enough at every level of the process to make something wonderful for people to eat.
It gave me a new appreciation for flour, to see how much time and care went into each bag. There was a great deal of effort just spent on finding the right screens for the initial sorting off of the fields, let alone the rest of the process.
I was so impressed with the processes at the Rusted Rooster Farm. I had no idea what to expect on the way, so to find out that the community helps each other out with leasing land to farm and seeing all the work that goes into the grain before it even gets to the mill was really eye-opening. Sean was so knowledgeable about this harvest.
Not everyone gets to see the process of the products they use at home being made. My experience at Maine Grains and the farm was breathtaking. Now more than ever, seeing the process and realizing how the product starts and then what you end up working with really makes you appreciate the product.