Farm-to-fork: Baking students grow and mill their own flour to make into treats

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Students are going back to basics with a farm-to-fork project that will see them grow their own wheat and then transform it into flour.

The Level 3 General Patisserie and Confectionery students at Newcastle College are studying sustainability, traceability and providence of food as part of their coursework.

They will plant their own wheat seeds at Heatherslaw Corn Mill on the River Till in Northumberland, and will then be involved in harvesting and milling it into flour, before it is ready to be used in the kitchen.

They will then sell their produce, fully-branded, at a farmers’ market in Ponteland, with proceeds going towards a college trip to Paris.

Tutor Nigel Grant said: “It’s the first time we have done a project like this, where the students will literally be creating their own ingredients from planting, to milling, baking and then selling.

Student Jordan Grey, 18, from Durham, said: “We are really fortunate to be given this opportunity to work with Heatherslaw Mill.

“Normally in industry, the flour we use can come from anywhere within the country or abroad.

“We don’t know how fresh it is, or where exactly it has come from, just the mill which has produced it. This time, we will have the full history of our flour from the day we planted the seeds to the day we bake with it.”

Student Victoria Willits, 22, from Washington, said: “By working with Heatherslaw, we get to see our wheat grow less than 60 miles away from college, giving us an end product with excellent traceability and sustainability.

“The wheat itself is of exceptional quality. We are really excited to see what different end products we can create with our own wheat.”

For more information about the Level 3 General Patisserie and Confectionery course go to www.ncl-coll.ac.uk or call 0191 200 4000.