[Market-farming] Bsking

Wyatt Jones wyatt_jones at netzero.com
Sun Nov 8 12:19:07 EST 2009


I seem to have a knack for off the wall subject that others on this list are interested, I'm not sure if that is a good or a bad thing.  

I have been approached by several people, most notably the editor of the Yellow Springs Newspaper, about teaching baking classes.  Its not something I would normally think about and I don't consider myself an expert on much of anything but I could use the money and I can tend to be fairly detail oriented, though not necessarily very organized.  I've been told I would make a good teacher but its not something I gravitate toward.  I guess I would have to rent someplace with a kitchen for at least one classes to be effective and it would probably have to include about 2 or 3 classes on different days,  I'd bring them to my house but its not in great shape and I'm not sure I want to have people just dropping by all the time, besides it might be farther than some people want to drive, Yellow Springs tends to be a bit egocentric.  My  kitchen is too small for such a class in any case and its kind of dark in the kitchen unfortunately, this house is built rather strange.  For the classes, first day I'd go over the basics and theory of artisan baking,  pass out reading material to read so they could better understand the kitchen part, go over ingredients, maintaining their barm going over things like autolysing, fermentation steps, touch on how microbiology effects fermentation and flavor and how to manipulate that etc. I wouldn't go into too much detail but they need a primer I think so they can start thinking about such things  Second class I would build a simpler bread that still incorporate the skills needed, probably a French Boule, (though I know some of them will want to make a sourdough but beginners aren't ready for that) so the students could watch and absorb what I do without being distracted by having the pressure of actually producing a good bread and maybe a third, hands on class for the students to actually get the feel of it with me for guidance.  I'd have to grow a lot of Barm for that but I have the capacity.  I tend to just absorb things and I'm a bit worried about unintentionally glossing over things I take for granted but I guess the students would probably ask questions if they didn't understand something.  I guess I am nervous about such a prospect but I never let that stop me if I think something will work.  At the very least they would understand how much is involved and appreciate my bread more but I wonder if they would think I was just making it too complicated to make me look more impressive.  I'd hate to go the other way though as I wouldn't want to teach them methods that would produce inferior loaves and have them think I was just getting over on them.   It takes a while to become really good at baking artisan bread and a lot of it is having the feel for it but to get that feel one has to understand what is going on when one makes bread.  

I'm not sure if I want to do this or not but it would be extra money and it would be good advertising, though I'm not sure I want to keep selling in Yellow springs given the trouble I get there.  I have thought about the possibility that it would help quell such trouble by further legitimizing what I'm doing, especially if the editor of the newspaper writes an article on me and my class which she probably will since she is one of the people that is trying to get me to do this.  It could make it worse I guess.  If anybody has any comments or suggestions I'd like to hear them.  I usually try to take a low profile but maybe this sort of thing is a wake up call of sorts as I seem to attract attention no matter what I do and maybe I need to start accepting that and start learning how to use that to my advantage.

Thank you everybody and thanks for not throwing me out on my ear when I bring up stuff like this.

Wyatt
"Wyatt's Way" improvised enterprises (PC for living by the seat of one's pants LOL)
Jamestown, Ohio
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