Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Florida Grown Rye Grain, Jack Melton Family Inc, Dade City

Dade City, Fla—Jack Melton Family Inc’s grows Florida Rye seed grain. They have been growing and selling non-GMO selectively bred seeds since the 1950s. And for the last 45-years they have grown, harvested, and sold Florida 401 Rye, a varietal especially adapted for the Florida climate.

Steve Melton in his 100 acre Florida rye seed grain field, Dade City, Fla.
Copyright 2013 by Helen A Lockey
Steve Melton, one of the ranch owners, let me tour his 100 acre rye field last month. Melton shares his ranch with several family members including founder Jack, who is still active in operations at age 89.

Steve Melton thrashing Florida rye grain off its head, Dade
City, Fla. Copyright 2013 by Helen A Lockey
Steve Melton took a grain head in his hand, ran his fingers up, against the grain to loosen the rye seed, and then rolled them between his palms, simulating a threshing machine. "You can also take the rye into a barn, lay it on the ground, and beat it with a stick, to get it to release the seed," said Melton.

Steve Melton winnowing Florida rye seeds, Dade City, Fla.
Copyright 2013 by Helen A Lockey
Then he blew on the chaff, or winnowed it, to reveal fresh rye grain seeds. "We have a combine that does all this in the field," Melton said handing me some rye seed grains. They had a nutty flavor like winter wheat.

The high protein content of the rye makes it an ideal winter grass for beef cattle, according to Melton. It can also be grown as a wind break between crops like melons.

Florida rye grain field at Jack Melton Family Inc,
Dade City, Fla. Copyright 2013 by Helen A Lockey
Nothing goes to waste on the ranch. The stalks that remain after harvesting are sold as hay for animal bedding.

And there is no need to worry if the ranch will run out of rye quickly because they have accress to 700 acres of it growing on neighboring ranches.

They sell their grain in 50 pound bags to people mainly in the beef cattle industry.

Melton likes to eat his rye in a home-made porridge. He grinds the seeds in an antique grist mill, adds some other grains, rice, brown sugar, butter, and eats it hot.

Jack Melton Family Inc grows other types of non-GMO seeds like Bahia grass seeds, millet grass seed, oats, some clover, and chia.

To find out more about the seeds grown and harvested at Jack Melton Family Inc, you can call them at (352)583-3510.

No comments:

Post a Comment