100% Manx grown and milled rye flour is now available to purchase on the Isle of Man following a successful trial venture between Laxey Glen Mills, McMillin farms, NOA Bakehouse and the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA).
This is the first time in its 150 year history that Laxey Glen Mills has milled a grain other than wheat.
The success of the project is thanks to the skills of the team at the mill, the enthusiasm of Miles Pettit at NOA Bakehouse and funding and support from the DEFA Food Matters strategy.
A limited trial crop was successfully grown in 2016 by cereal farmer Will McMillin at McMillin farm at the Lhen followed by a successful milling process with the majority of the rye flour produced intended for use at NOA Bakehouse.
However, an additional quantity will be available through the Food Assembly in 500g bags from the end of February and the 2017 crop has already been planted in anticipation of increasing demand.
Andrew Lees, Food Business Development Manager at DEFA whose Food Matters strategy supported the project, said: ‘This is a great example of the whole supply chain working together to develop a new product that both adds to the quality local food offering and improves the local economy through import substitution.’
‘The Food Assembly is also a great way of quickly getting new products to consumers and testing demand before exploring other more traditional retail outlets. I am delighted that we have been able to facilitate this successful collaboration.’
Miles Pettit, owner of Noa Bakehouse, said: ‘I have used as many local ingredients as possible since opening the Bakehouse five years ago. Laxey King Flour is my main bread ingredient, but I have had to import other types of flour not available locally. I asked Sandra at the Mill if they could produce rye flour last year as it has become more popular in our loaf sales. I was delighted at the positive response and that it actually worked. The flour is now being used at the Bakehouse and I am really pleased with the quality of the bread it is producing.’
Sandra Donnelly, Managing Director of Laxey Glen Mills, said ‘Milling rye is not something we had ever done before. We are always keen to help our customers and when Miles asked us to make rye flour we thought we would give it a go. It was not an easy process bur my team at the mill have enjoyed the challenge. It also wouldn’t have been possible without regular wheat grower Will McMillin, who had the skills to grow the rye for us and DEFA for support from the Food Matters strategy’.
Rye flour, along with the entire Laxey flour range can be purchased at the Food Assembly which is held at Noa Bakehouse every second Wednesday from 5pm to 6.30pm.
Purchases are conducted through a website https://thefoodassembly.com/en/assemblies/7369 the week before the Assembly and orders are collected in person.