From Flower Fields to Amazing Farmstand: Visit Mellano & Company


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From Flower Fields to Amazing Farmstand: Visit Mellano & Company

March 13, 2024
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From Flower Fields to Amazing Farmstand: Visit Mellano & Company

From Flower Fields to Amazing Farmstand: Visit Mellano & Company

What started with humble beginnings as a flower farm in California has since grown into a nationwide supplier of cut flowers. For a century, Mellano & Company has been an emblem of excellence and innovation within the floral industry. This humble dream of a Southern California Italian immigrant includes lush Carlsbad flower fields to a modern farmstand. It is a family-owned business that blossomed into a leading flower supplier for both wholesalers and enthusiasts, championing the beauty and diversity of Californian flora. 

Picture this: you’re cruisin’ up the California coast, top-down, warm wind in your hair, and BAM! Like a dream, a kaleidoscope of color in full bloom appears in front of your eyes – rows upon rows of ranunculus. It’s like a million paintbrushes dipped in sunshine, stretching out for acres under the Southern California sky. The air’s thick with their sweet scent. You feel a bit disoriented as the flowers sway in the cool ocean breeze, displaying lush, natural color.  It’s a scene straight out of a postcard, a real dream come true for any flower lover!

Meet Mike Mellano from Mellano & Company

“The most visible agritourism that we do is at the flower fields in Carlsbad,” shares Mike Mellano, a passionate advocate for sustainable farming and the current steward of Mellano & Company’s legacy. “We grow about 50 acres of ranunculus down there…they bloom through Mother’s Day, offering a vibrant tapestry amidst the urban landscape,” he adds. Mike also highlights the unique challenges and rewards of farming in such a dynamic environment.

Flower Fields Rooted in the Sun-Soaked Soils of Southern California

Spanning Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and Las Vegas, Mellano & Company thrives in the rich soil and favorable climate unique to Southern California. “Farming in an urban environment has its challenges,” Mellano reflects. He goes on to explain, “but it also places us close to a population eager to embrace agriculture and the outdoors.” Mike notes that such proximity allows for a direct and rewarding connection with the community that fosters a deeper appreciation for the hard work and dedication behind every bloom.

A State in Full Bloom: Celebrating California’s Floral Heritage

Mellano & Company’s offerings are a testament to California’s status as a floral powerhouse. Did you know that California supplies over 75% of all domestically grown cut flowers in the U.S.? It’s true!  If you are a flower lover like us, read on and learn more about cut flowers from California.

How to Shop For, Cook, and Decorate With Cut Flowers From California

How To Shop For, Cook and Decorate With Cut Flowers From California

There are more than 225 cut flower and greens farms in the Golden State. Here at California Grown, we are proud to represent every single one of them! From poinsettias to edible flowers and succulents, our state is abundant with blooms of all types.

Click here to learn more about cut flowers from California.

Beyond Famous Flower Fields: Cultivating Traditions and Education

Mellano & Company can boast involvement with the Rose Parade, a century-old tradition. In talking about their commitment to community and tradition Mellano says, “For 100 years, we’ve supplied the finest blooms for this iconic event.” They are proud of the company’s role in crafting the stunning floral displays and floats that define the parade. This longstanding partnership serves as a bridge between generations, celebrating the beauty of nature and the creativity of human hands.

Rows of Flowers and Sustainability as the Core

“Sustainability is a big buzzword these days,” Mellano admits. “But for us, it’s about focusing on water conservation and other practices that ensure our farming methods are as environmentally friendly as possible.” The addition of blueberries and the success of the U-Pick operation highlight innovative approaches such as agritourism and sustainable farming. They are indicative of Mellano’s innovative approach. “It’s a unique experience for people to partake in agricultural production and enjoy the fruits of their labor,” he adds. He also emphasizes the importance of connecting consumers with the origins of their food and flowers.

Mellano’s Message: The Science and Heart of Farming

When it comes to the public’s perception of agriculture, Mellano wishes for a greater appreciation of the scientific and technological advances that define modern farming. “Agricultural production is a highly scientific process, managed by professionals who understand the plants, the environment, and the public’s demands,” he explains. Mellano’s vision extends beyond the fields. He is passionate about educating the public on the realities of farming. Doing so dispels myths and fosters a deeper respect for the land and those who work it.

As Mellano & Company look to the future, their legacy of quality, innovation, and sustainability continues to flourish. It is a legacy deeply rooted in the Californian soil that has nourished its growth for a century. Through their commitment to education, community engagement, and sustainable practices, Mellano & Company not only celebrates the beauty of mother nature but also ensures its preservation for generations to come.

The Mellano Farmstand: A Gateway to Agritourism

The Mellano Farmstand in Oceanside offers more than just flowers; it’s an invitation to experience agriculture firsthand. From U-Pick activities to seasonal festivals, the farmstand embodies the Mellano family’s vision of agritourism. It is a place where visitors can connect with the land and learn about sustainable farming practices. “We’re introducing blueberries at the flower fields,” Mellano shares, discussing the North 40 Urban Farm project, which focuses on food crops alongside the traditional floral offerings. This initiative reflects the company’s adaptive spirit and commitment to diversifying Californian agriculture.

Where is the Mellano & Company Farmstand?

It is located at 5714 North River Road, Oceanside, CA 92057. This family-run farm and farmstand welcomes visitors to experience the joy and bounty of fresh flowers and local agriculture.

Stepping onto the farmstand grounds is essentially stepping onto a working farm. It is constantly buzzing with activity as new crops are planted and the seasons change. For visitors, the variety of activities are a great way to enjoy the sights and smells of the farm.

Insider tips for what to do when planning your visit to the farm stand:

  • Seasonal U-Pick: Visitors can experience the thrill of picking their own fresh produce, with options like strawberries and sunflowers changing with the seasons.
  • Weekend Tractor Rides: Take a scenic journey through the farm aboard a tractor ride, offering a unique perspective of the vibrant fields and a chance to connect with nature.
  • Seasonal Festivals: Throughout the year, the farmstand comes alive with vibrant festivals featuring live music, local crafts, and visiting vendors.
  • Spring Flower Fields and Fall Fun: The arrival of springtime paints the landscape with a stunning display of flowers, while fall brings the excitement of a pumpkin patch and corn maze, it’s a great place for creating lasting memories with loved ones or maybe just your next social media post.
  • Farm Camp and Classes: For the little “future farmers,” Mellano Farmstand offers engaging farm camp programs and classes on a real working farm, allowing them to learn about agriculture and connect with the land in a hands-on environment.
  • Bounty Boxes: A unique offering that allows customers to enjoy a curated selection of the freshest seasonal produce delivered directly to their doorstep. This convenient option ensures a taste of the farm’s bounty throughout the year.

When to visit:

The farmstand is open on Thursdays through Sundays, from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM. It is totally worth the road trip! It’s important to note that appointments are required on Monday through Wednesday. The weekend hours are best since they offer ample opportunity to explore the farm, savor the fresh produce, and pick up a beautiful bouquet or two of flowers.

Trust us, this is one of the best places to craft a luxury produce-filled picnic or an unforgettable farm-to-table experience! So the next time you are looking to take your mealtime routine from mundane to extraordinary, visit Mellano & Company.

Click here to view the Google Web Story for this post!

This article was written by Meg van der Kruik. Photo credit James Collier for California Grown.

One thought on “From Flower Fields to Amazing Farmstand: Visit Mellano & Company

  1. South Morro Hills Oceanside is blessed to have Mellano & Company part of the fabric of our neighborhood. Thousands of agricultural acres producing all kinds of crops from Mellano & Company’s flowers, to blueberries,
    strawberries, coffee, avocados, veggies, citrus, guavas, nursery stock and more.
    This area has the most agricultural aces west of the 15 freeway in all of San Diego County. Its farmers like Mellano & Company that give us this local food source and I say thank-you for all you do.

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