first flax flowersJackie and I visited our garden today, where we’re growing flax with an eye toward making linen. We were pleased to find the first flowers on our flax plants.

Sorry for the crappy photo—I neglected to bring my camera, so this was taken with my phone. Worse, it was windy, so everything was moving. Still, it gives you a general idea of how our flax is coming along—close to knee-high, and very thick and lush. (Apparently growing very thick is preferred if you’re growing flax for fiber, rather than for seed. Thickly packed plants grow straight and tall without branching, so you get the longest fibers. More sparsely grown plants tend to branch out, which is fine if you’re growing the plants for flax seeds, but not ideal if you want textile fiber.)

Somewhat more successfully, I took this photo of some bison with calves, in a field behind the hotel where we stayed in Greenville for our Sharp family reunion.

bison with calves

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2 thoughts on “First flax flowers

  1. That looks amazing, Phil. I can’t wait to see more as you actually go through the steps to do it.

  2. We’re very excited, and it’s going very well so far.

    Jackie has gotten some of the equipment we need, from fiber-active friends who took a brief interest in flax and linen. (We have an improvised hackle, for example.) My main concern is retting—where are we going to let a whole field of plants soak in water for long enough that the vegetable matter rots away?

    But it’s really all an experiment anyway. If it doesn’t work out, our actual loss will be very small—a few dollars for seeds, a few more for whatever equipment we end up needing to buy, a few hours of working the soil (which we’d have had to spend anyway, no matter what we planted).

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