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Linen Flax - Flax plant for spinning and weaving

 
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Just ordered some flax today with my annual seed order, thought it was beautiful and always looking for plants that multipurpose. Excited to see what the variety I purchased is meant to do.  I feel like just today my appreciation for this lovely plant has grown immensely.
 
pollinator
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M Broussard wrote:This is my second season growing fibre European flax...


Congratulations!  It seems like you might have enough to test out the Textile Prepare Flax for Spinning BB.  It is a Straw level badge but you can work on them even if you haven't finished the sand level.  You do have to earn the sand badge to be eligible for the straw level badge but there are no rules against working on Straw or higher level BBs before earning sand level.  
 
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Here's a video about small scale linen growers in California.  
They had a webinar.

 
pollinator
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The webinar was with alot of people. The Cleveland flax project was in Cleveland Ohio.

Funny that was the last post. I'm within that fibershed. They are trying to find more people to grow flax. I'm considering it. That's actually why I came to this post.

I'm curious about timing of planting. It was suggested April and May, no later than mid May, because flax likes cool damp weather. So no later than mid May makes sense for how early we sometimes get hot and dry up in the summer.
I'm basically west of Pittsburgh. How frost hardy is flax? That seems to be what would limit from planting too early. Or if planting early in a prepared area would the seed just not germinate until the weather was consistent? I wouldn't think frosts would kill all the seed if planting 'too early'.

Given our hotter, dryer summer it was said that for fiber the flax planted in May seemed to need harvesting about end of July. Which apparently was earlier than expected?

I was planning to run the pigs to "prepare" the planting area. Broadcasting after the pigs and shaking out straw to try and cover the seed a bit to make it less tempting to birds.
The possible wrench in that plan is it depends on when I actually get the piglets (supposed to be farrowing beginning of March), and have them long enough to train them to electric. To fence off the area and be able to reliably keep the pigs in it for the prep. If planting in early May it should be enough time. But it will be a field crop, not in a place that could be watered. And too big of an area than I'd want to anyhow! So it seems best if it's not kept on real cold into April planting earlier would be better. The rain may dry up mid June, it may wait til early July. But when it stops then there usually won't be a measurable rain event til it cools in September.

Is there any reason planting behind pigs may not be great way to do flax?

Also, when harvested how do you need to store the bundles?

Thanks! I'll come back and reread the whole thread later. Sorry if I asked something already answered!
 
pollinator
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Here in SE Minnesota, we plant golden seed flax the 3rd week of April, no later than the end of the month. We harvest around the 1st of August. Timing should be around the same for fiber flax. Flax does better when rain and soil nutrition is adequate.
 
r ranson
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when do you plant oats or barley?

the timing is usually the same.
 
r ranson
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I usually plant somewhere in March or April (left coast of Canada).  Flax seems pretty frost hardy for the first few weeks.  It doesn't like the soil too warm to germinate.  

I also don't want the hassle of watering, so I try to get at least 40 days before the rains stop.

Some places, they overwinter flax.
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