Kim Hill

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since Mar 12, 2012
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Recent posts by Kim Hill

r ranson wrote:Oh dear, this is a really tricky question.  I wish I had a simple answer for you.

A lot of it depends on how experienced you are at processing.  If you are just learning, you probably need four times as much flax as someone who has been processing for a few years.  Then there's the weather and the soil and the wind... Some years I can get two or three times the average amount of fibre out of a patch.  Sometimes, less than half.  Different patches around the farm produce vastly different amounts of fibre for the same amount of space and seed.

Generally, when we are starting out, the limiting factor is the seed.  Grow as much as you have seed.  Observe what it's like for you, in your growing conditions, your soil, your climate.  Save the seeds for next year and base your space on that.

If you want numbers, a 5x10 feet bed of flax usually gives enough for a pair of handwoven towels (on the West Coast of Canada).  Clothing would probably be spun quite a bit thinner, so it might be enough for a top.  



Thank you for your reply. I hope to get your book when able
3 months ago
Thank you. This is great to know. It really makes one see what it took in times past.
3 months ago
What is a reasonable size plot for growing flax? If I want to make say a pair of pants and top, how large of an area is needed in Michigan?
3 months ago
I have a hand cranked outboard boat motor from my grandfather who passed away 20 years ago at age 103. No idea what year the motor is from but actually used it once.
4 months ago
Travis where is Michigan are you? I am in the thumb. Anyway there is a website called freeplants.com by Mike Groate (sp?). He had a book on plant propagation that was not very expensive and he also tells you a ton of information on his website and email list. I would take a look to see if you can gleen any information from his site. He does mainly non edible plants but does go into detail with soft wood and hard wood cuttings. I believe he has a money back guarantee for 30 days on his book so it might be worth the risk to you because if it is not helpful, you can send it back.
3 years ago
For some reason none of the "clickable links" through Permies is working for me since the redesign. Anyone the url for the subscription instead of the link? Thanks
3 years ago
I got mine but wanted to report that I am unable to "click" any blue links in the new system to have them take me to the information. It happens whether I am signed in or not.
I agree with the other permies here who have health issues. I have rheumatoid arthritis which flared so bad 6 years ago I was almost completely bedridden. It took a lot of work and pain but I can basically do just about anything I want to do now...with time and effort that is. I say begin the learning process with something the interests you. I had a huge flower garden for many years and converted to growing food crops instead. Once I felt I was getting the hang of that, I learned how to dehydrate food and then water bath can fruits and tomatoes. I eventually went to full our canning a few years ago. In the years it took to get to that point, I took classes on making my own yogurt and cheeses. I taught myself how to tap maple trees and boil down the sap to syrup. I took classes in blacksmithing and can make basic handles and hinges now. I had 3 hens hidden in the city for fresh eggs and to learn how to care for them. You will not do all this in a day, week or even a year but you need to start learning as soon as you can.

In October, I finally took a complete leap of faith and bought my little 3 acre farm at the age of 53. I do have my brother living with me now since his divorce so had someone who can do some of the heavy work with me (no FOR me but with me). I can drive a tractor and use a winch to pull logs out of the small forested area for fire wood now. I now raise a dozen chickens and started with turkeys. I will be picking up my new bees in late March after I found a mentor to teach me the ways of the bees. I also will be picking up a couple of pigs soon. Believe me, if I can do it so can you. Don't expect to buy the land and jump in full time. Give yourself the gift of knowledge now and in the near future you can do it. I should also add another thing I am doing is volunteering 2 days a month at a dairy so I can learn how to take care of milk cows. My dream is to have my own girl as soon as I retire in a few years and to get into making homestead cheeses, yogurt, butter and ice cream on a larger scale. My ultimate goal is to grow/raise at least 75% of the food I and my 4 dogs consume.
3 years ago
I would offer the neighbor the opportunity to work for the food instead of buying it. In this way he/she has the opportunity to see how much work goes into growing, harvesting, cleaning, processing etc the food. I plan on doing a work share type thing next year with my apples for those who cannot afford to purchase the apples (or do not want to pay). They will pick pound for pound what they leave, for example, pick and keep 10 pounds but pick and leave 10 pounds for sale as well. You will find out quickly if you just have a greedy neighbor or one in need. Kim
3 years ago
I am looking for someone who would like to help take a 3 acre farm and turn it into a permaculture paradise. I can offer a nice place to live in exchange for help around the farm. I would like someone who knows a bit about permaculture and animals. I just purchased the farm so there are no processes in place yet except for chickens and turkeys. I want to get a food forest in place and start animal production. You will get to renovate a 14x24 outbuilding into your own place to live, I will pay for the materials. In exchange for a place to live, you will help with whatever chores need to be done including getting a market garden from over-worked field to production, fencing for soon to be animals on the homestead and putting permaculture practices into place. Once we begin to make some money, we will split the profits.

The farm is located in Michigan's thumb area. It is a true 4 season wonderland with hunting, fishing, off road fun and more. If you enjoy your time off at the beach, it is only a few miles away. If interested, please send me a message so we can begin to get to know each other.
3 years ago