At the end of November I dug over a space in a garden that I 'borrow' and covered it with cardboard to stop weeds regrowing.
It was manured last year, so from what I read that should be sufficient nitrogen for next year's growing season. Flax does not require much nitrogen. Over-fertilizing can result in long spindly stalks that lodge easily. The ratio of N:P:K should be 4:7:7.
Nothing left to do until spring planting but get on with the planning.
I am getting plans from http://www.woolgatherers.com/FlaxTools.html for the scutcher, breaker and rippler. Martin Border (he of the lovely spindled, walnut dyed knitted sweater) will be building them.
The hackles will come from Dragonfly Farm http://pweb.jps.net/~gaustad/flax.html. These are the most expensive part of the project and will take up almost all of the grant.
I'm still looking for a Canadian supplier of 'Marilyn' flax seed, otherwise will have to order it from Kentucky http://flaxforsale.com/html/the_store.html.
There are two people who are going to grow flax in plots of their own (in community gardens). Of course they'll be able to take advantage of the flax processing equipment at the field house to make their own linen.
So if you want to grow some flax for yourself, remember that the processing equipment will be here for you to use once you've dried and retted your crop.
It takes a 20x20 foot plot to grow enough to make a shirt, but you can always grow a smaller amount over several years and save it. Once the flax is dried, it can be retted at any time. Once it is retted it can be processed at any time. Of course the linen fibre will keep for hundreds of years!
You can read the blog posts here and see when I plant/weed/harvest/rett etc and follow along with your crop.