Saturday, January 26, 2013

Anyone wanting any flax seed?

I’m just finalising the details of the seed order now. So far we have the following flax plots:

2 plots at Means of Production garden of about 20x20 feet that Caitlin ffrench is taking on

a 5x20 plot at McLean Park feet that Cindy, the Parks Board gardener has graciously offered to help with

a 10x4 plot at my ‘other’ garden

a 5x20 plot at Aberthau Community Centre

and a possible plot in Strathcona Community Gardens

If I’ve missed you off the list, please post into the comments below and remind me!
After some very generous offers of land by the Parks Board, we decided on just one plot at Aberthau. It was a hard decision, but we decided to make this a trial year, and add in extra plots next year once we have more experience. Also, as flax can only be grown on a 5-year rotation, this year’s plots will need to be planted with something else until 2018.

We also have limited time (and of course no transportation) for getting to far flung, transit unfriendly places like Jericho, though the Parks Board have kindly agreed to do the soil prep and planting here. We will just take on the initial weeding and then the harvest. Look out for a harvest party out there in the fall with a picnic, a band, and lots of fun….

As to the crop rotation, I suggest the intervening crop years could be a year of red clover, to replace the nitrogen. It has the benefit of dyeing a lovely gold colour with aluminum sulphate. Woad would make a great year 2/3 crop (as long as it isn’t allowed to seed!), and a 4th year of local indigenous dye plants like Hypericum perforatum or perhaps another legume that also yields a dye. Anyone got any suggestions?


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