Friday, March 8, 2013

Urban Cloth Project a.k.a. The Flax Project

The ground preparation on two new flax plots

The flax plot at Means of Production garden is now dug, weeded, and bone meal added for phosphate, ready for planting thanks to hard work by Sharon, Caitlin and Arlen.

There is a medium size tree in the SE corner, but we're hoping it won't shade the crop and result in poor fibre production.

If any grow-along folks haven't yet prepared the soil for planting you need to get to it. If the weather stays this mild, we may be into seed sowing by next month.

The plot at McLean Park has been double dug and bone meal put on the soil. Many thanks to Sharon, David, Martin and especially Cindy, the McLean Park gardener.

Sadly, the soil is full of stones, not very deep and on top of a clay pan, so it's going to need a layer of compost of some kind and extra soil to make it viable. We're hoping the park Board will deliver a load of soil and some leaf mulch to give some organic matter to the soil and make a decent seed bed for flax seed germination.

This plot will be shaded by several trees, so we will have to see how this affects the flax. Flax should be grown where there is full sun.

It's also going to be hard to stop the many off-leash dogs that are brought to this park from flattening the seedlings or lodging the flax plants. It will need a good fence around it. For now, until the soil and leaf mulch are delivered, yellow tape will have to suffice.

We have finally decided on a name for the project - The Urban Cloth Project. This takes into account the work that Urban Weaver has already done on the possibility of using invasive species like broom for cloth, the 'chiengora' from the grooming of the finer coated dogs in the local pound, and urban yarn harvesting. The latter is buying machine made sweaters from charity stores, unravelling them, plying the yarn and either reknitting or weaving with it to make new garments.


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