Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Aberthau Community Centre Flax Plot and Retting Pond

Here’s the latest picture of the 84sq m plot with its seedling flax and a range of dye plants.

Some of the dye plants are also edible (carrot tops, amaranth), and the marigolds not only dye but they draw aphids and carrot root fly away from the other plants.

Just out of the picture is a permanently flooded area that we are now using as a retting pond. We were given some old flax plants grown in Vancouver that the grower hadn't retted (thanks Louisa!). So we have a chance to do some trial runs at retting before our own crop is ready. We hope to learn how to do it successfully so we can pass the information on to all you grow-alongs.

The Urban Weavers at McLean field house didn't like the idea of the retting being done in the bath there as retting (AKA rotting) can be smelly, so the flooding problem at Aberthau has become a bonus feature.

Also, here's a picture of the antique fine grade hackle being scrutinised by the blacksmith from Burnaby Heritage Village and David Gowman (Legion of Flying Monkeys) to see how they can make us another one - but this time the coarse one we'll need for the first hackling.


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