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Finishing the Flax  2020 Flax study group

I promise we are almost done, but I suspect you wanted to see the culmination shots from this year’s harvest! This year we had planted two rows of flax, which did not look too excessive until we started to harvest it. Even with the flax being shorter this year, we still doubled the number of stocks we were dealing with. So, it took 3 Saturdays to finish the processing of the line this time. We did not finish all the…

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Spring and cleaning and de-stashing and rediscovery

Spring means many things, but it always reminds me of our Ottawa Valley Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild foray into growing our own flax, aka ‘The Flax Project’.  Its hard to believe it was over two years ago, nearly three, that a group of us tackled the happy adventure of trying to produce our own flax crop, not once, but twice.  It brought back memories of warm spring days planting and weeding, hot, hot summer days of staking and weeding (the…

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Flax Harvest 2020

This summer, has been vary different from what I had expected at the beginning of 2020. With covid19’s arrival, we have not been out much, so even weeding the flax patches a month ago seemed wildly exciting, well more so than last year weeding seemed. we are even more excited about being part of the Flax study group for year 2, since we get a chance to see some of our guild friends even if we are a bit farther…

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Flax Study Group 2020 –Seed removal PART 2

When we last left off, we had just started rolling the seed heads Cole had removed with his bladed implement and the rakes when Henry returned from his quest. He had gone off to seek grated screens  so we could sieve out the chaff and sand and leave less wast with the seed.               51-53 the sieving begins, There were a lot of screen options and it took a moment to work out the…

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Year 2 Flax Study Group, The Violent bit’s at the end!

A review of year 2 so far This year the flax study group planted the seed we had harvested from last year. We had enough to double our planting and had 2 rows planted this year. We had 2 covid-modified weeding parties at 4 to 6 inches of growth but without the wonderful cake to celebrate successful weeding!  1-2 The first part of the summer was very dry and hot so the flax was ready earlier than anticipated. We left…

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Flax Study Group 2020 –Seed removal Part 1 (from the stocks)

This is the part I missed last year, so was particularly interested in photographing and participating this year. When we last left off we had had a very hot dry summer, the flax had matured more quickly than anticipated and we harvested early. We considered a second planting but there were a number of health issues in the group this summer so we decided against it. The flax was picked, bundled and stacked along the fence. Once dry, it would…

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2020 Flax project year 2 (Coronas Virus version)

Last fall we harvested and processed the flax grown over the summer. As part of the process, we removed the seeds from the stocks. We got quite a bit of seed. Some of which will be used to make flax-dressing (also known as elephant snot). It is a truly disgusting mucus looking substance that makes spinning flax much easier. But you don’t need very much to make a reasonable quantity so we ended up with more seed than we started…

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Flax Study Group Part 3

Flax Study Group Part 3 (sorry this is a Long Post if you make it through to the end there are videos! make sure to check out the one on flax dressing its really horrible looking stuff but works exceedingly well) After a break for the guild Sale and Exhibition we resumed the Flax project on Saturday, November 16th at 10am. It included a potluck lunch. A quick review of what went before: – April 4, 2019 Waiting for the…

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Flax Study Group Part 2

Flax Study Group Part 2 In my Last post, we got up to the pulling of the flax plants, tying them in small bundles and laying them against the fence to dry. But this was not the worst fate for these unsuspecting plants. I was unable to attend this section of the processing but the rest of the group worked hard to Ripple and Winnow the flax.    The flax bundles were moved into the barn out of the rain…

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Flax Study Group Part 1

Flax Study Group Part 1 (Sorry. I got to the first part of the harvest and realized this could grow into a book! So i will tell you about the violence and weapons like swords, brakes, hackles and skutching later.) There are many reasons you might want to join a local guild. There is the comradery of people who are also interested in what you are interested in. There may be access to shared equipment or resources. There may also…

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