Wednesday, May 29, 2013
May has slipped away. It has been a busy month.
Most of it has been spent in the garden. The fence was repaired, new fruit trees were planted (plum, cherry and peach). Peas, lettuce, kale and new asparagus plants were sown early in the month and are growing well. The tomatoes and peppers and annual flowers that we started from seed in the green house, have been transplanted.
For those of you that follow this blog, you may know that I have previously raised textile flax, and processed it successfully. And as much as I wanted to try it again, I was frustrated because the only variety that was available to me was the one I had already grown. The seed type was from Holland and goes by the name, Marilyn.
By the time March had rolled around, I had pretty much given up on being able to obtain another variety of flax to grow this year. I was planning the garden, and know from experience that I should be sowing the seed in April. It takes about a hundred days from seed to harvest, and I had not found anyone who was offering flax seed for sale (other than Marilyn).
But with a little help from my friends, I was connected with a few people who have helped me to obtain some seed to sample. Many thanks to you! (and you know who you are!)
Although I am past the date when I would normally sow flax seed, I'm hopeful that it isn't too late. The unusual cool weather we have been having is good for something, in this case, germination.
About a week ago I planted a small plot of flax cultivar, Elektra, which is another cultivar from the Netherlands, and as reported from other field trials, scores high marks for fineness of the fiber, and good yields.
The seed was obtained by my friend about a year ago, so I am very please with the overall results of the germination!
Yesterday, much to my surprise, my request for seed from the USDA was approved, and I received a small amount (about 200 seeds) of a cultivar from Hungary. I am very excited to be growing this, and plan to sow it later today.
So, thanks to the help of others and all of you who have been patient with my whining and complaining and frustration about the importance of biodiversity and the lack of availability of textile flax cultivars in the United States in the year 2013! I am again growing some flax for linen. A very small amount of it, but enough to do a comparison and draw some conclusions.