Linen Flax Crop – Harvest and Processing

IMG_1291Harvest Day was 10th February.

This was a bit over 3 months after planting. There was a mixture of some strong mature stems and some finer, less mature stems (planted a bit close so crowded themselves we think). Height was about 90cm to 110cm – a bit lower than what we had when we grew it surrounded by shade cloth – overall a very successful crop for being grown in the open in a season that had very mixed weather conditions. 

From our plot of 50 square meters the yield was quite significant – it filled the back of our Impreza station wagon twice over. Unfortunately we put the stems together into large bundles – IMG_1286this gave us some trouble at the next stage – we should have bundled them into smaller sheaves.

The trouble was that where we came to the “rippling” stage where the seed heads are removed we couldn’t just separate the stalks into easily handled bunches to pul through a rippling comb. So it is a long process of pulling the seed pops off by hand.

The next stage after the rippling is the “retting” process. The plan this year is using 44 gallon drums for this process – also a new experiment for us.

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