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How Does Your Garden Grow? Flax!

This winter we planted one of our large raised bed planters at the Farmstead full of flax. We chose flax for this bed to test the bed and to test the flax. This particular raised bed hadn’t germinated much of anything for the past two seasons, and needed a lot of amendments to get back to productive condition. Flax is a fairly tolerant plant and will grow just about anywhere, and we knew if the flax didn’t germinate in that spot we would have to replace the soil more than we already had. The raised beds also needed something growing so that the soil didn’t wash away and pack down over our off season and flax has nice sturdy deep roots. Finally, we needed to test out golden flax and see how well it grows without much attention. We found that golden flax is just about ideal! It grew well in our less than ideal conditions and is already producing lots of beautiful blue flowers.

Flax Flowers in Bloom.

Flax Flowers in Bloom.

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Our flax is only about knee high right now, but soon it will be well over the top of even our tallest staff members heads. We will let our flax continue to grow until it sprouts seed heads. At that point we will harvest the seed heads to use as flax seeds for eating as well as for future plantings. Unlike most plants in our gardens, flax still has a use after its seeds have been harvested. We will let the flax dry in the field and then harvest it to process at the Farmstead. Once the flax has been processed we will be able to use it with our walking wheel to spin into linen thread that we can then knit or weave into cloth. When we get to processing the flax it will get its very own post here on the blog, so stay tuned!

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