Hippie Heart Horizontal

Mrs. Homegrown here:
So I was wrong about the rains in that self-pitying post I wrote a week or two ago. They came again. (But this time, I really do think this is our last spate of rain.) It was a strong, blustery storm and it laid our flax flat. The poor hippie heart.

It had just started to bloom. Those little blue flowers turn to pods. Each pod holds a few seeds. That’s where flax seeds come from. As a city girl, I find this very impressive. Even more mind blowing is to look at these stalks and realize linen is made from them.

Flax is notorious for falling over from its own weight if not planted close together or supported. Rosalind Creasy, queen of the attractive edible garden, makes metal grids for her flax to grow through so it stays upright. I’d been trusting the universe. And the universe worked, until the storm. They might fluff up again when they dry. Or I might go out and see if I can encourage them into verticality.

If I can’t, I’ll harvest the stems, rot them, pound them, learn to spin, learn to weave, and make one square inch of linen.

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  1. “If I can’t, I’ll harvest the stems, rot them, pound them, learn to spin, learn to weave, and make one square inch of linen.”

    That’s the spirit. :)

    Reminds me of a recent article I read on harvesting and making maple syrup. I was saddened to learn my one tree isn’t going to cut it…by a long shot.

    - Damian

  2. @Parsimony: The Heart is an experimental space. I’m planting seeds and grains directly out of my pantry in it, just to see what they’ll do. So that’s grocery story flax, with those fancy imported Lentils de Puy around it. Next up is sesame seeds and cumin. I never intended to do anything with the flax–I just thought it would look nice.

    But you know, it is indecent how all these hamsters are going around stark naked.

  3. Ohhh, I can’t wait to find out how the cumin comes out. I have been running from one garden center to another trying to find cumin seeds. If I can grow them out of my spice rack, I’ll be in a whole new world.

  4. I have read that flax gets really stinky while it’s retting. Also, you have to stop the process at the right time or it will be weak. This is just book knowledge as I have participated only in the braking, hackling and spinning. Let us know how you do as I’d like to try it from seed someday.

  5. Flax is such a pretty plant – every so often I get a volunteer blue flax plant spring up in the yard. The last one grew to the size of a basketball, so I wonder if you could space them farther apart and they’d bush out more? (oh if only we city-gardeners had more room, right?!)

    Have you tried growing garbanzo beans yet? The fresh pods are yummy and I’ll bet it’s about time to throw them in the ground.

  6. Good luck on that linen project :) You are probably still being pelted with rain. We are, here in northern calif. I came here via the article in the March issue of Ladies’ Home Journal, by the way. Your books look really interesting. I’m glad to have found you.

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