Welcome to Chesapeake Fibershed Flax 2024! 

 

We are busily picking up the pieces of our conversations from our first year of growing flax together and moving into a new growing season. We are excited to share our new projects for the 2024 growing season, and hope they provide the infrastructure to support our community requests and endeavors.

Chesapeake Fibershed Flax is continuing to facilitate  the space for inclusive learning and sharing around growing and processing flax from seed to cloth through online meet ups and in person events. We are striving to support new and seasoned growers in conversations and knowledge sharing, and to create opportunities for community shared flax plots. Our longer term goals are still evolving, and ultimately we hope to encourage larger scale flax production in our region and to create access to locally sourced linen.

If you are new to growing flax we will be offering information for starting your own flax garden through online meet ups as well as opportunities to plant and harvest together. If you have missed an online meeting, recordings are available for registered participants (link to join: https://forms.gle/hQgmMxZfWnBCDH3N6).

Our next online meet up is May 7 details below:

Chesapeake Fibershed Flax Online Meet Up 

Harvesting and Retting your Flax, May 7, 7:30-8:30pm

Curious to explore the steps from flax harvest to woven fabric?  

Come share your experiences and pick up tips for a successful flax harvest. We will open with a presentation on when and how to harvest your flax crop and move into the artisanal steps needed to create a woven cloth.  After the short presentation we will open the room for a fruitful discussion and sharing of ideas around the intricacies of working with the flax as a fiber.

Register here for the zoom link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82649676721?pwd=TDZkbEgwYVAzQlJoWEJuWWlxYS9Ldz09

2024 CF Flax updates and our in-person event schedule:

Participants of the CF flax group meet to plant flax April 2024

On April 13 Chesapeake Flax participants met at Button Farm to plant Linore flax, a dual purpose flax variety.  The seed comes from University or Oregon via Landis farm and produces seed oil and fiber.  Participants cleared a bed of Jerusalem artichoke tubers before planting up a 4’x8’ bed of flax.  We will be back to weed this bed and another large bed seeded with two other varieties of flax, Nathalie and Avian. Looking forward to seeing folks at Button Farm for weeding in May, and harvesting in late June (details on the schedule below).

Flax planting at Button Farm April 2024

Button Farm flax processing event 2023

This year we began planting a community plot of flax at Button Farm! Here below is a schedule of upcoming farm events–we very much hope you can join us.  We will be fine tuning these events and details as conversations help us to develop and direct our activities. 

Flax Planting Day at Button Farm, Saturday, April 13th from 10am-1pm

We will meet at 10am at Button Farm to prepare a garden bed and plant flax. Following our work we will gather for lunch. Please dress for garden work as we will be digging out a bed of Jerusalem artichokes to make space for a smaller bed of flax. If you wish to stay for lunch please bring your own bagged/no waste lunch!

Address: 16820 Black Rock Rd, Germantown, MD 20874

Button Farm Living History Museum webpage for more information: https://buttonfarm.org

Flax Weeding Day and Potluck at Button Farm, Saturday, May 18th, 10am-2pm

A potluck sign-up will be sent out to the registered flax participants.  

It is not too late to register to participate with this year’s cycle of exploration whether you grow your own flax or choose to join in on our community shared flax garden at Button Farm. Link to register to receive updates and information: https://forms.gle/hQgmMxZfWnBCDH3N6

Flax Harvest and Retting Day at Button Farm, Saturday, June 29th from 12-4pm

Special note: our Harvest and Retting Day will coincide with Montgomery Heritage Day. The farm will be open to the general public and participants in Chesapeake Fibershed Flax group are invited to set up information tables, demo all things flax and offer flax and fiber related publications for sale.

If you have not already ordered flax seeds for the season you still have time!  Many of us have ordered directly from Landis Valley Farm. This year they are offering Avian flax seed from Holland as well as Linore flax seed, a dual variety of fiber and oil flax seed developed by the University of Oregon (no patent). We will be testing out this variety at Button Farm!

You can purchase flax seeds here:

https://the-heirloom-seed-project.square.site/shop/flax/24

Stay tuned for more updates and information here.

Best wishes and happy gardening!

Mary, Ellen, Roan and Kerstin

Button Farm geese…