Backyard flax experiment 2019 #4 harvest

7th of July 2019 was the big day – the harvest was due. Patch 5 and 6 were already harvested through my father Rolf a few weeks ago (early harvest patches), now it was time for the rest. The flax was also immediately rippled after the harvest and the seeds collected. It took a stunning 4 hours to harvest the entire field, because we needed to remove all support structures and ropes that were entangled.

We immediately placed the flax on the grass field afterwards (traditionally you would dry the stems open-air but we followed the idustrial way) where they would stay for around 4 weeks for retting. We turned the flax 3 times during that time. In heinseight it could have been retted even longer as we had some troubles with removing the chaff (wooden part of the plant) in further processing. Below you see a water retted bunch of flax (the white one) that came from a field I had planted to just test different retting methods. It was left in a outside basin for 2 weeks. Unfortunately it overretted, so the fibres are rather britle and short. In the next post you can read about the processing of the “flaxperiments”!

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