Things at the farm are starting to pick up speed in preparation for the coming growing season.
As mentioned in January’s blog, we will be growing five acres of the Melina variety of flax this year along with small test plots of newer types. Denise has been busy figuring out the correct way to bring our seeds into the country. We will be ordering our seeds through a certified seed importer.
Since we are increasing our production levels, we are going to invest in a second-hand grubber. A grubber is a machine that will pull the flax plant out of the ground and place it, in an organised manner, on the ground. Denise is researching the necessary procedure to ship a piece of equipment to Canada from the European Union.
We have been working with Belfast Mini Mills, a manufacturer of processing equipment for animal fibres, to see if their equipment can process our short line linen fibres. Testing has yielded positive results! This past week, Jeff and Peter, from Belfast Mini Mills, delivered a separator and carder. Justine and I are working on developing a product from our short line linen. This will enable us to use all of the “waste” fibre from the long line processing we do.We are excited to be getting close to have product available for sale.
Our flax processing room has been set up and now contains three pieces of equipment. We have begun testing on our scutching machine with positive results. Construction on our fourth piece of equipment, the hackler, continues. The scutching machine will remove the shive from the fibres while the hackler will combine the linen fibres, and remove any knots and short line linen fibres.
Patricia’s knitting machine is now operational. I am learning how to use the machine to knit dishcloths. It was recommended to me by several machine knitters that I start with wool and then move on to linen.
We have been working with a local graphic designer to develop product labels.
We are excited to announce that we are continuing to work with Shannon at Trusted Clothes. We will be publishing a monthly guest blog to provide an update of life on the farm and where we are at with developing our equipment line.
Finally, we have been working with a group of local wool growers to start a cooperative fibre mill in the Annapolis Valley. Exciting times!
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