Since hemp is not legal to grow in the states and Canada, (although you wouldn’t be able to tell up here), and I don’t want to blatantly break the law on this project (why risk deportation from the Great White North?), I decided to grow flax to convert into linen. I could also use the seeds for linseed oil, but 1), seed and fibers are harvested at different times and 2) I’m hooked on using walnut oil ever since I started using M. Graham paints several years ago. It smells better and my brushes clean up nicely with only walnut oil & soap, saving me the effort of creating turpentine from scratch.
When I was in Colton, I visited K’s Nursery, bought three flax plants for a total of $6, and a bag of potting soil for $2.00. Very helpful and friendly people. Unlike other Nurseries in the region, they sell a lot more than just Christmas tree saplings.
They don’t have a website but follow the link for their contact info.
Here’s two shots of the plants in April:
I planted them at my parent’s property. Here’s a shot of their condition as of today (thanks sis!). They were moved a bit to make way for a walkway to my parent's new house (thus the different background). My plan for these three plants is to let one be harvested for fiber (for a proof of concept test), and the other two for seed. If I’m lucky, I’ll have enough flax from the seed to make a canvas.
Coming up: My visit to the Squaxin Island Native American Museum, and Fibrefest International 2007