I’m on the board of a flax group in Ontario, where our goal is to get farmer’s growing fields of fibre flax in Ontario. We were once a powerhouse of growing and processing. But that all ended around the 50’s, when the last of the equipment was sold off and shipped away. In Canada, we still have many quality areas for growing bast fibres, but we only grow for the seeds.
I grow my own linen fibres for personal use. I buy linen fibres from Great britain and West Germany, and hemp fibres from Romania and China. After my trip to a hemp farm last weekend, I may finally have a source for some Canadian hemp fibres!
I was a lot of fun to see the farm. They are growing a hybrid plant which should give me decent fibre from the lower half of the stalk. I’m not interested in the main field (most years) of the crop, I want to play around with the marginal growth of shorter plants on the edges. I was far too late for fibre plants this year, coming to visit as I did in August. Lol, so many things to fix/update/change for next year. Even if I find a way to use some of the crop for fibre hemp, the majority of the crop produces a more industrial hemp fibre product, which I also took a sample of.
This industrial fibre product is something I have been looking for, going on 2 years now! I brought my own sample with me, but it came from another part of my network, and isn’t something I can easily repeat, it’s just a nice example of what is possible from industrial hemp products. I finally have my hands on a repeatable product that I can show people.
This year was a really wet year which had been preceeded by a very dry year. I was able to run into the middle of the field and wave back. Normally the hemp would be too dense for me to pull such a trick, and you would not be able to see me. It was pretty neat being able to walk the field.
A little closer so you can see its me!
This is the farm I visited.