Flax, Sussex (Organic)
A fairly tall flax at about 3′ that is good for fiber production. The brown seeds are noteworthy for their high alpha-linolenic acid (an Omega-3 fatty acid) content, as tested by the Irish Seed Savers Association. Eighteen varieties were tested with polyunsaturated fat percentages between 28-75%, and Sussex had the highest. Many Western diets are deficient in Omega-3 and excessive in Omega-6. Balancing this ratio could offer many health benefits including battling depression and mood disorders. A heritage English flax/ linseed from Sussex that came to us via The Irish Seed Savers Association.
Sow indoors in March for transplant, or direct sow as early as possible in the spring. For oilseed flax, direct sow 2-3 seeds per inch in rows as close as 6″ apart, optimal plant density is 30 plants per square foot. For fiber flax, optimal plant density is 175-200 plants per square foot; sow heavily.
Harvest and Seed Saving
Harvest for grain or seed saving when seeds rub out easily in your hand, from brown, dry seedheads. Lay on a tarp to dry for several days, then dance, rub, or flail seeds from seedheads. Winnow to clean or place seeds in a bowl and make stirring motion with your arm; chaff rises to the top for easy removal. To minimize cross pollination, isolate from other flax varieties by 30 feet, or more if you have lots of bees.