The Flaxapalooza Demonstration Garden will showcase flax, heritage wheats, and natural dye plants that perform well in our coastal Maine climate and soils with minimal maintenance. The garden includes a display bed of Avian variety fiber flax specifically chosen for the quality of the fiber (as opposed to the quality of the seed oil). The heritage (landrace) wheats to be planted for authentic baking and art projects are Black Winter Emmer, Rouge de Bourdeaux, Einkorn, Banatka, and Caucasus Rouge thanks to a generous donation from Eli Rugosa and CR Lawn of www.growseeds.org. Dye plants will include indigo (polygonum tinctorium and indigofera tinctoria), coreopsis tinctoria, red onions, purple carrots, weld, and dahlias. During the season, the plants will be harvested and used for spinning, weaving, cooking, and dyeing.
The wheat seeds were planted in the fall right before garlic planting, direct seed planting starts in mid-April and the greenhouse seedlings start going in by the first week of June. The garden is designed for self-guided tours, so each plant is labeled with its botanical name, common name, cultural information, and textile-related uses. Each bed is prepped in late fall with either a ground cover or a heavy mulching of fresh raked seaweed. No herbicides, insecticides or fungicides are used in the gardens.
We are looking for volunteers to:
- GARDEN: start and tend seedlings, plant when the soil is warm, weed, create handouts and make plant identifiers for the gardens, post pictures to social media and create garden updates.
- GARDEN OUTREACH: create, mailing and following up on the flax seed packets. Contact museums, historical societies and public gardens who may plant and tend gardens from the seeds that we send them.
- NATURAL DYE DEMONSTRATIONS at Wednesdays at the Shore. Demonstrate natural dyes during Wednesdays at the Shores. Please see dates and events on our Wednesdays at the Shore schedule.
- LEAD GARDEN WALKS at Wednesdays at the Shore. Lead scheduled walks through the garden on Wednesdays at the Shores, from 5-7 pm. lease see dates and events on our Wednesdays at the Shore schedule.