Fibre Flax Seed Bank Kick-Off

On February 8th we officially started the Fibre Flax Seed project with an online kick-off meeting.

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Nick Evans

On February 8th we officially started the Fibre Flax Seed project with an online kick-off meeting. We can imagine a future (a few years down the line) where a Fibreshed Scotland community will be self-sufficient in flax seed. We will have an established methodology for growing for seed, selecting the seed, gathering, cleaning and storing. There will be educational resources freely available to support newcomers and keep the supply abundant. All this activity will be out in the open and clear of judicial barriers.

However, as we started to explore in the kick-off session, there is much to be learned and much work to be done to bring the Seed Bank into existence. To all those who attended the kickoff: thanks for joining us on this journey - we are really looking forward to learning with you and bringing the theory into practice. For the next few sessions we will invite experts in a specific aspect of (flax) seed saving to give a short talk and then we can collectively reflect on possible take-aways. Later in the year we will also organise some in-person gatherings. In the meantime, Fibreshed Scotland will be attending the Gaia Foundation’s Introduction to Seed Saving course. We will also be contacting existing seed libraries to try and source suitable starter seeds…if you have any leads on this do get in touch!

During the meeting, we mentioned the Flax Field Lab trials that will be starting again soon. If you are interested, you can find out more and sign up to get involved here. There is also a free webinar aimed at farmers and growers on growing flax, on Thursday 29th Feb - registration link here.

Finally, a question came up in the meeting regarding collaborations with other UK based Fibresheds that we did not address at the time. This project is essentially collaborative and we would be thrilled to work on it together with other UK based Fibresheds. The only issue we must keep in mind is that of legislation - laws and processes related to seed saving are different in Scotland and are regulated by a different governmental body (SASA vs DEFRA). In the short term this may be a barrier to actually exchanging seeds for instance - but this should not prevent us from sharing knowledge and experience! Climates vary across the UK as well, so a UK landrace might not make sense - this is an open question to explore.

If you are interested in attending future sessions, follow us on Eventbrite to be notified of future sessions - hope to see you there!