Thursday, April 4, 2013

Layering Rosemary

Creating new Rosemary Plants

This Rosemary plant was a little old when I bought it and didn't perform well. One of the branches was looking healthy. I decided to layer it so that it would form a new plant.

Rosemary can be layered to form new plants

It is really simple to do layering. You need some compost and a small rock. This branch of the Rosemary was already lying close to the ground. I added some compost to the area where the new plant would take root. I pressed the branch of the rosemary into the compost and placed a small stone onto the branch to keep it in place. I did this in July and by September a new plant had formed.

Snip the branch and carefully dig out the newly formed Rosemary plant. Transplant to where you want it to grow. 

Take care not to overwater rosemary, as too much water can kill it. Usually a good soak once a week is sufficient.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Harvesting Linseed or Flax seed

Harvesting Linseed / Flax

After a few months of drying on the plant the Linseed are ready to be harvested. The pods turn from green to an ochre colour. The Linseed husks become dry. You know that it time to harvest the seed when the pod crumbles to the touch.

Winnowing Linseed / Flax

The Linseed pods are subtle and beautifully shaped. As you crumble the pods, the shiny Linseed fall into your hand. You can winnow the husks in a light wind. Winnowing is done by pouring the seed and the husks from one vessel to another in a light breeze. The husks of the linseed will blow away on the breeze. The linseed themselves will fall into the container. This has to be done several times in order for all the linseed husks to blow away.


Linseed / Flaxseed in the diet

Linseed is known as a fantastic laxative. Soak a teaspoonful in water overnight and in the morning add the soaked Flax seed to your breakfast muesli.
A few sprouts in salads are delicious. Flax seed oil is used for creaking bones.

Flax stems make Linen

Flax or Linen is derived from the stems of the plant. It is a long process, as the stems need to dry thoroughly before the outer layer can be removed, leaving the flax fibers ready to be woven into linen. Flax fiber is used for paper making. The ancient Egyptians are know to have used flax fibre.

For more information on how to prepare flax for fibre making refer to Wikipeidia and other sites on flax fibre preparation.