2 Montgomery County Women Are on a Mission to Revitalize Flax for Pennsylvania Linen Industry

Pa. Flax Project
Image via Pennsylvania Flax Project.

Emma de Long of Kneehigh Farm in Pottstown and Heidi Barr, owner of Kitchen Garden Textiles, have joined forces to launch the Pennsylvania Flax Project with the goal of growing flax locally, writes Lisa Dukart for The Business Journals.

Flax is used to make linen, with its byproduct having money-making uses beyond textiles, including animal bedding, mulch, and as building material.

Since it is not easy to process, flax is not readily grown in the United States – and de Long and Barr are hoping to change that.

Last year, the pair planted around an eighth of an acre of flax using seed they acquired through the heritage seed program at Lancaster-based Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum.

“It was our pandemic baby,” joked Barr.

The crop takes around 100 days on average to grow and can be incorporated into regenerative farming practices as well as crop rotations.

“It could, in a best-case scenario, replace monocrop such as heavily chemically fertilized things like corn and soy,” Barr said.

The project is now gathering steam as more growers are joining and participating in growing trials to determine which varieties thrive in this climate.

Read more about Pennsylvania Flax Project in The Business Journals.