Demonstration Gardens of Flax, Natural Dyes & Heritage Wheats
216 W Main St
Searsport, ME 04974
Flaxapalooza 2020! 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 the 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.