• Preparation
  • Sowing the field
  • Clay ground
  • Weeding

Biodynamic Flax Cultivation, Ekoboerderij De Lingehof, Hemmen

The Linen Project explores the potential of techniques and approaches in relation to the scale, location, and intention of its activities. Although minuscule by conventional industry standards, the 1.2-hectare field sown at biodynamic farm Ekoboerderij de Lingehof in 2019 would take upwards of 100 people to maintain–let alone harvest–by hand, requiring significant commitment and coordination given the unpredictability of activities and extent of the labour involved. 

André Jurrius engages technical innovation in support of his biodynamic farming practice, this extends to his role in cultivating flax for The Linen Project. Together with cultivation supervisor Karlijn Bokhorst, assisted by the field research of WUR student Talis Bosma, the helping hands of generous volunteers, and the industry experience of established flax fibre and seed producers Van de Bilt zaden en vlas bv, The Linen Project navigated what it means to grow a small-scale flax field for fibre production in the Gelderland region, taking a machine-based approach to harvest activities.

Talis Bosma’s report Vlasteelt in Beeld 2019 provides detailed insight into cultivation activities. 

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  • Preparation

    Preparation

    In the weeks before sowing the field was cultivated a number of times, disrupting the soil to prevent weed growth and creating an even seedbed. The ground was sprayed with a horn manure preparation one week prior to the flax seeds being sown, according to biodynamic practice. This is done to enhance the life of the soil and the relationship between the soil and the plants.

  • Sowing the field

    Sowing the field

    The field at the Ekoboerdrij de Lingehof was sown using a GPS driven tractor

  • Clay ground

    Clay ground

    Flax is traditionally grown in clay ground, often located in coastal regions. Ecoboerderij de Lingehof is situated on the river-clay ground of the more central Betuwe region, along the banks of the Linge in Hemmen.

  • Weeding

    Weeding

    Taking into account measures that allow the tractor to ride over the sprouting field, a harrow was used to disturb the soil and any germinating weeds for this first round. At this early stage of growth, the flax seedlings are expected to recover well.