String – to quote Spike Milligan – is a Very Important Thing
It may not look like much, a hairy bit of nothing, but that is the result of months of plant growth and hours of human endeavour. It is string made from flax grown in the garden last year. If it were priced by person or plant hours expended, it would be probably worth more than, oh, the annual salary of a dentist but if we were to sell it, we might get 30p.
Anyway, this is how we did it. Last spring I sowed about a square metre of flax – a very forgiving plant which will grow pretty much anywhere. Ours was in a spot shaded by lime trees and it didn’t seem to mind.
Once the flax had gone to seed I pulled it up and dried it, then in the autumn we rippled it – combed it to take the seeds off.