Last year, three local organisations worked with the community in and around Blackburn to do something that hasn't been done in this country for at least 100 years. Together they grew the textile crops flax and woad on disused land near our school. Within 6 months it was transformed into a piece of indigo linen which was showcased during last October's British textile Biennial.
Homegrown Homespun is a ground-breaking regenerative fashion project that's helping bring the textile industry back to North West England. Fast fashion is a huge contributor to both social and environmental exploitation and they want to change things for the better by working with the communities most impacted.
St Mary and St Joseph's School are part of this exciting and innovative project to revive textiles and we are going to help achieve the ambitious plan of bringing a line of locally grown jeans to market in time for the next Biennial in October
Flax seeds were sown on our school field on the 15th April 2022 and it's already beginning to grow well, but as we're working to restore soil health and wildlife biodiversity, no weed killers or pesticides are being used. Therefore, we need to help to weed the field before it grows tall enough to risk trampling.
Our first BIG WEED session is going to take place on Wednesday 18th May 2022 - any help would be appreciated.
Please keep checking back to see our updates.
Photographs taken at the Big Weed in May.
Thank you so much to all the parents and the volunteers from Super Slow Way who came along to help the children weed our flax field. You all did a great job!
News Flash! - 16th June
Our flax is growing well, the weather conditions have been kind to us and our plants are thriving!
Our woad will be used to create an indigo dye to colour our fabric. It is growing well but we have to keep it safe in tall containers to protect it from from slugs
July 14th - Great news, as we came into school this morning we saw that the flax field was a sea of blue. Our flax is flowering! Next seed pods will appear and it will be ready to harvest.
After watching our flax move through its journey of growth we were pleased to be able to come together to harvest the flax. Children, their parents and volunteers from Super Slow Way joined us to pull up the plants and lay them on the ground to dry out. Some flax was still flowering so we left this for another 2 weeks before harvesting again. It was hard work but so rewarding to see how from tiny seeds our flax had grown into strong healthy plants without the need for any fertilizer or chemical additives. Nature had provided the correct conditions for a 'bumper harvest'.
After 2 weeks (during our summer break from school), the harvested flax was formed into
'stooks' by Justine and the volunteers.
Don't they look proud as they stand tall against the skyline! The stooks were taken to dry
thoroughly with other flax grown by Homespun Homegrown and Super Slow Way.
We eagerly await the next stage of this exciting project.
Making Seed Bombs
In July Andrea and Uzma from the Superslow Way team came into school to help us make seed bombs. In the autumn and next spring we will throw the bombs onto soil around the school to brighten up areas of ground that are dull and in need of colour!
We really enjoyed making them and thank you to the parents who came into school to help.
Keep your eyes open for beautiful flowers appearing in the spring.