Black Cat Farmstead

The Local Linen Project
We raise two fiber crops here at Black Cat; sheep's wool that is handspun into one-of-a-kind handmade yarns, and flax for the production of linen.  

In the spring of 2017, in partnership with our neighbors at A to Z Produce and Bakery, we were awarded a USDA-SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) grant to explore local linen production. Over the next two years, we will be growing fiber flax both here at the farm and at A to Z (the locally-famous Tuesday night pizza farm). Our crop will be processed at Taproot Fibre Lab in Nova Scotia, on their newly-developed mechanized processing equipment. 

Project updates are on the Black Cat Farmstead Facebook page.

Project overview

Local linen: exploring the feasibility of small-scale mechanized processing of fiber flax for linen production in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Working together with local growers, product end-users, and an academic partner; grow, harvest, and process textile flax using newly-developed cottage-industry scaled machinery. Investigate the local and regional market for tow, line flax, and linen, with the goal of determining the feasibility of developing local linen production capability to our area.

Public Participation at the Farm
The fiber studio and farm store are open year round with both regular hours and "by appointment" times.  We host annual special events which are open to the public - maple syrup making, sheep shearing days, lambing time, flax planting, harvest, and processing.  We are part of the Spring and Fall "Fresh Art" tours here in the Lake Pepin Region, and are regulars at the Shepherd's Harvest Festival in Lake Elmo, Minnesota (mid-May), the Stockholm Art Fair (3rd Saturday in July), Laura Ingalls Wilder Days (September), and Country Christmas (first weekend of December).    

We offer classes for individuals and small groups in diverse topics, including; hand spinning, needle felting, cheesemaking, flax processing, and weaving. Classes are held both here at the farm and through the Pepin Area Schools Community Education program.  

We host interns here at the farm who help us with a wide range of tasks.  If you are interested in a class or internship opportunity, please contact us.  The most current announcements regarding classes and special events can be found on the Black Cat Farmstead Facebook page.

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