A Look Back at 2022


2022 has been another busy year on Mallon Farm. We continue to cast bronze in the foundry and have enjoyed exhibiting the new additions to the range, The Hare and The Boar of Ben Gulbain.








We have also continued to work on our flax growing and processing. In April, King Charles visited the area and we had the opportunity to discuss sustainable fibre and textiles with him. 

We also kept a close eye on the weather as we got ready to sow our 2022 crop of flax. All the seed we used was taken from last year's harvest. Charlie made a machine to speed up this process which is called "rippling".

Our Dad says "Ash before oak, we're in for a soak, Oak before ask, we're in for a splash"…the tree that comes into leaf first is thought to predict the summer rainfall. According to these trees around the flax field, we were going to have some good weather this summer.

Towards the end of May, the ground was dry enough to sow and we spent a great afternoon walking the length and breadth of this year's field to broadcast the seed using a traditional tool called a fiddle. A long bow is drawn across to disperse the seed, hence the name.








In June, Helen travelled to Westminster with the Nature Friendly Farming Network to talk to politicians about the role sustainable fibres and textiles can have in nature friendly farming. 

Later that month we had lovely weather for the Handmade Oxford Contemporary Craft Fair at Waterperry Gardens. For the first time this year, we were part of an area dedicated to sustainability. We enjoyed demonstrating our flax processing methods and chatting to people about our journey to restart the tradition of Irish grown linen. We also exhibited our range of bronze sculptures, prints and cards inspired by ancient Celtic myths and legends. 

Finally, in July, "The Wee Blue Blossom" appeared. This is always a special time on the farm and the views of the flax field in full bloom are quite a sight. The flax sways in the wind which is good for strengthening the fibres. Flax is so much part of our industrial and agricultural heritage here that six stems of flax in bloom feature in the logo of the Northern Irish Assembly at Stormont, Belfast. Each stem represents one of the six counties.

The highlight of August has to be our annual flax harvest. Record breaking hot temperatures made for exhausting work in the flax field as we pulled the crop by hand. Luckily we had plenty of enthusiastic help from old and new friends and the harvest, as always, was great craic.

We were very pleased with the quality of the flax this year and look forward to processing it. In November we spent a fantastic day with pupils from the Mid and East Antrim area discussing flax processing and textiles. We are grateful to Mid and East Antrim Council for inviting us to be part of such an engaging event. 

As this year draws to a close we would like to thank you all for your support and wish you a happy and healthy 2023. 

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