Flax: The Surprise Top Seller of 2005

It seems like every magazine we pick up these days has an article about the health benefits of Omega-3 essential fatty acids. So perhaps we should not have been surprised to look at LocalHarvest's year end sales and find that flax seeds were one of our top selling products. We called Carmen Fernholz, LocalHarvest.org's flax seed provider, to find out more about his experience growing flax seed.

Fernholz operates A-Frame Farms in central Minnesota, where his operation has been organic for the last 25 years. During that time he has developed close relationships with organic crop researchers at the University of MN. About six years ago they suggested that Fernholz try working golden flax into his row crop rotation because they thought it might be a good cash crop for him. Although he didn't know much about flax at the time, Fernholz says, "I'm always up for an experiment so I tried it."

The first few years in the field taught him a lot about what works with this crop and what doesn't. Now he grows 10-20 acres a year, and if all goes well he yields 15-18 cleaned bushels per acre. Fernholz calls flax seed a "fairly high risk crop" to grow organically. It doesn't compete very well with weeds, so he has to have a fairly aggressive weed control system in place, and wet weather around harvest time could cause the crop to spoil. Still, Fernholz is very pleased with his move into flax seed production, and is pleased to see the market for this healthful food expanding.

Fernholz sells his flax seed at food co-ops and grocery stores in central Minnesota, and has friends who are so hooked they come right up to the back door for their supply. He also credits LocalHarvest.org with the briskness of his business. "I just can't say enough about what an impact LocalHarvest.org has made for us. It's been just great." Keep up the good work, Carmen! We need those Omega-3s!


Organic Flax Seed

Certified Organic Flax. High in omega-3 fatty acids, lignan, and soluble fiber. Mild, nutty flavour and with a golden color.   


Back to the January 2006 Newsletter