How to Harvest Flax Seed

Posted by Cassie

We put down a mixture of dryland wildflower seeds when we re-did our front yard flower garden area. We saw quite a variety of wildflowers the first year, but this year, there has been one clear dominator: flax. It is very pretty when it is in bloom; little periwinkle flowers steal the show. They are super-hardy and don’t need much water at all to survive. We see them growing wild around here in Colorado all the time.

Close up of flax flowers

When the  knock-out flower show is done, they turn into little ball seed pods and we noticed they were littering the flax seeds all over our driveway.

Flax Flowers in Bloom

This is what a flax plant looks like when its seeds are ready to be harvested

The small flax seeds reside in this tiny little pod

So we decided that instead of letting them all fall, that we would harvest a few of them. First, pick a plant that is ready to drop its seeds. Then cut it down with scissors or a knife (it’s a tough plant). Next, shake it vigorously over a sheet or some other type of drop cloth. (A towel would work, but it might get the little seeds stuck in the terry cloth material.) Check out this video for a demonstration:


A cut bunch of flax

Once you have all the seeds and other things shaken out of the bunch, pour it into a bowl. Then use a sifter or a colander to separate out the seeds from the leaves and pods that also shook into the mix.

Mixture after shaking the plant out


Flax seeds after sifting -with a few other things still, but pretty good

Flax seed is very high in Omega-3 fatty acids which is great for your heart and brain. Some studies have shown flax seed helps prevent and/or treat cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart disease. It’s also a great food in general and can be added to everything from cereal and bread to chili and meatloaf. Additionally, it’s a great additive to your chicken’s food to help increase the omega-3′s in your chicken’s eggs.

I gave the chickens a few to try and saved the rest for us

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5 thoughts on “How to Harvest Flax Seed

  1. katrina kruse

    Cut the plants down, stick the twigs in a paper bag and whack away! They make crunchy crackers if you’ve got a dehydrator! Yes – very healthy!

  2. silver account

    For sowing Blue Flax wild flower seeds, the best results are obtained from seeding in late fall to very early spring. Late summer (August – mid September) seeding is not recommended. Dormant fall seedings (preferred seeding period for flax) will pre-chill wild flower seed and reduce seed dormancy which may be present. Mulching, irrigation, and weed control all benefit stand establishment. Blue Flax seedling vigor is good, but not as good as most grasses. You may get nice blooms the first growing season, but full bloom onset should not be expected until the second year when planting Blue Flax wild flower seed.

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