Flax is used in the production of canvas, linen, and rope. Flax seeds may be used to make oil.
Flax comes in many varieties. New immigrants may receive a packet of either Old Egypt or Nile Green flax seeds (randomly chosen) from any School of Art.
To grow flax, plant a bed of flax plants using the "Plant" menu. After a short while, green flax shoots will appear in the bed. Shortly afterwards, yellow weeds will appear. Weed the flax bed by selecting the appropriate menu option. Depending on the variety of flax being used, you may need to water the flax when you weed it (using one jug of water), and you may need to weed the bed several times. Eventually, the flax will complete growing and you may harvest it.
Flax grows on grassy soil. (see Festival of Osiris)
Flax grown in the above manner will not produce any seeds. To grow flax seeds, plant a bed of flax but do not weed it. Shortly after weeds appearing in the bed, the flax will go to seed. You may then harvest seeds from the flax several times before it finally dies.
Take care to not use up all your flax seeds when growing flax; you should always keep at least a few in reserve to grow more seeds.
Flax plants may produce regular flax or rotten flax. Most uses of flax require rotten flax; regular flax may be rotted by standing near a body of water and selecting the "rot flax in water" option from the "Special" menu. (Rumor to the contrary, rotting flax in a body of water does not appear to have any impact on fishing.) Rotting flax in a body of water will create a flax buoy that you can retrieve once it's rotted. You change change ownership of the buoy, courtesy of the Flax Processing Co-Operative Law. Also, per the Rotten Flax Abandonment Act, a flax buoy will be takeable by anyone after 36 hours.
Flax is affected by pollution. Flax plants will only produce rotten flax in polluted areas.
A strain of flax has the following characteristics:
The properties of some of the more common varieties of flax are:
Feel free to update this chart with your own favorite flax variety
Crossbreeding has produced some amazing improvements in flax over the original Old Egypt and Nile Green strains. New immigrants should ask around to get seeds of a modern flax; most citizens will be happy to provide a few seeds for free.
(See also: agriculture)
I've found it most effective for 1-weed-0-water flaxes to grow them in a 6x6 grid. Pin the plant-window and run for example north, planting flax beds. After you've planted 6, run a bit west, then back south and again, planting 6 beds. The trick is to keep running constantly, not stop at the ends of a line of beds. When you're done with all 36 beds, run to the center of the flax field and start weeding from the beginning asap. Might be possible to do a 7x7 grid, I haven't tried.
I do flax similarly, but walk longer in one direction- turning around uses up valuable time. Make 4 rows of 12 or 13, then weed. You'll need to walk back and forth a little to reach all the beds, but you can weed while walking if you plan ahead a bit. Sometimes the last few end up going to seed if you're not fast enough, but that's not such a big loss.
The most effective way by far that we have found to grow flax involves teamwork. For 1 weed or 1 water only flaxes the team can be as small a 2 players (although 3 makes the job a lot easier). Player 1 carries the seeds, pins the plant flax button and runs in a straight line planting flax continuously (you can run in circles if you have a *lot* of seeds). Player 2 starts in the same place as player 1, waits for the first weeds to show and then follows the line, weeding/watering as he goes along (anyone with at least 4 acrobat moves can carry 500 full jugs), player 3 (if available) can then harvest the fields, but since they hang around for a while once ready for harvest players 1 and 2 can also do this part especially with the newer very high yield varieties.