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Cindy Conner's New Ventures
By Newsletter Staff

Cindy Conner in her homegrown, handspun, naturally colored cotton vest

Cindy's homegrown, handspun, naturally colored cotton vest
PHOTO CREDIT: Homeplace Earth staff

Cindy Conner is an author and Certified GROW BIOINTENSIVE Intermediate-Level instructor. Here is a recent update from Cindy.

I still am strongly into growing food and cover crops in my garden and in the last few years have added cotton and flax. I have become deeply involved with all aspects of growing one's own cotton and linen for clothes. In 2011 I learned to spin the cotton I grew and completed my homegrown, handspun, naturally colored cotton vest in 2015. During that time I also wrote Grow a Sustainable Diet and Seed Libraries. Once the vest was done, and I was free of book writing, I wanted to encourage and teach others how to grow their own clothes and realized that not everyone lives in a climate conducive to growing cotton, so I learned what was involved in turning flax into linen. I now have all the flax-to-linen tools needed, and this is the third year I have grown flax and cotton.

After the cotton vest, I completed a cotton shirt in the fall of 2016. Mother Earth News published an article about that shirt in the April/May 2018 issue. I have written about the vest, shirt, and all that goes on from seed to garment with cotton and flax/linen at www.HomeplaceEarth.wordpress. com. Since then I have finished a shirt made with a cotton warp and linen weft. Besides learning to spin, I needed to learn to weave. Even though I knew how to grow the plants and I could sew, there is still much to learn about the spinning and weaving. I hear it is good for the brain to learn new things. I figure my brain is doing well with all that I am learning.

The green and brown varieties of cotton that I grew crossed in the garden, so I started the Cotton Project. With the help of a few friends and family, we grew out subsets of the seeds to see what we would get. We had some surprising finds and are continuing with it in 2018. The genetics of seeds is amazing! You can read about the Cotton Project here.

In 2018 I hope to weave a dress, with the cotton warp coming from all the colors from the Cotton Project, and the linen weft from my flax. I'd also like to make a vest with the warp and weft of all homegrown linen, maybe with some natural dyeing involved.

I was the keynote speaker at the Organic Oklahoma Conference in October, with presentations and workshops on Grow a Sustainable Diet, Transitioning from a Homestead Gardener to a Market Gardener, and Planning for Cover Crops in Your Garden Rotation.

So, that's what has been going on around here. This year I'm 67 and know very well that the more I know, the more I realize how much I don't know. There is always something new to learn and adventures to be had.

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