When flax (and other plant fibres, like cotton and hemp) processing shifted from manual to mechanical in the late 18th century, a shift was made to move toward bigger machines with high volume capacity. The impact was a move away from locally-produced linen yarn as processing facilities moved to “hubs” where they could accommodate more farmers and process more fibre.
Today, TapRoot Fibre Lab Inc evolved out of TapRoot Farms—a leader in sustainable farming practices. Five years ago Patricia and Josh decided that along with offering the community vegetables, fruit and meat from their farm they wanted to offer clothes as well. This began their journey which has lead to the TapRoot Fibre Lab.
Patricia Bishop and Josh Oulton own and operate TapRoot Farms. Together they were named Atlantic Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2010 and in 2014. They were also awarded Canadian Food Heroes for their efforts to protect, defend and promote sustainable, good, clean and fair food by actively and positively contributing to a healthy food system and preserving the rich culinary history of their region. Patricia spearheaded the launch of the farm CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) offering, which provides food from the farm to over 500 families and in 2014 co- launched HarvestHand New Media Communities, a software platform that helps CSAs manage and build their business. Josh is growing flax on the farm and Patricia along with the TapRoot Fibre Lab team are creating the machines need to process flax.
Mike Pickett joined the team and is the design and manufacturing engineer. With his extensive experience in the automotive and marine sectors he brings a wealth of knowledge to the team. He lives in Fall River, NS with his spouse and son.
Rhea Hamlin looks after all of the processing of product, and she is our go to person for many tasks at the Fibre Lab. She lives in Kentville, NS and enjoys knitting during her down time with amazing local fibre.
The team works closely together and is highly motivated to ensure that the company will succeed.