I was in the Wool Emporium ordering my spinning wheel and Glenda mentioned that some people are growing flax in Saskatchewan for fibre already, and all they do to ret it is cut it down and let it sit under the snow over the winter.
That sounds like it can be accomplished. I was a little worried about how it would work before, but laying it on the ground and letting it rot is something I think I can do.
Note: retting is when you let the stalks rot a little, so the soft part of the stem is gone, which frees the long fibres, which make up the linen.
She also says that spinning flax on a spinning wheel is easy.