Thursday, November 12, 2009

The mega seed sorting meeting took place on the weekend with spectacular results.

The mega seed sorting meeting took place on the weekend with spectacular results. We had many large chook food bags full of seeds. Boxes of assorted seeds, bunches of plants carried in hand. We sorted Coriander ,Sno peas, Ethiopian cabbage, Tat tsoi, Paak Choi, Mizuma, Raddicio, Lettuce, radish, Shallots. It was all systems go! I rushed around from person to person showing them the next stage or sorting out problems with slow progress, but there was lots of help and advice flying all over the place. We quickly labelled all of our jars so that our similar seeds weren’t mixed up.

We all took a well earned break on that 39deg day! We're a tough crew in the centre! We had some scrumptious offerings for morning tea – although it merged into Lunch thanks to some wonderful home made curries and bread from Michael. Thanks Bronnie for hosting such a fun meeting!

Techniques we used to sort seeds included using various sized sieves to remove chaff. Crushing seed pods into fine particles then blowing off the lighter seed, winnowing in metal bowls and removing the chaff off the top, or blowing the lighter stuff away. Most of these techniques rely on the seed being heavier than the chaff, which it usually is. The crushing techniques also rely on the seed being harder than all the other parts of the fruiting body.

In the next few weeks my carrot seed will be ripe. My wife Helen found that with carrots it is much better to carefully remove the seeds from the dried umbel by hand, rather than crushing the whole lot up. This is because carrot seeds come in may sizes – but so does the chaff so they become quite hard to separate.

Earlier in the week I had squeezed out the seeds from 2 types of tomatoes and placed them in a cup to ferment.
After a couple of days mould had formed on top and I then washed all the seeds in a sieve and left them to dry in the sieve . later I scraped them off the sieve and put them in an envelope to dry further. After a week I’ll put them into a storage container.]

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