Cleaning collected seeds

M. Gastil-Buhl
Mon, 04 Nov 2013 20:06:12 PST
Karl asked "how to separate the tiny seeds from all the chaff"

Suggestions I have tried out with some success include a sieve and a  
gentle air flow. I use a kitchen sieve intended for sifting flour.  
Some seeds fall through while the larger pieces of chaff are caught. I  
have a few other mesh sizes from a plastic mesh bag, some tulle  
fabric, and a pasta colander which work with various seeds. The tulle  
fabric I hold tight between two plastic strawberry baskets. Then to  
remove the lightest bits of chaff, sometimes it works to swirl the  
seeds in a bowl while gently blowing over the surface. Another  
technique is to pour the seeds and chaff back and fort between two  
paper envelopes. The seed tends to roll out first so each time I tap  
out the left behind chaff in one envelope then pour back into it until  
the proportion of chaff is very low. Then, finally, there are the  
tweezers for those last few bits. Then to pour the seeds into a tiny  
envelope I place a funnel in the envelope, holding the funnel upright  
with a jar, and pour the seeds into the funnel. It it tedious and does  
not always work so well.

I hope someone has perfected a much easier method because the way I do  
it is tedious and messy.

In summer 2012 I made a couple short videos of the process.
part 1: Sieve…

part 2: Tulle fabric…

I expect I miss-pronounce the genera. I only read them; I do not hear  
them said aloud. I once asked an expert on native flora how to  
pronounce Sisyrinchium and he said "confidently".

- Gastil

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