seed exchanges

Jane McGary
Tue, 29 Mar 2016 10:52:36 PDT
The winnowing technique Kathleen mentioned requires a clean, dry bowl 
with fairly straight sides and about 2.5 to 3 inches depth (c. 6-7.5 
cm). I use porcelain, she used metal. Do it where there is ALMOST NO 
WIND. Blow VERY GENTLY into the bowl, and the chaff will rise out of the 
bowl. Shake the bowl occasionally to bring more chaff to the surface of 
the material.

Another technique many people use is as follows: Place the seed and 
chaff in the top of a shoebox or a similar tray-like, rimmed container. 
Tilt the box lid to bring the material to one end. Tilt it the other way 
and tap it, which will encourage the heavier material (presumably the 
seeds) to roll to the lower end.

Another technique: Place the material in a bowl and shake it gently, 
bringing the chaff to the top, and pick it off with your fingers. Then 
use the winnowing technique to remove what remains.

Of course, there are seeds in fleshy fruits and these require other 
kinds of treatment. Our aroid fanciers have in the past suggested ways 
of cleaning them (see the Archive on the PBS website). Some seed 
cleaning can be fairly unpleasant, like the cactus seeds I once had to 
clean in a hotel room in Argentina; they were covered in a sticky 
gel-like substance. (I still have the cactus.)

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

On 3/29/2016 9:04 AM, Kathleen Sayce wrote:
> I appreciate the comments here and privately that I received. Several comments about clean seed, junk seed, and properly identified seed resonated with me personally.
> When I joined PBS, and had some bulb extra seeds, I contacted Jane McGary, who told me how to clean them properly. The first time I took a metal bowl outside to winnow seeds in the open air was an especially anxious moment. But the seeds and I both survived!
> Cheers,
> Kathleen
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