Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Seed storage and processing at Midewin Tallgrass Prairie

Once seed is collected and cleaned it is stored in a huge outdoor cooler. The seed is stored at 38 degrees Fahrenheit .  The seed is sorted from where is was collected ( wild, reconstruction, cultivated). Later on , right now as I type , the seed is mixed based on the site and habitat.  This year Midewin has 15 sites the seed is going to. 


 


 


 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

How To Clean Milkweed Seeds in Small Batches

Milkweed seeds are notoriously hard to clean.  This is because the fluff (the parachute) attached to the seed tends to fly away or gets stuck in most machines.  Some people have found success by burning it away but recent experiments have shown that up to 1/3 of the seed can be damaged (http://prairieecologist.com/2012/04/12/testing-assumptions-the-milkweed-seed-fiasco/).  So most this job is done by hand.  However, I offer you an alternative that I came across at work that works very well for small batches at a time.

Milkweed Seeds