Cleaning after Collecting

Restoring tall grass prairies demands a substantial amount of seed, approximately 20 pounds per acre. Midewin maintains three seed production areas on their property, and these seed beds produce the majority of the seed used to restore the prairie’s at Midewin. The reality is that there simply aren’t enough remnant prairies to collect from, and the scale of collection needed would have a detrimental impact on plant and animal populations. While we continue to collect from wild populations, our efforts are supplemented by gathering seeds from the seed beds and purchasing seeds from local wholesalers.

As we collect and collect, the bags start piling up in the horticulture building. The sheer volume of seed makes it impossible to rely solely on hand-cleaning. While hand-cleaning can suffice for certain sedges early in the season, when the bulk collections start rolling in, it’s time to put the seed cleaning machines to work! These machines clean seed much more efficiently, completing a task that would otherwise take a full 8 hours of manual labor in under 20 minutes. The result is thoroughly cleaned seed, free of dust, stems, and leaves, ready to be sown this winter.