Cobargo Ruta
Posts: 2
Joined: 20 Feb 2022, 09:16

Processing endive seeds

The Cobargo Seedsavers has a HEAP of endive seed to process this week. Any tips from anyone on how to get the seeds out easily in bulk? - the seeds are small and sit in a really hard pod!

Ruta
Bega Liz
Posts: 62
Joined: 15 Nov 2021, 06:21
Location: Bega Valley, NSW
Contact: Website

Re: Processing endive seeds

Hi Ruta,
If the plant material is nicely dry most of the seed should fall out easily. Just a quick rub/knock will do it. Anything that doesn't fall out easily likely wasn't fully mature when harvested. You don't need to break the dried flowerheads to get the seed out. It just sort of falls out leaving a 'cup'.
The real difficulty is in separating the seed from the waste. It is so small and fine it is difficult to get the tiny, white, shuttlecock shaped seeds separated from the rest of the fine material. The seeds and frass are the same weight so winnowing risks losing the seed along with the waste. We used the winnowing machine on the batch we did here last week and still didn't get it completely clean.
Unless someone else comes up with a better answer to your question, I suggest just planting the seed and the waste material together. When the seedlings get big enough they can be separated and planted at better spacings since it is hard to sow such fine seed accurately anyway.
Cheers,
Liz
Cobargo Ruta
Posts: 2
Joined: 20 Feb 2022, 09:16

Re: Processing endive seeds

Thanks Liz! Hmm, we had another go and the seeds are definitely not falling out easily just with a knock. We can separate out the seed "cups", but by prising them off not by rubbing. The seeds look well formed, so yes it might be that they're not quite dry enough rather than not being fully mature. I guess we'll leave processing them for now and try again when they've had a chance to dry further.

Ruta
geoffreygrigg
Posts: 1
Joined: 21 Nov 2021, 22:45

Re: Processing endive seeds

If the seed is rounder compared to the frass, the seed might roll down a sheet of glass leaving the frass behind.

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