Check out seed screens with your library card!

Are you ready to take the plunge into seed saving? Already saving seeds and want to clean them faster and easier? Come down to the Main Library and check out our seed screens.

Screens check out for free for three weeks just like a book, however they are only available at the Main location, and can't be renewed. You are welcome to check out more than one at a time.

Here, seed library enthusiasts use the screens to clean Magdalena Acelgas, an heirloom variety of Swiss Chard from Magdalena, Sonora, during the Seed Library’s 5 Year Anniversary Birthday Bash.

Step 1: Selecting the Screens

Since these seeds are different sizes, we selected three screens out of the eight sizes of screens that are available:

  • One screen that is large enough for large seeds to fall through;
  • A middle screen that is smaller than the large seeds, but is small enough for the smaller seeds to fall through; and
  • A bottom screen that is smaller than any of the viable seed to catch seed that falls through and allow smaller chaff to fall through.

Step 2: Shake, hand pick, and winnow

After pouring seeds on top of the stack of screens, we shook the screens, picking out larger sticks as seeds and smaller chaff fell through. This was not an automatic process. We spent much time hand picking through the seeds, separating the seed from the chaff of similar size, and lifting handfuls of seed and letting the wind blow dirt and chaff away (a process called winnowing). We did this over a tarp in case some of the seed fell through or blew away.

Step 3: We returned the screens to the Main Library front desk, filled out a seed library donation form, and donated the seeds to be added to the seed library so you can check them out!