Going from collected to clean seed takes more effort than you would think. Namely, lots of big fancy of toys. Last Wednesday we visited the ISU Seed Science Center to learn about the art of seed conditioning. We were to condition (i.e. clean) some Cercis canadensis seeds to prepare them for seeding in a few months. Since Cercis canadensis is a legume tree, the seeds are produced inside seed pods, which must be removed.
Doing this job by hand would likely take the entire semester, so we enlisted the aid of large machines. Sadly, it seems like the conditioning lab has not received funds to update their stock since the industrial revolution. Here is a list of all the equipment we used to clean Cercis seeds.
At the end of it all, the professor commented Cercis is one of the easier seed to clean. I can't imagine how much more equipment is required to clean Vernonia seeds next week!