Filling seed packets

After every seed event we attend, I go through our seed displays and see which packets of what varieties are running low. I make up a list, print some labels, and get ready to pack some seed.


We lug out the seed. Take out the scales and seed packing scoops. Put the CBC on the radio (recently we’ve also been listening to books on CD). And our kitchen turns into  seed packing central.


Though we sell seeds by weight with an approximate count, we use seed scoops to fill the packets. We calibrate the scoops to make sure the scoops are the right size.

We choose a scoop that looks right and scoop some seed.

We weigh ten scoopfuls and calculate the average weight of one scoop.

If we’ve hit our desired weight, we hit the seed packets.

If the weight is wrong, we try with a different scoop.





Emily and I have just returned from an action-packed weekend at the ACORN conference in Fredericton, NB.  We caught up with a lot of old and new friends, attended great workshops, and gave a few talks.

At the conference, I spoke with a few Going to Seed readers. It’s great to put faces to some of the e-mails and blog comments.

I love discovering who’s reading my words and what they’re thinking. If you have any thoughts on my posts, seedy questions, or ideas for future posts; please send them my way!




5 thoughts on “Filling seed packets

  1. Hi Dan,
    I for one quite enjoy reading your posts. It’s interesting to see an ‘on the ground’ perspective of how somebody else approaches a given task or problem. Your posts on various topics have proven to be quite insightful, and fulfill an important role in the sharing of the nutsy/boltsy aspects of the seed world with others of like mind.
    I would like to see a post or several on the treatment of biennial root crops and other biennials. I currently have St.Valery and Belgian White carrots overwintering in buckets of sand in my less-than-ideal unheated crawlspace area. In addition, I have Gigante kohlrabi, mammoth red mangels, sugar beets, and albino beets. Though the conditions are less than ideal (not quite cold enough), I am loathe to overwinter in the field (in a ‘clamp’ or the like) no matter what kind of protection I can give. Some of these,particularly the beets and kohlrabi, are starting to send up shoots and it is a little early. Should I cut back the insistent topgrowth? Short of having a climate-controlled walk-in cooler, I’m not sure what I can do to forestall premature topgrowth before I can get them in to the ground. (We still have more than 2 feet of snow on the ground!)
    So, what are your experiences regarding overwintering biennials? Any nuggets of wisdom?
    Much appreciated,

  2. Hi Brian,

    We store stecklings (the roots that will produce seed) in a cold room in the barn that rarely gets above 6C. Some years I bury stecklings in bags about a foot in the ground and place a couple straw bales over to keep the spot from freezing too deep.

    At this point things are just starting to leaf out in the cold room, though I suspect you have more top growth on your carrots and beets than we do.

    You might consider trimming any leaves that get much longer than 4-6 inches. I think what it most important is keeping the leaves from rotting and then damaging the growing point.

    I’ll go see what our roots look like in the cold room and try to post some pictures next week.

    Good luck!

  3. Hey Dan, I too am a seed repacker and have a tip for you. In preperation of hiring family and friends I needed a system that could flawlessly be duplicated by anyone. We color coded our seed bins to match the color of the scoop to be used to put the right amount of seed in each packet.

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