Hello all! I just wanted to share a recent (and timely!) blog post from Johnny's Selected Seeds. There are a few pictures of some high tech fancy seed cleaners, as well as an antique bean sorting table, which it appears they still use. I just loved this bit of Maine bean growing history which touches upon our discussion of centralized seed cleaning:
"In the 40's and 50's they had a "Bean shop" in China [Maine] which is the town south of Albion. Many women worked in this shop which cleaned and packaged beans for market. Local farmers grew the dry beans and the bean shop cleaned them before they went to market. "
Who wouldn't love to meet those women of the China, Maine Bean Shop?
Here's a link to the full blog post:
It would be great to get documentation like user manuals and screen sizes used by the fanning mills for various crops. I wonder if the Johnny's folks would be interested in sharing some of that information? I think tracking down plans, or making plans from an old fanning mill would be a great project to post on this forum too – anyone have one they might be willing to document? Owners manuals etc. to scan? I think one of the "clipper" AT fanning mills is one of the next purchases for our farm – I have started cruising e-bay looking for good examples with lots of screens. Gravity separators, sorting tables and other similar devices seem fairly simple and not too difficult to document for the farm builder.