Prairie Seed Cleaning Workdays

Event Dates

Event Description

Sign-Up is Required:; Space is limited 

Our seed shed is filled up thanks to the many volunteers who joined us for our seed collection workdays! Lend a hand in Dane County’s seed shed to process the seed harvest from hundreds of species of native plants. Many hands make light work and help is needed to process it all in order to produce clean seed ready for sorting. Come winter and early spring we will be planting this seed on our 2021 land restorations with site-specific seed mixes. Hammer milling is the first step in the cleaning process, releasing seed from capsules and breaking apart seed clusters. That step is then followed by using a fanning mill which separates seed from chaff with use of multiple screens and fans. At this stage in the process volunteers will most likey use fanning mills which requires standing on anti-fatigue mats at the machine for several hours, using a scoop to put seed onto the machine, and using your hands to work the seed over a top screen. Training on machines will be provided. Those with respiratory health restrictions and asthma need to be aware that this is a very dusty process that may exacerbate respiratory issues and should consider not attending these events.  

No prior experience is needed.  All tools and training will be provided. Participants will need to stand on a step stool and tolerate some noise and dust. Hearing protection, dust masks, and additional PPE will be provided.  Space is limited and registration is required. 

COVID-19 Guidelines: A mask is required at all times. Do not attend if experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms.
Participants will be spread throughout the room, at more than 6' distance apart. The big bay door will be open if the weather/temperature allows to promote better airflow/ventilation.

For further questions contact: 

Lars Higdon (608) 286-9497 

Claire Lamberg (413) 313-6546


Dane County Seed Shed, 4401 Libby Rd., Madison WI  

Parking lot is behind the building.

Seed cleaning equipment is in Bay 2, marked by a "Volunteer Entrance" sign.


Lars Higdon (608) 286-9497 

Categories: Parks, Volunteer