Rainy days and Mondays never get us down! It’s seed time! – By Fred Wooley

Rain fell off and on all night and into the early Monday morning hours, accompanied by occasional flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder. Driving into the Blue Heron Ministries office to gather by 8:00am, eight employees encountered skies ranging back and forth from dark to light to very dark, and intermittent rain. Distant thunder was continuous. All was quiet if not cozy in the small BHM office, lined with bookshelves, desks, counters, and dry-erase boards. We sat in a circular fashion, as is our morning tradition, on the variety of chairs, and discussed plans for the wet day ahead, offered thanksgiving, and prayed together.

It’s now the third week of summer and the first seeds of some plants are ripe and

Peter Bauson emptying chaff cleaned

prime for picking. Seed collecting was today’s major focus. In the event of unrelenting rain, we would clean seed already gathered the past couple of weeks and stored at the barn. Some of the crew would work on equipment, some on cleaning and organizing
herbicide containers, others would stay back to plan future projects and write for this newsletter.
Aaaaand… if and when the skies clear, we’re back out to gather more seeds, the target plants identified in today’s morning meeting. Most of the crew left the office for the
barn and quickly divided into the seed sorting and cleaning tasks. The barn is not big and packed fairly tightly with equipment, supplies, chemicals, plant potting materials, and other items that cover our business over the year. The loft above has no hay, but shelving and racks for drying, separating, and storing seed.
Seed collecting begins in very early summer and progresses through late fall. Volunteer collectors and BHM employees will cut and strip plant seeds from a number of sites

cleaned seed ready for storage

throughout the region that offer pure and local genotype species. Enough seed was collected and on racks by July 10, BHM employees today were able to shed rain coats, don dust masks, and screen and bag pure seed.
Many proclaimed how great a Ziploc bag looks filled with pure seed. You could say you hold in your hand the efforts of one or more people visiting some of the most beautiful natural areas in northeast Indiana, collecting, laying out to dry, and now screen-cleaning the seed. In that bag is the sunshine of 2017 that fueled the process of soil, water and this unique plant to grow, flower and fruit. Though just pure seed, in that bag are also that plant’s, roots, stems, flowers, and fruits of many early summer rains for many years to come.
Think about that. A rainy day and Monday will never get you down.
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