Seed packets are automatically filled and sealed before they fly off the conveyor belt at Botanical Interests seed company.
I recently had the opportunity to see the inner workings of Broomfield-based Botanical Interests seed company and I now have a new appreciation for the packets of seeds I handle each year.
Before seeds can be sold, they undergo rigorous testing to make sure they meet standards before they can be packaged and shipped.
A fully automatic packaging machine is used to fill and seal each seed packet.
Seeds are placed in a bin (gray box in upper left corner) and pre-measured amounts of seed are vibrated down a long funnel and into each packet.
The packets are spun passed a sealer that seals them before they’re dropped onto a conveyor belt where someone scoops them up and packs them into boxes for shipping.
It’s a high-speed, precision process that was fascinating to watch.
I was at Botanical Interests to pick up a generous donation of vegetable and herb seeds for Denver’s Plant A Row for the Hungry campaign and Michelle DePaepe, donation program coordinator, took me on a site tour.
Michelle told me this is the first year for a formal seed donation program at Botanical Interests and about 100 area non-profit groups have been the beneficiaries of donated vegetable, herb and flower seeds, leftover from last year’s offerings.
“It’s good for us to support groups that are training new gardeners and it’s good for them, too, ” she said.
Michelle said there are quite a few gardeners out there who still aren’t comfortable with the idea of planting their gardens from seed.
“It’s such a leap of faith for some to think they can go from a little seed to a beautiful flower.”
That’s one reason why Botanical Interests’ seed packets are packed with so much information, although some gardeners are reluctant to open the packets to read the additional details that are included inside.
Michelle said the best way around this is to purchase small clear-plastic jewelry packages found at hobby stores. Seeds can be stored in the zip-lock packages and gardeners can benefit from every word of helpful advice.
I also got to see one of the benefits of working for a seed company–employees get to take home plants that are started from seed.