Tuesday
May082018

CNLM Nursery Equipment: Trash to Treasure

The old saying is that someone’s trash can be someone else’s treasure.  This definitely holds true for the CNLM nursery.  During the winter months at the nursery, old equipment is given a new lease on life.  A large amount of the equipment used for seed cleaning and harvesting is very well used by the time the nursery acquires it. 

We have equipment that dates all the way back to the 1940s that we have refurbished and made useful again.  The nursery works with these machines because there are few machines that are designed to clean and harvest the broad range of native species that we grow.  Equipment designed for seed cleaning can be very costly because it is very specialized, so we try to make our own specialized equipment.  This older equipment can be modified to function better for the needs at hand without breaking the bank.  When plants slow down their growth for the winter the nursery is given the opportunity to improve, repair, and modify equipment and facilities.  Here are just a few of this winter’s projects:

We’ve been working on making two newly acquired 1970s plot combines functional after a decade of sitting dormant.  These plot combines were purchased from the Washington State University Bread Lab and are small enough to be transported between sites on a trailer.  They should improve harvest times on our smaller farms.

We’ve also repaired a 1950s Clipper De-bearder that has become a huge time saver with aster cleaning.  This machine is used to remove the fluff from aster seeds prior to cleaning.  It was purchased from a used equipment supplier in Illinois and has been repaired on site.

We added dust collection to our seed cleaning facility for the 2017 season. While this greatly improved breathing conditions, it also created a very loud working environment.  This winter, a sound deadening enclosure was built which greatly dampens the sound to make for a much more pleasant work environment.

The nursery stays busy with all these interesting and creative winter projects.  Who knows what junk we will be transforming and using soon?