The Seed Lab
December 9, 2012
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The chambers-cold is on the left
Many of the you probably wonder, Derek, what is it you do for a living? I mean, this is America; everyone has to get paid. The truth of the matter is, I am in fact one of those people who is always doing something but no one quite knows what exactly it is I do, myself included. As I tell everyone, most of my time in the winter is spent doing germination test on corn. It took me about a year or two to learn how to do it well, and now it goes like clockwork.
Every year, I prepare for samples arriving by ordering kimpak, an oversized, tougher paper towel, and cutting the sheets half. I also dig up soil to use and mix it with sand to plant in.
To prep for planting, I take a tray and pour 400 milliliters of water on it and set sheet of kimpak on the water and load the trays into carts. I leave them overnight in the cold chamber, and the next day I press 200 seeds into the kimpak, now evenly saturated with water, and cover the seeds with the sand-soil mixture.
Trays read to plant
Tray in the midst of planting
The trays lay dormant in the cold chamber for a week at 50 degrees, and then are moved into the warm chamber. After four or five days, I count how many plants have germinated, and then record and send the numbers to my father. Then I dispose of the waste and wash the trays and the carts with bleach.
Plants that are about a day or so away from counting
This is what I do when I’m not shuffling our companies profits off to offshore accounts in the Caymans to hid our money from the greedy agents at the IRS.
(More odd work I’ve done)