Cat no. 602

Seed Specialist

Colour Sound 1978 Kelvedon, Essex

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Farmer Tony Bonner explains his seed-sowing business structure to the presenter



General shots from around the farm. Tony Bonner explains his business structure to the presenter. Using a crop of godetia to illustrate, he explains how to tell whether seeds are ready for harvesting. There are shots of the godetias being harvested for seed. Tony Bonner explains the seed harvest process. There are different methods for this, some of which suit some types of plants better than others. After shots of other types of plants there are shots of a converted combine for harvesting seeds. Tony Bonner discusses problems regarding cleaning the drum before harvesting another type of seed. Seed can also be harvested by lying the plants on a cloth or on concrete and running the tractor over them. The plants are hand sieved to extract the seeds. There are no specialist machines available for harvesting seeds. All of Tony Bonner's methods are either traditional or developed by the company, converting other machines. Seed harvest is labour and time intensive.The presenter looks at the soil on Tony Bonner's farm, remarking that it is fairly poor quality. Mr. Bonner explains that this is good for harvesting seeds; on better ground the plants don't die down in time for the seeds to be harvested. Tony Bonner explains the problems with spraying over shots of marigolds being sprayed. The value of the crops is discussed over shots of various other crops grown on the farm.Tony Bonner grows marrow's for seed. He is unique in this because it is a difficult crop to grow and even more difficult to extract the seeds. Tony Bonner had adapted a harvesting drum to pulp he marrows. The seed is extracted later. Tomatoes are also a difficult crop to harvest for seed. Women pick the tomatoes in the fields and then the seed harvesting process is shown. The tomatoes are pumped and then sieved to extract the seeds. These are then steeping in concentrated hydrochloric acid for twenty minutes to clean the seeds. This is a job Tony Bonner insists on doing himself. The seed is washed and dried. Runner beans are discussed and then there are shots showing parsley harvested for seed. It is cut by binder and the problems to be overcome in cultivating the crop are discussed. Sweet corn is picked by hand and sold on the London market. Bonner's operate a self pick system for soft fruits and there are shots of the public picking strawberries and blackcurrents. The film ends with Tony Bonner using a flail to extract seeds. The presenter tries this but without success.



Featured People:

Tony Bonner

Featured Organisations:

Bonner Brothers' Farms

BBC; The film was made by John Kenyon, who worked in the BBC film unit (agriculture) at Birmingham.

Jeremy Pallant

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