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Small-Scale Pumpkin De-Seeder
The current popularity of pumpkin seeds as a snack food motivated Mike Clark of Newport, New Hampshire to build a small scale pumpkin "de-seeder." It mounts on a tractor 3-pt. hitch.
  "The design isn't really unique. There are others out there that are similar, but this one is a nice size and is something anyone could build," he explains. "It's ideal for 100 acres and is designed to work on pumpkins 8 to 12 in. in diameter."
  Before de-seeding, Clark leaves pumpkins in the field to dry. When the seeds start separating from the placenta material, you are ready to use the machine.
  Clark says you load pumpkins by hand into a square chute made out of a piece of 8-in. pipe with teeth welded onto the outside. It's driven by a hydraulic motor. As the teeth break up the pumpkins, the pulp falls down another chute into one end of a seed drum where the material is further beaten around. The seed drum, which is a round sieve with paddles on it that's open on both ends, rotates horizontally and is driven by another hydraulic motor. The seeds fall through the holes in the drum into a collection pan underneath. The larger chunks of pulp fall out the back.
  "The nice thing about it is that it's all hydraulic, so you can change the speed and rotation of the drum as needed. If you want the material to flow out the back faster, you can change the angle of the machine by taking the top link off the 3-pt. hitch and picking up the lower lift arms," Clark says.
  Most of the material used to make the de-seeder was used structural steel that Clark welded up. He had the seed drum professionally made and bought all the hydraulic parts. He made the pulping drum himself, using a piece of 8-in. pipe and welding teeth onto it. The pulping drum has an axle mounted on it, whereas the sieve drum rides on rollers like a rock tumbler.
  "If you had different drums, you could also use this de-seeder for things like cucumbers, melons, and all manner of cucurbits," he says. "I wouldn't mind building a couple more of them, and would also be willing to sell the plans, or even just provide advice to anyone who wanted to build their own."
  Clark's de-seeder would be available in the $10,000 price range.
  Contact: FARM SHOW, Mike Clark, 186 East Mountain Rd., Newport, New Hampshire 03773 (ph 603 863-1284; email: clarkcontr@netzero.net).

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2004 - Volume #28, Issue #5