How to save your tomato seeds...

In an effort to preserve what is important, here's a little lesson on saving tomato seeds.  They are about to disappear until the spring, so catching them now is a great idea.  

The key is to save the good stuff.  I went to my local farmer's market, and found a booth filled with beautiful HEIRLOOM tomatoes.  They are CERTIFIED ORGANIC, and LOCALLY GROWN on a FAMILY FARM.  


I decided on three varieties; 
the Yellow Pineapple,  Brandy Wine, and the Purple Cherokee.

Cut tomatoes in half, along the equator.
Gently scoop out, squeeze out, (and however you see fit) get out the seeds.  Try to avoid huge chunks of "meat"....some is inevitable, but less now is less work later.  Seeds should go into a clean glass jar or a drink glass.

Adda few tablespoons of water to the jar, and cover with a coffee filter & rubber band, or plastic wrap with a few holes in it.  You want it to get a little air, but not be totally exposed to it.

Wait.  Wait about 3 or 4 days.  You'll see a shift in the seeds-  Once the fermentation process begins, they will begin to separate...

 Once the seeds have separated, they are ready. Basically you are wanting the enzyme to breakdown that covers the seed- it is a sprout inhibitor, and without this step, your seeds will never grow into anything except a headache.  Skim any mold from the top of the jar, and pour seeds into a very fine strainer.  Use a spoon to shift them around under COLD running water, for about 2 or 3 minutes until they are completely clean.

Once they are fully cleaned, lay them out on a coffee filter, on a plate.  The coffee filter helps absorb the moisture, and they do not tend to stick to it much.  Every day move them around, and put them on a new filter.  After about a week they should be totally dry.  Put them in a paper envelope and store in the fridge until the last frost/spring.

Don't forget to label the jars, drying plates, and envelopes with as much information as you can.  
Save before the holidays for a thoughtful gift.  I know I'd really appreciate something like this, and I'm sure you know someone who would too.

No comments:

Post a Comment