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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tomato Seed Saving

Been doing some tomato see saving this week. So far we have saved seed for GL-18, a big red hybrid, a striped mater we are developing, persimmon/Dr. Wyche's Yellow (not sure which) and yellow taxi.

Still have to save for a tasty pink saladette that appears to be a brandywine/sunsugar cross. See what we get out of that next year.

Opalka, a great sauce tomato and one of the parents of the striped tomato we are developing (in our 4th year with these seeds and soon enough should have a stable OP striped tomato with great flavor).

Red pear, a cherry type heirloom that we are breeding the cracking out of.

Yellow pear another heirloom like the red pear 'cept it's yellow and does not crack.

saving tomato seed involves several steps. first you got to ferment the seeds and goo that accompanys them. To do this cut a tomato in half along its' equator. Over a bowl or other container, squeeze the seeds out of the mater. You will have to stick a finger up in the cavaties to extract all of the seeds. Put about a 1/4 of water in the container with the seed goo. Mark the container with tomato variety. Now its' ready to ferment for a few days. Put the seeds out of the way and somewhere where the stench will not disturb you. The concoction if everything is going well will develop a nice film of mold and scum in 24 to 36 hours. Daily, stir the goop lightly and than leave alone. Do this for 3 to 5 days until all the tomato goo has broken down into a liquid slurry. The concoction will reak and likely have a population of fruit flies hovering around it.

It is ready for step two. Take a fine screened sieve and dump the seeds into it and run under cold water to remove the tomato goo. Use your fingers to gently rubs the seeds and release all the goo from them. when clean put the seeds on a coffee filter or cloth (again remember to mark the variety(ies)) and put them in a place out of direct sunlight where they will not be disturbed for several days and let them dry. When they are dry and stuck to the paper/cloth put them in a marked seed envelope or regular envelope and store in a cool, dry, dark place

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