Monday, September 21, 2015

2016 Seeds Saved

Tomatoes are surrounded by a lot of juicy material which makes it a bit more difficult to get a dry seed. But plant breeders and seed savers have their ways. This is my way: Simply press or scoop out the juicy material from the tomato along with the seeds into a clear glass container. Don't add water at this point. Then let it sit a few days, stirring daily. As the mixture ferments, the good seed will settle to the bottom, with almost everything else floating. After a few days. you will get a good growth of mold on top (I didn't say it was pretty). When you are ready to collect the seed, add water and stir it up. Slowly pour off the trash on top, until the good seeds on the bottom are about to pour out. Then stop pouring, add water, and pour it off again. Repeat this process several times. Don't worry if you see a few seeds pour off, since the ones that float are usually not good anyway. Each time, you will get rid of more non-desirable materials, and the good seed on the bottom will be cleaner. When it is clean enough for you, drain off all the water and place the seeds on a couple of sheets of newspaper to dry. Newspaper works much better than paper towel. 
Just imagine how many tomatoes can come from just 3 little seeds!
The seeds are drying and will be put in a paper envelope and then will be stored in a sealed waterproof container and placed in the freezer until next year.  They are sure to germinate. The process of fermenting them in their own juice for  almost two weeks has been completed. They have been rinsed and drained and put on newspaper to dry. I also have separated them with a wooden toothpick. These seeds are many as the Brandywine tomatoes have many seeds. They were reaped from the largest and sweetest tomato as I devoured it in the sandwiches that I love to be able to enjoy every year. I do share the seeds so if anyone would like a few, just ask. They like lots of sun and must be staked as they will grow into a 6 ft. plant. The middle blossoms of a three-blossom branch must be plucked away as they appear and the suckers that grow between the main stems and the branches must also be plucked away. They shouldn't be planted near other tomato plantings as there is a chance they would be cross-pollinated and not remain the true variety that they are. It's well worth the effort because of the harvest that will follow.

Thanks go to my daughter, Missy, for bringing me this monster-size tasty tomato. How could I NOT save its seeds? The Brandywine variety has many more seeds than the delicious Oxhearts. I love them both but the Oxheart is quite a bit meatier! 
The seeds can be perfectly traced back to 1889, when they first appeared in Philadelphia's Johnson&Stokes seed catalog.

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1 comment:

  1. That's one Godzilla sized tomato! I remember the wonderful spaghetti sauce my mother made from the tomatoes from our garden. Spaghetti sauce runs through my veins. The doctors were surprised.