You know. Like I’m country folk who knows all about tomatoes. And bear’s asses.
Truth is nobody knows exactly how many varieties of tomatoes there are, but there’s thousands. 3,000 of which are heirloom tomatoes. An heirloom tomato is a plant that has not been bred with another tomato plant. It’s DNA is 100 percent inbred. Which could account for why they’re sometimes a bit wonky looking.
Heirlooms have not been hybridized with other tomatoes to make them look, ripen, and grow a certain way the way most grocery stores tomatoes have. They are as pure as they were when your great, great grandfather grew them in the 1800’s.
It’s because of this you can save the seeds of heirloom tomatoes and be guaranteed to get an exact replica of it from those seeds. If you save the seeds from a hybridized tomato you don’t have any idea what you’re going to get. You could plant the seeds from a juicy, round red tomato and get a pale pink flavourless tomato with stubby fingers and poor math skills. You just don’t know.
Even if you didn’t plant any heirloom tomatoes this year that doesn’t mean you can’t save seeds from them.
Take a trip to your local farmer’s market or organic grocery store and buy a few heirloom tomatoes. Whatever looks good. Ask the farmer about them. They’ll know which ones are the sweetest or saltiest. Take them home and taste them. See which ones you really like and then go out and buy another with the sole purpose of saving the seeds from it.
With most vegetables the only thing you have to do is let the seeds from the plant dry out.
With tomatoes there’s a little more work … but not much.
You know that jelly-like guck around the tomato seeds? In order to remove that you need to ferment the seeds.
The other reason you need to ferment the seeds is because tomato seeds are kind of smart. They actually have a sprout inhibitor built into them so they don’t start to grow while they’re in the tomato. Fermenting kills the sprout inhibitor. It also protects the seed and makes it more resistant to disease and bacteria.
THE SEEDS HAVE THEIR OWN BUILT IN SPROUT INHIBITOR! If Octomom’s seeds had had that she wouldn’t be doing porn right now. Well, she probably would, but it wouldn’t be to support her trillion kids, it’d be just for the fun of it.
How to Save Tomato Seeds
(detailed instructions following photos)
How to Save Tomato Seeds
1. Cut soft tomato in half across the middle (not from stem to blossom end). This will reveal whole pockets of seeds making them easy to remove. The tomato must be very ripe.
2. Scoop seeds out into a bowl.
3. Cover with a few tablespoons of water.
4. Sit on kitchen counter until a thick mould forms. 4 days or so. Once it smells like dead fish breath you’ll know you’re close to being done.
5. Rinse seeds clean in sieve.
6. Dry on plate (ceramic, plastic, or as a last resort paper) Do not dry on paper towels because the seeds will stick to it and you’ll never get them off.
7. Stir seeds up every day or so to make sure they’re drying evenly.
8. Once seeds are completely dry (after several days) place in envelope and then in freezer, or seal in airtight container like mason jar or Tupperware. DON”T forget to label them.
One tomato will give you more seeds than there’s spots on a willy wonker’s pecker.
Again. Made it up.
Special thanks to Linda Crago from Tree & Twig for tutoring me on all things tomato, including how to save seeds.