Sunday, October 5, 2014

Saving Tomato Seeds From Tomatoes

I'm making salsa. Just a few jars left in the pantry from last year.  Oh how I'm tired of canning and I did not really do all that much this year. It is just that I want to work on organizing our belongings in this new home. I'm frustrated with the contained clutter.You know, things that are collected in an area but not efficiently shelved, hung, or organized so as to quickly be at hand. But for now I will work on having a grateful heart for the food we have been blessed with.
Though things haven't gone as planned and my efforts in the garden have been few and far in between. Still we have been given much. One side of the garage is bursting with produce awaiting canning, putting away, dried, or processed. It will be a great aid in the days to come as we tighten our belt and work on our finances.
Though I had planned to do so much more with the garden, there are still many things I learned and many successes.The garden soil though not perfect is far better than that which we left behind. I learned that a garden notebook is essential if I am to move forward and accomplish the goals I have set forth of trying to be more self-efficient in the area of food. I'll talk more about that later.  
One of the things I learned was I am definitely going to repeat growing the Alaska tomato. Not sure exactly which plant was what kind as I did not mark them. I will next time. But there were larger tomatoes than I've had before. I'm sure the soil had a huge impact. With a few of those larger tomatoes I've started an experiment, saving seed. I may not know exactly what kind they may be but I've come to the conclusion that in survival it isn't the name that will save us but the best plants of what ever they happened to be. So with seeds from those larger tomatoes I began to learn.
I scooped out some seeds from a lovely tomato, place the seeds and the jelly like substance that clung to them into a half pint, glass, canning jar.
I can just see my sister saying yuck right now and there is no way I can do this. She is majorly allergic to mold. But mold is a must. In the jelly substance that clings to the seeds is a chemical that prohibits them from sprouting. When this mixture molds, it breaks down the chemical. The jell like substance becomes a liquid, no longer clinging to the seeds. Molding therefore serves a two fold purpose of releasing the seeds from the jell and breaking down the sprouting prohibitor.  
Some people add a little water in with the jell before it molds but I chose to add it after I took a fork and scooped off the mold. Less liquid to stink I figured and I was right. It didn't smell too bad until I added liquid and disturbed the liquid. See the seeds at the bottom? That is a good sign.  The bad seeds are suppose to rise to the top. Shock of shocks, all the seeds sunk. I'd say that is a good tomato. 
I then rinsed the seeds thoroughly in a wire strainer under the kitchen sink to finish removing the jell like substance from them. If any pulp remains remove with your fingers.
I then placed the seeds on a paper plate as instructed. The site cautioned against paper towels as the seeds stick to them. Let seeds dry. Today I will remove the dried seeds, place in a plastic bag, and then put in a glass jar. Remember that plastic is porous and moisture will eventually work its way inside of it and that is why the need for the glass jar.  
Encouraged by the results I now have two more jars on the counter. One has the seeds from three large round tomatoes. The other the seeds of three pear shaped tomatoes. Note the tomato seeds throughout the liquid. That is because the jell is not broken down yet. Part two of the experiment will take place next spring when I plant the seeds and see just how successful I really was with my seed saving project.

Now I wish I'd have let a couple cucumbers get large and saved seeds from them. The method is the same as for tomatoes. Oh well, there is always next year. For now I must start that garden journal.

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