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Saving Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Save money and preserve a bit of history by collecting and saving the seeds from your favorite heirloom tomatoes this fall.  

Scoop out the gelatinous center of a ripe tomato.  Place this in a container of water and let it ferment in a warm location for a week or two.   

Then remove and compost the rather disgusting layer of fermented tomato waste and bad seeds floating on the surface. 

Pour the remaining water and the good seeds sitting on the bottom of the container through a fine mesh strainer.  Rinse the seeds, removing any of the gelatinous material that may remain.  Spread the seeds on a piece of paper to dry.  

Then place the seeds in an envelope in a sealed jar or plastic container labeled with the date and variety. Store in the refrigerator until it’s time to start them for next season.

Then consider saving the seeds from other heirloom plants for your garden.

A bit more information:  Try saving heirloom beans and peas this summer.  Allow the pods to dry on the plant before harvesting.  Remove the seeds from the dried pods, store in an airtight opaque container in a cool dark location.  Label with the varietal name and date the seeds were collected.

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