Over the past several years we have grown heirloom varieties of vegetables on our farm. Along with the popularity of these varieties, it allows us the option of saving seeds and is one way of being sustainable, self sufficient and reliant on our homestead. It is a great economical way to conserve biodiversity. The many optional varieties of heirloom tomatoes with different shapes, colours and sizes gives us an assortment of culinary, vitamin enriched flavours – second to none!
Unlike hybrid varieties, these heirloom, open pollinated seeds can be saved year after year and the fruit will be true to its’ parent plant. Growing a hearty indeterminate tomato variety will last and produce until the first frost. Collect these seeds from your favourite fruit and begin a fermenting procedure that dissolves the gel that surrounds each seed.
After you select your tomato that should be slightly over ripe, you will squeeze the seed and pulp into a labelled jar and cover with water.
Place the jar at room temperature to ferment and we use a coffee filter and elastic to cover the jar to keep flies and smell in check. After approximately four days, a white fungus will appear on top of the water.
Rinse seeds thoroughly to remove all of pulp. Spread the seeds on a coffee filter over paper plate to let dry in a warm area. We use the top of the fridge. The seeds are ready to store when they break when bent between your forefinger and thumb. Place them in an labelled envelope or mason jar and store them at room temperatue.
They will be viable for approximately 10 – 15 years.