Seed Saving

Posted on September 23, 2010 by Howling Hill

One bonuses of participating in any CSA is the availability and access to seeds that are not genetically modified or altered. Thus, I have been seeding some of the bounty from my CSA. So far I have two types of tomato (above), yellow watermelon, honeydew melon, and a couple different types of squash and peppers. All were locally and organically grown here in New Hampshire. I also have all the seeds I ordered earlier this year but didn’t plant because of The Move to Boston.

Seeding the vegetables and fruits is an excellent way to preserve harvests, genetic diversity, and to save some money.

To seed a vegetable isn’t particularly difficult. Most times all one has to do is put seeds aside — making sure each seed is devoid of any vegetable matter — when cutting one open. Tomatoes, however, can pose a particular challenge for first time seeders. It took me a while to learn the process. I share it with you my fellow Greenists because I’m awesome (and contrite =)

First, cut open the tomato(es) and scoop out the seeds. Pull as much of the goo away from the seeds as possible. Then take the seeds and put them in a glass jar (plastic would work but then you get the plastic chemicals leeching problem…) with some water. Let the seeds sit in the sun for a week or two until the goo pulls away from the seeds and the seeds sink to the bottom. Go ahead and agitate the jar on occasion. Once the seeds have separated from the goo, carefully pour out the water and place the seeds on a towel to dry out. Once dry, put them in a bag for the next year after labeling the seeds. If you have more than one variety you are seeding this is very important unless you like surprises.

Knowing Wolf and I are moving from our beloved Howling Hill to the urban jungle makes my soul cringe. I am not a city person but I will adapt as I have to other changes. I am, after all, human. And humans adapt. And so do plants. We all adapt quite well, actually. I assume that’s why we (plants, animals, and everything else) are alive today: because we adapted to the changes and made the best of present conditions. To bring part of my CSA with me is a comfort. To know I can grow some of the lushness of the food I ate this summer is a fantastic way to bring Howling Hill to Boston. It connects me to the land, connects me to Mother Earth, and connects me to the CSA.

On a completely unrelated note, our well went dry. Follow our waterless journey at Howling Hill.

1 Comment +

  1. I was always told to use an open bowl for saving tomato seeds. Which is part of why I don’t – the fermentation process is pretty stinky! I never thought to use a sealed jar – you’ve probably left enough head space that it works just as well…

    My problem with saving tomato seeds is that they cross pollinate very easily. You do not see the cross in that year’s fruit. However, the seeds may not come true. I do not have the space to grow my tomato varieties isolated from each other so I don’t bother saving the seeds. I do try to save as many other plant varieites as possible! Remember, some seeds need to spend the winter in the freezer to be viable the next year. Fun stuff!

    September 23rd, 2010 at 8:31 am
    Comment by MaggieMaeFarm

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So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.


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