Some of the varieties of tomatoes I had this year, I just loved! I had purchased a few organic, heirloom plants at a huge sale around me at the beginning of the summer. They were $3 a pop, so I hoped that if I loved them, I might be able to figure out how to save seeds to recreate this year’s abundant harvest. My problem had been trying to get seeds separated from that weird, goopy, gross part. I had tried everything in the past…smooshing it onto a napkin to dry, putting it in a strainer and trying to rinse it. I just couldn’t get it right. So I googled how to save seeds and saw a blog post from one of the college agriculture extensions (I’m so sorry that I can’t find that post again to give credit to them). I followed their simple steps and couldn’t believe how easy it was! So if you have some tomatoes left from your harvest, try this method:
Separate the goopy tomato seed stuff from the rest of the tomato flesh. The seed part goes in a cup or mason jar, filled with a few inches with water. Now you can chop the rest and use it for some delicious salsa! I found as I did this a couple times, that it was easiest to clothespin a tag with the variety to the jar, strainer, and dish throughout each step. Otherwise all the seeds look alike after a while.
Stir the glass a couple times a day for 2-3 days. You’ll start to see the seeds separate and fall down to the bottom. These are different seeds than the ones above, which is why they’re red. They don’t change colors or anything!
After they seem separated, pour them into a little handheld screen strainer. I usually pour the water off until I’m almost to the seeds so I don’t get a lot of that gelatinous stuff stuck in my strainer. I rinse the seeds in the mesh strainer until they look clean.
Then I just pat them out into a flat layer in the strainer and let it sit for a day or two until they are dry. I normally separate them gently with my fingers and pop them into another dish for a day to make sure they are good and dry before I put them into a baggie with their tag for next year.
See, aren’t they just as beautiful as the $3.79 heirloom seeds you buy online? Plus they aren’t being shipped across the country so we’re saving the planet!