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How to save your heirloom tomato seeds

This works for any tomato seeds, really, but sometimes I come across a rare variety of heirloom tomato that is not only pretty but sweet and juicy.  I’m always a little sad thinking that I might never find that variety again.  But, with these 5 easy steps, you can easily save the seeds and grow the variety next spring.

  1. Halve the tomato and squeeze the seeds and pulp into a jar (don’t worry about separating them).  Don’t cover the jar completely but if you want to protect the seeds, use a little plastic wrap and poke a small hole in it.
  2. Ferment the pulp and seeds.  Place the jar in a window or warm place for about 2-3 days; mixing the seeds and pulp daily.  The seeds will separate from the pulp during this process.
  3. Clean the seeds.  Remove the white film on top with a spoon and place the seeds into a sieve.  Wash them repeatedly until they’re clean.  Remove as much of the clean water as possible.
  4. Dry the seeds.  Spreading them out in a single layer in a clean place with good ventilation.  Let them dry thoroughly, which can take up to a week (especially if it’s rainy).  Dry seeds won’t stick to each other and they’ll move quickly across a plate.
  5. Pack them for the winter.  Use a paper or plastic envelope and remember to label them!

Next spring, begin germinating them indoors and by mid-summer, you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor (literally)!

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