Saturday, August 27, 2011

Scrumptious Saturday...what's not cooking

The bread is baked.

The tomatoes picked.

It's cooled off here, but still I try not to cook too much.
It's summertime; the time of fresh eating.
And, I try not to think about it, but time to start the first thoughts of next year's garden.
Seed saving is in full swing.

I let some of the first green beans go to seed so that I could get more seeds for next year.
My provider green beans have been going berserk...they produce so well and continuously.
So the first dry beans have been picked with hopes of seeds for next year.
I have also been going to the farmer's market to buy tomatoes.
Varieties that I didn't plant this year.
I save the seeds.
The seeds that will grow next year.
For example I bought "heirloom" tomatoes from a farmer who said they were the variety
(Some of the family farms, the rest sell at the markets so the sellers don't know as much about the produce as the farmer part of the family sadly.)
I think it's a Cherokee Purple.
Let me know if you think otherwise.

To save the seeds, I scoop out the seedy goo from the tomatoes and place it in a cup.
Then I add a little water (enough to cover the seeds and then an extra inch or so.)
Then I give them a stir to loosen the seeds from the goo.
I put it on a window sill and let it build a moldy crust (about 3-7 days)
Then the goo is removed and the seeds are cleaned from their protective gel.
(This is why tomatoes are moist, but don't sprout inside a good tomato.)
Then the seeds are placed on a towel and dried for about a day.
Then the seeds are placed in labeled envelopes and put in the seed bin part of our fridge.
This process only works for open pollinated "heirloom" tomatoes.
Ones bought at the store unless they are labeled as an heirloom variety usually will not grow true to the parent (they won't look like the tomato you bought and/or may be sterile.)
That simple.
Lets talk cost.
Organic seeds cost about $2.50 for a packet of 20 seeds.
I get about 100 seeds from a tomato (depending on type and size.)
I only spend about $.50 for an organic heirloom tomato or $2.00 for a pint of cherry tomatoes.
See the savings?
Not to mention from those 50 cents I get tomatoes to feed a family for a year.
For many years to go.
For the cycle keeps on going.
For this I am thankful.
Frugal gardening at it's best, the way it was meant to be.


  1. Yep. That's the way I see it too! That tomato is a beauty. What a wonderful addition to your garden for next year!

  2. Learning how to save tomato seeds was one of those discovery delights. You are so right about the cost savings. And the satisfaction of saving one's own seed. Your photos are lovely, BTW.


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