About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Saving tomato seeds

It turns out that saving tomato seeds is not simply a matter of taking the seeds out of the tomato and spreading them out to dry. The issue is the protective jelly that surrounds each seed. In the wild, tomatoes fall to the ground, rot, and the seeds are left free of jelly and ready to germinate. With the jelly in place, there's no germination.

I'm planning on buying tomato seeds anyway this year, but I had a recipe that involves scooping out the seeds and middle bits from cherry tomatoes. I say recipe... I saw cherry tomatoes stuffed with cheese in Waitrose and thought, "They look nice." I did it for a party. It was a fiddle, but they were indeed nice, and I had all the seeds and pulp left over. Shame to waste them, so I put them in a pot with some water, as per instructions, and left them on the side in the kitchen.

Tomato seeds. In pot. With water.

Then I waited for the mould to appear. They smelled bad - not excruciatingly bad, but fairly unpleasant - and a few bubbles were spotted, but no mould. Today, finally after two weeks, the first sign of something that might be mould on the surface. I have never been so happy to see something going mouldy in the kitchen!

Now, looking back at the instructions, I see that I should have only given it three days (in a warm place. I don't have a warm place) and I should have waited for mould or bubbles. Oops, I had bubbles. Time to rescue the seeds, I think! Either I'll dry them for planting in a month or so, or if they're germinating I'll have to plant them straight away. Then I'll just have to find somewhere warm for them until the weather picks up.

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