Did you know 1 organic cherry tomato = 30 seeds = 30 tomato plants = 3000 free organic tomatoes (in average). Who said organic food was expensive?
Last February 29th I went to buy an organic cherry tomato from the “campo” where José works, a few cents. I am in my kitchen, I put in place my working surface. On my cutting board I open delicately my tomato, I look at the thirty seeds that comes with it.
At that moment I think back to what a brilliant friend of mine told me one day while preparing a tomato salad: “Tomatoes’ pips are worthless anyway”. So I wonder how people do to get all the tomatoes’ seeds. It is obvious but to be excused, there really was a hole in our education in terms of learning how to recover the seeds. I start it all up.
I then go on the website Kokopelli (pioneers in term of saving farming seeds), a process is suggested to recover tomatoes’ seeds so that they become fructuous crop. I’ll tell it to you right away:
- Cut each tomato in half, retrieve the seeds and the juice and pour it in a jar. Add a bit of water.
- Let it stay 2 to 4 days until a cap of white mold appears on the surface of the jar.
- Then in a small strainer, rinse the seeds with tapping water (waste and unwanted seeds are eliminated, normally only the good seeds remain).
- Dry them 2 hours in the sun (you don’t have to but it works!)
- Let them dry 10-12 days on a mosquito cloth in the shadow or on a plate checking regularly that the seeds do not stick to the plate.
- If the process is respected, seeds can be kept 4 to 8 years!
I follow blindly the instruction. 15 days later I have my 30 beautiful seeds that just need to be planted. I am not a fool: I will not transform my kitchen in an agricultural jungle.
In a baked earth bowl I pour a mix of earth and compost and I plant 5 seeds. 5 days letter I cannot tell you the happiness I felt when my first sprout appeared. I can only let you guess what one feels when it is the first cherry tomato that appears…
PS: If your tomato is not organic don’t bother doing all this process. Seeds that come from conventional industrial agriculture are tampered with, called “hybrids”, so that it is impossible to recover free seeds. It is a kind of planned obsolescence thought by big agricultural firms. Unfortunately, it can happen with organic seeds too. If you have a contact with your farmer, you should better ask him to be sure.