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Old September 5, 2011   #1
matereater
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Default Seed Extraction Techniques

Am just curious how those of you who save seeds extract them from the tomato. I'm looking for an easier more efficent, less messy method.

When I process mine I take a slice off the top and a slice off the bottom and then push my finger through the locules to push out the seeds and gel over a glass container. Seems like no matter how careful I am its always a pretty messy process and its hard to make sure you get all the seeds.

Is there an easier way?? How do the rest of you save your seeds ??
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Old September 5, 2011   #2
lakelady
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I'm not as precise as you are

I cut the tomato in half (not through the stem side) and just squeeze each half over a bowl or wide mouth mason jar like an orange. Take a fork and pick out any big pieces of fruit that are not gel stuck to seeds and add a tiny bit of water if needed, then cover and let sit 5 days or so until I get the moldy covering on top. swirl jar to encourage seeds to settle on bottom, then pour off top with any floaters that might not be viable seeds. Pour the rest through a fine mesh sieve and rub while running water over the top. Dry the bottom of the sieve well, dump the seeds onto a paper plate and separate as best you can. Every day separate seeds more until the entire plate is very dry for a few days before packing away. I don't leave them on the porch, but in the house where it is much drier during the drying process.

Not very scientific, but it works for me and I get great germination rates on my saved seeds.

Oh, and my covering for the jar is cheesecloth which allows some air in but keeps fruitflies out.

Last edited by lakelady; September 5, 2011 at 09:54 AM. Reason: more detail
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Old September 5, 2011   #3
Keiththibodeaux
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I do it even simpler. Squeeze the pulp and seeds into a glass. Stir around to separate as many seeds as possible. Pour off floating seeds and pulp. Let sit over night. Next morning stir and let settle again just a bit, then pour off as much liquid as possible without losing seeds at the bottom. I them pour the remaining seeds on a brown paper bags and just move them around every time I pass by to keep them from sticking. In a few days they are dry and I store.
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Old September 5, 2011   #4
tam91
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Keith, aren't you skipping the fermentation part then? I thought that was necessary/desirable to lesson the chance of disease...
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Old September 5, 2011   #5
carolyn137
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PErhaps someone can remember where the many threads are that discuss how to process saved seeds. I spent a bit of time doing a search here but didn't find them ASAP so went to watch tennis and still am.

In those threads are discussed fermentation, why use it, what it accomplishes, links to other sites for how they do it, detailed discussions of how individual here do it, etc.

Also discussed are the oxidative methods using Oxi-Clean or Comet, which is an alternative to fermentation which are quicker and not as messy.

But I've posted in those threads that while we know from Dr. Helene Dillard's work which pathogens are on the seed coat and can be lessened by fermentation, and its' also known that most bacterial and viral pathogens are in the endosperm of the seed so neither fermentation can't help with that and nor can the oxidative methods. How water treatment is used for the bacterial opathongs in the endosprem but also results in a loss of seed viability and as is oft said......don't try this at home.

My point being is that's there no data to say how effective the oxidative methods are in removing pathogens from the seed coat.

So hopefully some of you reading here can find those threads so it isn't necessary to reinvent the wheel, as it were, with yet another thread on the same topic when some already exist and are pretty darn detailed.
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Old September 5, 2011   #6
nctomatoman
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I just did a search - this is the main thread I found -

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...ng+Tomato+Seed

here is another shorter thread -

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...to+Seed+Saving

another - focusing on what can go wrong

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...to+Seed+Saving
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Old September 5, 2011   #7
Dutch
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nctomatoman, What method do you use on drawf tomato seeds that are small.
Like my Summertime Gold.
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Old September 5, 2011   #8
nctomatoman
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I use the same method for all my tomato saving - if the tomato is medium sized, I cut it in half - squeeze each half into a labeled cup (I've gone to clear plastic)....loosely cover with a paper towel and set them in my garage for a few days, until the white fungus layer forms.

I bring them in to the kitchen, fill to near the top with water, stir well - the seeds should sink leaving pulp and fungus fragments swirling - pour off the solid matter, refill, restir, and do that a few times until you have seeds on the bottom and near clear liquid on top. Then I pour the whole thing into a fairly fine sieve - press the seeds against the sides - then scoop onto an unglazed, labeled paper plate - and let the plates of seeds air dry for a few weeks.

Same technique I use for all of my tomato seed saving - I have a sieve that can handle even Mexico Midget seeds without them passing through.
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Old September 5, 2011   #9
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Craig, thanks for coming up with those links.

Dutch I also process varieties with small seeds just as I would seeds from any other varieties. With some of the very wee ones such as the currant varieties I just pop them open with my fingers and throw them into water, shake them around and then set them up for fermentation.

No problem at all.
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Old September 5, 2011   #10
lakelady
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I think I read Craig's method on the internet before joining TV, lol....I know I got the method somewhere and it does sound awfully familiar

My own limited personal experience taught me fast that seeds DO get mixed up. Being OCD and extra careful is too important because I would be pretty upset if I sent seeds to someone (and I only have 2 varieties I have saved myself so far, bought several dozen from Tania and others, got a few trades) and they were wrong. In fact, when I was saving the heirloom seeds of the little basket of tomatoes I got at a farmers' market, I did not label two jars and ended up putting a note in each packet for myself to remember that the seeds contained "either" the small white with the blush pink on the end, or the small squat heavily ribbed purple tomato. Next year will be a big surprise for me on those two.

I completely wash everything after the first set of seeds and even use a scrub brush on the sieve because it does have a teeny tiny lip that could potentially hold a seed or two.

Those links were great and thanks Craig for posting them. Always good to learn better ways of doing things from people who know more than I do about them.
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Old September 5, 2011   #11
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Lakelady, I never but never use a sieve when processing seeds from fermenation, but never.

Unless you read Craig's blog at his website, and I don't know if he even has his fermentation method there I don't think it was his method you read b'c for many years now he's posted only here at Tville.

perhaps you read my seed saving method from my book which isn't all that different from what many do, but it did have pictures and detailed descriptions.

But no sieves, never sieves for me when I process seeds.

And after growing about 3000 plus tomato varieties and setting up fermentations I'm pretty proficient in my dotage, humble though I am.
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Old September 7, 2011   #12
matereater
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Default Seed Extraction

"So hopefully some of you reading here can find those threads so it isn't necessary to reinvent the wheel, as it were, with yet another thread on the same topic when some already exist and are pretty darn detailed. "

Carolyn, I wasn't trying to reinvent the wheel so to speak. I was attempting to find out how others EXTRACT the seeds from the toms to then process. It seems to always be a pretty messy process and was hoping to find a better way.

thanks all for your replies!!
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Old September 7, 2011   #13
carolyn137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matereater View Post
"So hopefully some of you reading here can find those threads so it isn't necessary to reinvent the wheel, as it were, with yet another thread on the same topic when some already exist and are pretty darn detailed. "

Carolyn, I wasn't trying to reinvent the wheel so to speak. I was attempting to find out how others EXTRACT the seeds from the toms to then process. It seems to always be a pretty messy process and was hoping to find a better way.

thanks all for your replies!!
Sorry, but when I read seed extraction I just assumed that processing was part of the picture and I guess I wasn't the only one who thought the same.

As for seed extraction itself, I just take several fruits of the same variety at one time and one by one grasp them with both hands, split apart the fruits and then with my thumbs sqeeze out the seeds and juice being sure to run my thumbs along the inside borders of the fruits and the inner septa that separate the seed locules where the seeds hang out.

And I do that in the sink with a one pint clear deli container that's been prelabelled. Before I fell I'd do all of that outside with a one pint deli container sitting in a large buket where I'd throw the gutted fruits and when the bucket got near the top I threw out the contents.

Always remembering to wash my hands thoroughly between processing of different varieties.

If there isn't enough juice I add a bit of water.

And then we get into the part you hadn't asked about.
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Old September 7, 2011   #14
matereater
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"Sorry, but when I read seed extraction I just assumed that processing was part of the picture and I guess I wasn't the only one who thought the same."

yeah, I probably should have CAPITALIZED the extraction portion of the subject line, my bad.


Thanks again Carolyn for the response, seems like as most others also posted most methods are pretty messy one way or ta other.
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Old September 7, 2011   #15
Keiththibodeaux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tam91 View Post
Keith, aren't you skipping the fermentation part then? I thought that was necessary/desirable to lesson the chance of disease...
Yes, I do skip the fermentation part. I have had no issues, so maybe I am just lucky.
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