Pictures of Tomatoes, etc.

On November 20th I mentioned having 13,366 pictures still to name.  In the past four weeks I’ve made a concerted effort to name pictures, despite so much else going on.  This morning I counted 9,990 still to name.  That’s 25% named in one month.  That’s progress, but I could do much better – more discipline, more intensely focused, few distractions, less sleep…

I have also been adding or updating varieties to my website, such as Tsindao:

It took me well over an hour to name and edit pictures, research history, compose description, and upload everything to this page on the online store.

Let’s say it takes one hour per variety and I have 2,500 varieties to list.  That’s 2,500 hours, or about 312 days of work at 8 hours per day.

That’s 6 days of work for an entire year.

That’s assuming I have nothing else to occupy my time devoted to the business – tasks such as preparing seed orders, responding to emails, planning for next year, processing seeds from hot peppers (many hours still to go…), organizing seeds, writing descriptions, uploading to website, database work – not to mention the hundreds of hours that go into raising and harvesting everything for seeds.  Or that maybe I need to do other things with my time, talents and energies…

Just saying – I’m getting lots of unsolicited advice, as well as some criticism about how I should improve my website; maybe hire someone?  But with whose $??  For those who can look past the shortcomings, I do appreciate your patience and understanding!  And please do point your gardening friends to:

Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite in Winter:

Spanish Spice


Sweet Crunch Orange


Monkey Face


Brazilian Rainbow


Ga Sangwa Kinnit


Peaches and Cream

peaches-and-cream-1-014-dt-2016-k-rev peaches-and-cream-1-332-dt-2016-g-rev


lucinda-0-254-dt-2016-j lucinda-0-254-dt-2016-b





Amazon Chocolate


Ispanskiy Gigant


New Jersey Champion


Maddeline’s Vine Candy


Masca Sarga




Chocolate Stripes


Malakhitovaya Shkatulka


Old Time Tennessee


Dakota Black


Barely the tip of the iceberg.  With over 3,000 total varieties in inventory, few of even the major seed companies carry such a rich diversity of garden seeds.  Yet in one hour they bring in more $ than does Delectation of Tomatoes in an entire year.  Aggressive marketing, or reputation/word of mouth – which is more effective?


Last Batch of 2016 Tomato Seeds Processed

Today I packaged the last of the seeds harvested from tomatoes in 2016 — nine batches from fruits picked on or about October 11, 2016.  Here’s a picture from one of those batches, Letneye Solntse (0.332 DT 2016).


Some “authorities” claim that seeds are no good if saved from green tomatoes that are allowed to ripen off the vine.  I have proven this wrong several times, with germination rates around 80%.  No, I’m not talking about tiny little immature green tomatoes.  If the fruits are full-sized or close to it, they will likely ripen fully over several weeks and the seeds will mature during this process.  A picked tomato is a living, metabolizing organism.  Although it no longer receives nutrients from the vine (including water, thus wrinkling is expected), a tomato still strives to fulfill it’s evolutionary purpose: perpetuate its DNA into the next generation.  Unfortunately, this phenomenon of seed off-the-vine seed maturation seems to be much less the case for peppers, melons and especially squash.

Where I reside, it’s been too chilly for much fermentation to take place, so I used a heating mat of the sort used for seedling propagation.


tomato-seed-processing-final-batch-of-2016-c-rev tomato-seed-processing-final-batch-of-2016-d

Now for some analytics from 2016, hopefully not too boring —

• Attempted to produce seeds of 476 varieties, including 20 or so tracked lineages of Big Zac, etc.

• Among these, I got ZERO seeds of 89 varieties

• Among the 387 varieties from which seeds were saved, 172 are new to Delectation of Tomatoes; that is, this is the first year I will be able to offer seeds.

• This will bring the total to about 1,630 varieties of tomato seeds for sale

• Total number of tomato seeds saved: 252,055 (an estimate of course, based on adding up the total number of seeds from each of 650 batches of tomatoes from which seeds were saved)

• Estimated number of hours it took me to produce this many seeds: 2,252 (this does not count the hundreds of hours spent on the computer: processing pictures, researching varieties, writing descriptions, filling seed orders, working on website, etc.)

• Potential income per seed: 10 cents

• Likely proportion of seeds that will be sold:17% (based on five years of data)

• Expected gross income for the year (seed sales were 90% of income this year): well, I’ll leave that math problem for you.  Keep in mind, the minimum wage in Utah is $7.25 per hour.  And I don’t get paid overtime.  And I get zero benefits (of the monetary kind, that is).  And yes, business expenses (there are plenty) have to come out of this.

• Perspective – trend is positive!  In the past three years, business profit has risen steadily from being on par with an average citizen of Burundi to that of Tanzania.  Fortunately, my food budget is quite low, since I grow most of what I eat!

And some have wondered why I don’t just buy my own land for this business, or hire someone to manage the website, or hire someone to weed and harvest, or…

Perhaps I really am insane…

And maybe I’ve said too much here – it would not be the first time…

So please do encourage your gardening friends to visit

At least maybe we can boost that 17% number by a few points?