Seed Saving – Home Stretch for 2018

I was hoping, and worked very hard to have all tomato seed saving completed by October 1st.  But there will be at least two more weeks of this.  This is what the project looked like 12 days ago:

Today, the work load is at least double this – at least 300 hours worth of work to do before frost sets in and forces me to stop harvest tomatoes and saving seeds.  Such is life.

Here is a quick look at the process.

The tomato patch, about 70% of tomatoes harvested:

Some “extra” tomatoes I was hoping to trade for some help with this massive seed saving project. Seems like a good deal from my perspective: $100 worth of premium, organic, heirloom tomatoes for a couple of hours of real work.  No takers so far.

Sampling, picture taking, cutting up tomatoes, putting them to ferment:

Batches of tomatoes fermenting (about 4 days seems to work well), awaiting seed extraction:

Seed separation station:

Seeds drying on plastic plates:

Stacks of plates with dried seeds awaiting packaging:

Seed packaging station::

Boxes and boxes of envelopes of seeds to organize; about 20,000 photos to name, edit and organize; several weeks of data entry (including field notes for each batch), then packaging of the the final product for sharing with other growers:

Oh, and everything non-tomato…

Yesterday (September 29th) was the annual weigh-off event for the Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers:

My pumpkin was a slight 196 lbs. – once tomatoes start coming on I have no time for this kind of fun.

My heavist tomato, Gold Medal (1.740 DT 2018), managed third place.

That’s it for now – back at it!