Tomato Seed Saving Completed – Nearly 2,900 Varieties Now Available

Here’s a brief breakdown of the tomato seed saving project of 2022:

New varieties: 328
Seed stock replenishment: 336
Total varieties from which seeds were saved in 2022: 664
Total tomato varieties for which seeds are now available: 2,895

Plus around 250 varieties of off-types, crosses in development, and unknowns.

Much more to include here, but here’s just an example of the challenge of keeping these organized – here is a photo of just new packets of seeds of varieties starting with the letter “A”:

Seed list is available here:

DT Tomato Seed List

There are still 39 batches of fermenting tomatoes from which seeds need to be extracted – the very last ones from 2022. But this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the estimated 1,600 batches of seeds saved in 2022. Full inventory will take several days of dedicated effort.

Melon seed extraction also completed, but eggplants and peppers are still waiting (not so patiently…) for me to figure out how to create more time out of thin air…

Seed Processing 🔁 Continues, Almost There!

Just stunning how long this is taking me to get through all of these batches of tomatoes.

As of today (December 18th), there is one shelf of mostly ripened tomatoes left to process, and four more shelves of fermenting tomatoes that need seed extraction. Each shelf is about one day of work. So that phase is at least 95% done. Then comes seed drying, packaging, organizing, computer work.

As shown in one of the photos, there was a minor catastrophe. I was gone for a few hours, and when I returned, there was a stack of five containers that had collapsed and toppled onto the floor. My what a mess to clean up! One batch remained intact, and I managed to save at least a couple of dozen seeds from the other batches. But more than 3,000 seeds were essentially lost, even though I saved them. Seeds of unknown variety just are not of much value.

A snowstorm on December 12th dropped 7″ of snow, with outdoor temperatures dropping to -1° F, and 38° indoors. House is unheated, except the space heater in the office/bedroom.

I cannot imagine trying to survive this as a deer or other animal in the wild! I caught 12 of them on video snacking on the remnants of tomato vines.

I am anxious to get seeds organized, data entered, photos processed, and descriptions written and published – if only that clock would slow down to 1% speed for a few months…

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Update, 12-25-2022

Whew, what a relief to finally have all the tomato seeds extracted from the 2022 growing season!

Well, almost finished. There are just 39 batches left. These are the “leftovers” – those that were still green in early December, and which I ended up moving to the “warm room” to speed up and complete ripening. I expect to have these processed for fermentation by noon tomorrow, then will move them to the warm room for faster fermenting, and will have seeds extracted and drying by the end of the week, which is also the end of the year.

By that time, I also hope to have all tomato seeds organized, alphabetized, inventoried, data entered, and this list updated:

DT List of Tomato Seeds Currently Available

Still to process, also this week: peppers, eggplants, melons, cucumbers, squash, herbs