Our whole house is littered with crates of tomatoes waiting to be deseeded and jars of icky fermenting seed. We have three people growing tomatoes for us this year, as our own greenhouse is devoted to peppers and we're waiting for planning permission to put up our own polytunnels on our new land.
All three growers have had a really good harvest, so we have piles of Amish Paste, Ruby, De Colgar, Millefleur (yes it's back again) , Purple Ukraine, Dr Carolyn, Urbikany (back after a 2 yr gap), Legend and Reisetomate.
We squeeze the seeds out and ferment them for 3 days to remove the germination inhibitors that are in the gel surrounding each seed, then spread them out on plastic chopping boards to air-dry in a cool ventilated space. After that they go into plastic tubs with silica gel , to dry further until reduced to 55% relative humidity, then they rest for a few weeks before germination testing and packing up for sale.
The deseeded 'waste' gets blended up and preserved and we have at least a years' supply of bottled tomato and ketchup now!
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
The new 2012 catalogue will be sent out in late Oct/Nov. Enough of the harvest is in now that we have decided what will (and in some sad cases, won't) be in it.
We've got some exciting new veg to go in it, plus some old favourites that will return after a gap, such as Urbikany Tomato, which we have a good crop of this year.
Over the next few weeks we will be working on the paper catalogue, and then once that is laid out, the new version of the website.