Sunday, 18 September 2011

Tomatoes Everywhere!

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!