We had saved seed from our own crops: Brandywine Tomatoes, Fox Cherry Tomatoes, Hot Portgual Peppers, Shishito Peppers, Blue Lake Pole Beans, and Genovese Basil. I also like to think that local farms have done some of the homework in terms of selecting varieties that grow well in this area, so I supplemented our own harvest with a couple of peppers from the farmer’s market in Union Square: Hot Cayenne and Hot Serrano.
Our Hot Portugals were yummy and mildly spicy-sweet, but they took a hecka long time to flower and mature, and I had wanted them for adding heat to our pickle jars earlier in the season. They arrived months after pickling day, and would have been twice as long as a jar anyway—way too big. So I added the Cayenne and Serrano varieties to our seed saving mix this year. They are the right size for a pint jar, and I am hoping there will be a few harvestable ones in early August.
We sliced up the various peppers and separated them out. One of us skipped the rubber gloves while slicing up the hot peppers… and paid a dear price for it.
This was our first year saving seed from our tomatoes. I learned a tip from Zach over at Riverpark’s urban farm in Manhattan: put the seeds and pulp in a jar with a bit of added water and let sit for a few days. The resulting fermentation helps break down the slimy seed coatings which would otherwise be at risk for mold if packaged. Then rinse the seeds off and strain away the pulp. Super easy and works well. We ended up with nice clean batches of tomato seed.
After drying all of our seeds out on paper towels and dutifully posting our progress, we packaged them up with our fancy rubber-stamped seed labels. We even did germination tests which showed that our seeds are healthy and viable. Treat yourself to a pack or two! Contact us on Instagram for more information: http://instagram.com/fivefurrowgardener/