But disgusting smelling, gross looking fermenting tomato pulp makes for some nice seeds that will last me at least 10-12 years. The consequence of a good tomato harvest and lots of varieties is significant time spent saving seeds. By the time the season winds down, I will have over 200 different seed samples - either in coin envelopes or plastic vials, all numbered and cross referenced into an Excel worksheet. I am very pleased to have so much fresh seed of the dwarf project varieties, as well as old standbys Lucky Cross, Little Lucky, Cherokee Purple and Chocolate, and Brandywine.
And the tomatoes are just part of the story! I've started collecting ripe (meaning red) hot peppers in preparation for seed saving, and did my first picking of some ripe sweet peppers today as well. I also noticed one of the eggplant turning yellow, so it will be seed saving time for eggplant very soon too. That's the way it goes - 400 different pots mean 400 different lots of saved seed by gardening season end. The time that goes into it is so well worth it!
So tomorrow's main task - bring the 40 or so smelly cups of fermented tomato pulp into the house and do the rinse/sieve/spread on the paper plate step. Then it will be time to process another round of tomatoes which will generate more fermenting tomato goop. I do think that we have now passed the tomato harvest peak, though the dwarf plants in particular have lots of green fruit yet to ripen. It is a race between ripening and the advance of diseases at this point. I can certainly see at least one more tomato canning - this will be our most prolific canning year by far.
Just a final reflection on tomato flavors this year. They've been mostly outstanding.....a very few varieties came out bland, but many, many more were just delicious. Today for lunch we had a tomato - mozzarella salad for lunch. The tomatoes used were Yellow Brandywine, Lillian's Yellow Heirloom, Stump of the World, the dwarf project variety Marilinga, and the first of the Reinhard Kraft Green Hearts. In order, Sue and I would rank the flavors 8, 8.5, 8.5, 8, and 7.5. It was so good to taste Yellow Brandywine again - it's been years since I've gotten it to fruit. Lillian's and Stump are two of our all time favorites. When the worst tomato on the plate is still on the verge of excellent, it makes for a wonderful eating experience!