Thursday, April 6, 2017

Snake beans and saving tomato seeds

I am so tired. I have been weeding non stop but at least I know that it is not too long till the days get colder, the beds will be clean of weeds, and when winter comes I will be able to take a long break.

I have been quite happy with how things have been going so far but that is about to change. The mouse plague that has been predicted because of the wet spring and plenty of grain and other plant foods is arriving. I am noticing lots of mouse holes in the beds and even see them running around during the day. I think I will have to go over to Farm Supplies and get a tub of mouse bait before they start eating all my seedlings.

My 'Three Foot Plus' snake beans are really getting up steam now but for some reason they don't have many seeds in the pods this year. The variety name is a bit misleading as the beans only get to around 60-70-cm rather than a whole three feet but they are still spectacular. They should be picked for eating at around 30cm.

This variety has pretty, bi-coloured seeds.

 I noticed that this year some of the plants have contracted a type of mosaic virus so I can't sell the seeds even if I got enough. This is really strange as they have not shown this disease before and are planted in clean soil.
Luckily they are planted away from the bush red snake beans as I really don't want a virus in those.

The plants are really only affected when young or stressed. They tend to grow out of it as they get older.

Saving tomato seeds

I was asked how I save tomato seeds in the quantity that I do. here is my method:

 Here is a third of a bucket of currant tomatoes. Just pick and place in a bucket then add water to the top of the tomatoes.
Usually I would pick a whole bucket but I didn't have time this morning.

 Now I get my hand in and crush all the tomatoes into a pulp. This step can be done with a food processor with a plastic or dough blade that will not harm the seeds but I have not got around to getting a food processor yet.
I do want one but I always have more important things to spend the money on.
Remember to get all the whole ones that hide at the bottom. This is not so important for larger fruits as they are easier to see.

Now you put them away in a warm place to sit for a few days. This is called the fermenting stage and it doesn't harm the seeds. The fermenting allows the seeds to separate from the pulp.
Make sure to stir them a couple of times a day.

I will update with the rest and more pictures on Saturday when I finish cleaning these seeds.

Remember to place a named tag on the bucket handle if you are doing more than one variety at a time. It is easy to think you will remember which is which, but often you don't. better to be safe than sorry.

1 comment:

  1. I had in my garden a Chinese variety "Yard Long". It is quite the same with yours. Very productive and very tasty, a good choice