So with the acquisition of a huge & exciting garden bed, guess what I've been doing? (Besides "planting various seedlings and gloating over them every single day.") That's right: I am saving seeds.
Since the farmer's market is now officially full of tomatoes, I decided to start with them. I followed the directions from this pdf at wintersown.org. You should totally check those guys out, incidentally--they will send you free seeds! You know we can all use some of those.
Now, ok. Many of the seed saving instructions I've seen for tomatoes require a week of fermentation. This set of instructions instead requires powdered detergent (i.e. Comet or Bartender's Friend) to dissolve the little sacs of gel around each seed. So I'm thinking it wouldn't be considered organic, but it does work really well. I'll be interested to see the germination rates next spring.
Since I've been saving seeds from random farmer's market tomatoes, I'm not 100% sure what any of them are. I mean, "red beefsteak" describes an awful lot of tomatoes, and internet search only takes you so far. On the other hand, certain tomatoes are prevalent and easier to identify. I know for sure I have some Purple Cherokees and Early Girls, because those were labeled, but otherwise? I harvested seeds for what appears to be Black Krim, some sort of red beefsteak type with yellow-orange shoulders, & a smallish lemon-yellow beefsteak.
Next up: an apparent Mr. Stripey, Orange Oxheart, and some lipsticky grape tomatoes with pointy tips.
I don't think I'm going to have enough garden space for all these next year, but I kind of don't care. We'll cross that road when all the seeds germinate and explode into hungry little seedling beasts.