Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

How to Save Tomato Seeds

“There is no despair in a seed.”

So says renowned nature writer and activist Janisse Ray in her latest book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food.

The Seed Underground follows Janisse across the United States as she visits people dedicated to preserving heirloom food varieties simply by growing them, enjoying them, saving and sharing their seeds. In the past century we have lost an overwhelming number of food varieties. Commercial agriculture has homogenized the flavor of our foods, for sure, but it has also literally exterminated hundreds of plants — simply by leaving them behind.

You too can be a seed-saving revolutionary. In the excerpt below Janisse Ray explains how to save tomato seeds. It takes a bit of care to get the seeds out of the gelatinous tomato goo they’re suspended in, but once you’ve done it you can use those seeds to cherish and perpetuate the unique flavor of your favorite variety.

Pass some seeds along to a friend and you’re doing your part to keep our food system diverse and strong!

Saving Tomato Seeds – An Excerpt from The Seed Underground by Janisse Ray


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Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer’s Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin is a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (Tomorrow).In this excerpt from their […] Read More

Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

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Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture […] Read More
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