Q: On your radio show you mentioned fermenting tomato seed in order to save them for next year. Can you provide details?
A: Tomato seeds are each surrounded by a jelly capsule which inhibits germination.
To remove the jelly, scoop the seed you wish to save into a glass jar and half-fill with water. In a few days the water will be covered with a thick mat of mold.
Four days later, fill the jar with water, cover and shake gently. Allow it to sit for an hour. Viable seed will sink to the bottom of the jar while mold and debris will rise to the top.
Pour off everything except the good seed and rinse a few times with fresh water. Put the cleaned seed onto a Styrofoam plate (they stick too tightly to paper towels) and allow to dry thoroughly.
Store in a cool, dry place until planting time next year.