I'm looking for help with a tomato evaluation and seed saving project. A relative sent me a huge stash of seeds that they have been saving over the years. I haven't counted them, but there are probably over a hundred tomato varieties. I've mixed some to create a landrace, and I've found a few favorites that I'm now saving every year, but I'd like to evaluate and save seeds from each original variety before the seeds expire. I don't have the space, and more importantly the time, to evaluate a hundred tomato varieties. And the seed is reaching the end of its viability.
So, here is the deal. At the end of May, I will give anyone in the Metro area who wants to help with this some large, organically grown tomato plants. (Two or three of each variety; if you can handle more then one variety, that is great!) By that point in the year my plants are generally 6 to 8 inches tall. All you have to do in return is let me know how they do; yield, disease, vigor, an overall impression, nothing scientific; and then return a few seeds in the Fall. I won't need more then a few dozen. If the plants die, no matter; that probably means the variety is not adapted here!
If you don't know how to save tomato seed, I show you how; it is very easy. I'm not too worried about seed purity; it sounds like the original seed saver didn't worry about it, so anything that was going to cross will have done so already.
A warning; some of these varieties may be real flops here. I've already found a few varieties that just don't work here at all. On the other hand, some of my favorite varieties came out of this stash. If you are interested, I'll probably be selling seedlings of the proven varieties at the same time.