Harvesting Tomatoes for SeedAfter a hiatus of several weeks I’m back to writing about what’s new at the farm. The cool and sometimes crisp mornings signal that the end of another growing season is fast approaching. The days are noticeably shorter, and there’s less heat in the sun than there was. On a brighter note, the humidity has dropped off and it’s great working weather.
We started harvesting tomatoes for seed this week, so I thought I’d share some photos of the process:
We’re harvesting Brandywine tomato here. This is about a quarter of an acre in this field; we have another three-quarters of an acre, too. Our “Vine Harvester” is on the right side, hooked up to our Farmall 200. This machine separates the tomato seed and juice from the majority of the pulp. We only use this machine on larger seed productions, as it’s harder to clean than our smaller unit. The first stage of the seed harvest involves picking the tomatoes, filling up all the buckets, and starting up the seed separator.
Working for a seed company like we do, we get to see what we call “seed-to-seed.” We start the seed in the greenhouse, grow the plants, and harvest the seeds from these plants. When we grow these crops again, we’ll use seed that was grown here previously—a full circle, you might say.
Until next time, I’ll be in the field. Enjoy the changing of the seasons