Behind the scenes at Seed Savers Exchange
I didn't contact Seed Savers
Exchange about my potentially
bad tomato seeds
because I wasn't 100% sure the problem was their fault. But one
of their employee's --- Tom Wahlberg --- stumbled across my post and
emailed me in concern. He told me that, "like we state on each
packet, we really do mean Satisfaction Guaranteed, and have credited
your account for these two packets."
We had both of these varieties grown on contract, one Conventional (Amish Paste) and one Organic (Martino's Roma). The Organic tomatoes will have been processed via fermentation technique, and will tend to retain more of the fruit's organic matter than the Conventional.
Depending on the length of time of fermentation it is possible the Organic would have a higher level of fungal activity, but also would retain more of the normal fuzzy exterior which could also be what you are seeing. The Conventional by contrast will have been processed via acid extraction, which is not a seed treatment, but rather a method commercial growers use to break down the gelatinous membrane around the seed without the delay inherent with the fermentation process. That would also explain the difference in the shade between the two varieties.
As for germination, we utilize Midwest Seed Services for independent analysis, and the most recent results are as follows:
Wahlberg went on to tell me that Seed Savers Exchange has started hundreds of Amish Paste plants in the greenhouse this year (some of which you can see in this and the previous photo). "In light of your observations, we will also start a flat of the Martino's for evaluation."
He finished by telling me:
I'll let you know what we find out with the Martino's flat we are planting. Sometimes there definitely is a problem with seed quality, but we hope through our own safeguards (field inspections, trial plots, testing, etc) to have that be our problem, not the customer's.
I thought I should set the record straight, and will let you know what Wahlberg finds out about the Martino's Roma seeds.
Our chicken waterer never spills or fills with POOP.
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