About a week ago I decided to eat the last Aussi tomato from my garden. This is a large beefsteak heirloom tomato. Yum. But I didn't want to eat it all. I wanted to save the seeds. Saving seed from heirloom tomatoes is relatively easy. Tomatoes are mostly self pollinating. The anther is hidden in the flower where the bees can't get to it (though I think there are a few weird ones out there). The pollen naturally falls to the stigma when the tomato plant is shaken by the wind or vibrated by the bees. So usually heirloom tomatoes breed true even if you have many other kinds growing right next to each other. The one caveat you must remember is that I say "mostly". They can occasionally surprise you.
Once you have the tomato, you take out the gel part that contains the seed. You put it in a small container, cover it and let it ferment in a warm spot for a couple of days, until a white disgusting slime grows on top. Did I do this? Not really. I did remove the gel. I put it in a small container and covered with saran wrap. I left it on my kitchen counter which I might point out is not very warm. In fact the thermostat in that part of the house is set at 62F degrees. Brrr. I let the containers be forgotten. Oops. A week later I remembered that they were shoved behind the squash. Yup one had that 'good' white mold on top, the other I think did at one point, but had dried out and a green mold had taken hold. Now if you let them sit wet for too long they can sprout on you. I didn't see any sprouting seeds. Hopefully they will be fine.
Then I filled the containers up with water and floated out all the icky mold. Most of the seeds stayed on the bottom. Once the seeds were clean, I put them out on some plates to dry. They need to dry for about a week or so. I think we are getting rain (I'm hoping since we have had no rain in three weeks), so it may take quite a while for them to dry. But at least I don't have an elementary school science project growing on my kitchen counter any more.
BTW I had two containers. The other one is from my Sungold tomato. This is an F1 hybrid. Seedman was saying that even if it is labeled F1 it might actually be a stabilized open pollinated plant. Or it might still be an F1 hybrid. If I have room next year I can play around and see what I end up with.