Saving Eggplant Seed

We first saved eggplant seed 5 years ago using a blender to extract the seed. We wound up with a lot of damaged seed. When we started theses seeds the next year, I figured a few would germinate. Instead a thick white mould grew on the soil surface. We tossed the tray into the compost and discarded the rest of the seed.

MANUAL EGGPLANT SEED EXTRACTION

This year, I decided to give eggplant seed another try but this time taking the seed out by hand.

Some of the steps are similar to saving tomato seed (without the fermentation) or pepper seed.

We left the fruit on the plants past their edible stage then let them sit around in the barn a few weeks more.

We tore up the eggplants and tossed them into a bin of water, then wrestled with the floating pieces. We worked the seeds out from the crevicess of each piece with knife and fingers.

This took more time than extracting pepper or tomato seeds. I thought back to using a blender. At the time we had used a normal blade – we didn’t have the blunt plastic blade that Susan Ashworth suggests in her book seed to seed. Since then, Emily had acquired a new food processor. I went to look at the attachments …

to find that we had a dough kneading hook!

I ran to get the eggplants to try it out …

FOOD PROCESSOR EGGPLANT SEED EXTRACTION

I cut the seedless top off the eggplant.

Split the fruit in half.

Tore chunks of seedy flesh from the skin and tossed them in the food processor.

Then added water, covered and pushed the processor button …

to get a seedy mush.

I transferred this to a bucket.

Filled the bucket with water.

Then decanted the contents to get to the seed at the bottom. I rinsed the seeds and spread them out to dry.

The seeds are undamaged though the kitchen looked like an eggplant bomb had gone off. Now I need to find a food processor for the barn!

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5 responses to “Saving Eggplant Seed

  1. This is good information to know. I use a blender for tomatillo and ground cherry seeds but will remember not to do so with eggplant. So far we are still trying to find a OP variety that performs well enough in our short season to bother saving seeds from. This year the only variety that performed well in our gardens was Millionaire…a hybrid.

    • Mike, I hear you. OP eggplants can be tough. We rely on Dusky and Orient Express as our main eggplants for market and CSA – both reliable hybrids.

      The eggplant featured in the post is Morden Midget; a pretty early OP that sets a fair number of medium sized round fruit.

      Dan

  2. Pingback: A First Year Going to Seed | Going to Seed

  3. Hi. Another easy way to separate the seeds from the flesh is to let the very ripe eggplants rot first. The flesh is then mixed with water, and the water poured out leaving the seeds at the bottom of the bucket. The seed is just as viable as with the above method. It is also recommended to plant a minimum of 6 plants to ensure genetic diversity within your seeds (Ashworth, S. Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners).

  4. Pingback: Saving Tomato How To Save Eggplant Seed For Next Year

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