"Black man, you are on your own" - Steve Biko (18 December 1946 – 12 September 1977).
September 12th, marks the day South Africa anti-Apartheid activist and Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko was killed in police custody in Pretoria. Biko had been arrested a month earlier in Port Elizabeth where he had been detained and tortured, resulting in him falling into a coma.
Nearly dead and suffering a serious and untreated head injury, Biko was transported to Pretoria by car and died shortly after his arrival at the prison there. Police at the time would claim and broadcast to the world that Biko died due to a hunger strike but an autopsy and photographs taken of Biko postmortem, exposed with the help of journalists Donald Woods and Helen Zille, revealed that he had died as a result of the injuries he sustained whilst in police custody.
Today, nearly 40 years after his death at age 30, we remember a man that fought for an end to the brutality he and countless others suffered and still do today. The fight is far from over.
I can’t believe I found some red and gold New Zealand tamarillos. Come to think of it, the first and last time I had them was 15 years ago in NZ. These guys are in the nightshade family - yup, cousins to the tomatoes, potato, peppers eggplants! They actually taste like a cross between a beefy San Marzano and a physalis. I scooped out the flesh into some gazpacho, because the skin tends to be too thick and acrid to eat.
After some research, and it looks like the seed saving approach is very much like what is done with tomato seeds - yer gotta ferment them. There is a gooey coating on these seeds that prevents germination, and the easiest way to remove that goo is to simply rot it off through fermentation. Gross, I know, but it works.
Anyhoot, it’s a little bit late to plant this year, but I try it next spring.
I’ve heard about this fermentation drying method, but it seems counterintutive (and icky, especially while living in a small apartment with a lady friend who has Virgo on the ascendant). I’ve always just spooned out tomato/pepper/physalis/tamarillo seeds, plopped them into a fine-mesh strainer, rinsed and massaged off as much pulp as possible (not really necessary with peppers), then spooned the seeds onto a paper plate or folded paper towel. I’ll let the seeds sit uncovered, out of direct light, for at least two weeks. Then I’ll pull/gently scrape the seeds off of the paper and put them into coin envelopes or clean baby jars. Germination rates are just fine the following season.