I was just talking to my father-in-law about the seeds we each started this weekend. He told me of this method that the old-timers in the family used to start tomato seeds. This would date back to about the Great Depression era, but I imagine it would still work. In fact, he is testing it out this season, so I'll be sure to update later. It sounds very credible to me. Those old-timers really did know a thing or two about gardening.
1) Go out into the forest. Look near the base of old firs or other trees that haven't been disturbed in a long, long time.
2) Scrape away the top level of moss, leaves, branches, etc. Find that rich, black soil where top-level organics have become part of the soil. Scoop up a bunch of that and bring it home.
3) Place that rich, black soil into small planting containers and pat down rather firmly. Water the soil.
4) Place a few tomato seeds on top but do NOT push down into the soil.
5) Cover with a layer or two of newspaper, cut to fit the container.
6) Place in a warm area, and make sure it does not dry out.
7) Check every other day or so. The tomato seeds will put down a root into the soil and start lifting up. When they do, remove the newspaper and place the seedlings in a warm, well-light sunny location.