Monday, April 22, 2013
My husband and I tend to favor heirloom vegetables over hybrids in our garden for many reasons. Here are a few:
1. You can save the seeds. If you have the time and know how, you will be able to save some seeds from this year's crop to use in next year's garden. A nice perk is the fact that you will be saving a little money. If you save the seeds of a hybrid plant and plant them in your garden, you never know what you will end up with as it won't grow true to type.
2. Heirlooms seeds have stories that have been passed down from year to year, generation after generation. This fascinates me. I love the names of all of my heirloom tomatoes and am curious to know more about their origin. I recently read Janisse Ray's book, The Seed Underground. It's a great place to learn more about heirlooms and the people in this country who are ensuring that they still exist in the world.
3. Taste. You'll hear this over and over again. Heirlooms still exist because people like how they taste. They were never bred to look beautiful (though some still are) or to be shipped long distances. The main reason for their existence is that they are delicious.
A few places to find heirloom seeds:
Seed Savers Exchange
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Maybe there's even a seed company in your town that sells heirloom seeds, and you just don't know about them yet. My tiny town has a seed company with wonderful heirloom varieties. Do some research! Join a seed saving group. Start a seed saving group. Host an heirloom seed swap. Help preserve seed diversity by planting many heirlooms in your own garden.
Do you grow heirloom vegetables? Do you save seeds? Do you have any seeds that have been saved by your family members and passed down to you? I'd love to hear about it.