The Q&A Archives: Heirloom Seeds

Question: What are heirloom seeds?

Answer: Heirloom seeds come from older varieties of vegetables, flowers, and herbs. These varieties are often ones that had been used for decades or even hundreds of years, and many were almost lost to the trade. But recent interest in the characteristics of varieties that "grandma used to grow" has brought these wonderful plants back into public demand. Sometimes they don't have the qualities that large-scale operations need, such as ripening all at once, disease resistance, or uniform appearance. But they have other appealing features, such as unique flavor, fragrance, color, shape, etc., that fell out of fashion or was lost in the development of newer varieties. Most heirlooms are open-pollinated, too, so you can save the seed from year to year. If you haven't tried some of the heirlooms, do so, and I'm sure you will be pleased!

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