For us, Heirloom Seeds are very important. It is preserving natural history. Did you know that at one time there were 288 Beet varieties available commercially? Now there are 17! How about Sweet Corn? In 1903 there were 307 varieties and now there are 12 varieties available. This is sad, scary and maddening all at the same time.
If we have lost this many varieties in 110 years, what will happen in the next 50 and 100 years. Will your grand-children and their children be eating Soilent Green?
So back to the question...What is an heirloom seed?
I've decided to elaborate on my standard response.
|Cherokee Purple Tomato|
Hybrids and gmo varieties are not heirlooms. These have been genetically "tweaked." We call gmo varieties franken-seeds and they are not welcome in our house OR our garden.
I have written about GMOs many times.
Heirloom varieties are often called rare because they aren't "mainstream" and if you do find them in the store they're expensive!
|Atomic Red Carrot|
Even if you don't have a "green thumb" it is important to preserve the integrity of our food and genetic biodiversity. Plant an heirloom tomato and save a few seeds. Plant heirloom lettuce or radishes and save the seeds. What...You didn't know that radish and lettuce bloom and produce seeds? More on that later!
|French Breakfast Radish (grown in the US, 1895)|
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