Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why Heirloom Seeds?

Excellent flavor. Colorful histories. Funny names. Unusual varieties. Heirloom seeds offer these benefits and more. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider heirloom seeds:

  • Heirlooms are open-pollinated plants with seeds that reproduce true to type year after year – unlike hybrids.

  • Heirloom seeds can be saved for the next growing season – unlike hybrids. So, when you plant heirloom seeds, you are actually helping to preserve our vanishing garden heritage for future generations.

  • Heirloom plants offer a much wider selection of unusual plants than hybrids. You can grow everything from white egg-shaped tomatoes to purple carrots and candy-striped beets. Not your typical edibles.

  • Heirlooms are bred for their superior flavor. Unlike common hybrids that are typically bred for shipping and traveling long distances – not flavor.

  • Heirlooms can be quite old. Some experts believe heirlooms must be more than 100 years old. Others 50 years. Still others believe heirlooms can be created from crossing two or more heirlooms. These are called “created heirlooms.” Here's what the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension had to say on the topic.

Need another reason to grow heirloom seeds? Well, planting heirlooms helps ensure the survival of some very special plants. What could be better than that?

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