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Explain "Heirloom" please...

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Explain "Heirloom" please...

Post  jjphoto on 3/25/2010, 10:53 pm

I haven't been able to find a good plain english definition of heirloom anywhere, and all the seed websites just say "heirloom" without really going into detail about what it means. From what I understand, it's a seed that's been around since WWII era, is that correct?

Can someone tell me a little bit about these and what their advantages are? I asked the guy I know here locally that's really into gardening (he has a couple acres that he gardens) and he didn't even know.
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Re: Explain "Heirloom" please...

Post  choksaw on 3/25/2010, 11:28 pm

Heirloom in refrence to seeds means they have been around for centuries passed down through family lines through the years by seed savers they are not hybrids or bred for immunities such as alot of tomatoe plants (they usualy have initials after them) they are seeds saved from way back befor most of us were even a twinkle in our parents eyes in my personal opinion they taste much better. Thats about as plain as i can think of atm
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Re: Explain "Heirloom" please...

Post  timwardell on 3/25/2010, 11:39 pm

Check out this link:
http://www.seedsavers.org/Content.aspx?src=savingheirlooms.htm

I buy all my heirloom seed from seed savers. They are a great group dedicated to preserving biodiversity. ... Heirloom seeds are what the name implies - they've been passed down for generations. They will also produce true to type - meaning if you plant and heirloom, grow the plant, pick the fruit/vegetable, and remove the seed = planting that seed will produce a plant like the parent (assuming no cross-pollination has occurred). Hybrid seed - 95% of all veggie seed sold - will not produce true to type. You can't plant a tomato seed from a hybrid tomato plant and get a plant that matches the parent.
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Re: Explain "Heirloom" please...

Post  jjphoto on 3/25/2010, 11:54 pm

That sounds like exactly what I'm looking for! I've saved seeds over the past years from plants and then planted them the next year and had very different results from the previous year. Definitely food for thought.
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Re: Explain "Heirloom" please...

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 3/26/2010, 7:17 am

Hi,
You asked for what are some of the advantages of heirloom vegetables, they produce a crop over the whole growing season instead just a few days. Commercial agriculture has a difficult time harvesting a plant which produces a little at a time, they are much happier when they can remove the whole crop at once. Heirloom plants are fequently a plant which would be more difficult to get to market in a salable condition. As a result they usually taste much better straight from your home garden. Hope this helps.

Patty in Yorktown
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