What are heirloom varieties and why are they important?

Relics are often the tastiest products because seed varieties that didn't taste very good simply weren't kept. Relics are those beautiful varieties that were bred by small farmers around the world before they had to worry about choosing varieties that would keep for weeks and weeks or that shipped well. Because relics are ancient, many of these seed varieties have interesting stories associated with them. For example, the mallard “Black Watchman” can be traced back to Thomas Jefferson's garden in Monticello (and is mentioned in texts as early as 162.Thanks to gardeners passing on these seeds from generation to generation, this variety of mallard with almost black flowers can still be grown today.

In addition, you have an interesting story to tell anyone who asks about this tall and eye-catching plant in your garden. People can choose to cultivate relics for many reasons. On the one hand, traditional fruits and vegetables are well known for their unique flavor profiles, with that homegrown feel that's hard to find in supermarkets. They have been cultivated to be tasty and fill particular culinary niches wherever they are.

Regardless of their color, shape or size, their flavors have ensured continuous planting in home gardens year after year.

Heirloom seeds

come from favorite historic plant cultivars that have been passed down from generation to generation to communities or families. A defining characteristic of heirloom seeds is that they have open pollination, which means that the plants that produced them were pollinated by natural means. Natural pollination occurs through insects, birds, or the wind in nature, not through human intervention in a laboratory.

The resulting plants are genetically diverse, allowing adaptation to the local climate and growing conditions over time. Stories about the origins of traditional vegetables are a big part of their charm. But relics, because of their resistance and resistance to diseases and pests, are more than charming. They play a valuable role in organic gardens.

As the number of varieties offered by commercial seed companies shrinks, it's encouraging to know that relics are becoming as popular as they were in the Radiator Charlie days. As compensation for the many wonderful attributes that relics bring to the table, heirloom gardening requires a little patience. All non-GMO relic garden seeds you'll find in the box stores offered by Planet Natural are untreated, non-GMO and are NOT purchased from Monsanto owned Seminis. Another great quality of relics is that, as open-pollinated plants, they become real to be typified from seed and can be harvested and replanted in the following years.

With the increasing demand for heirloom seeds, you'll find that it's not as difficult as before to obtain them. And, as mentioned above, one of the defining characteristics of relic seeds is that they were considered something of value, kept and transmitted from generation to generation, hence the nickname relic. Some people claim that heirloom plants are those that were introduced before 1951, while others claim that heirloom varieties are those that were introduced before the 1920s. Heirloom seeds come from open-pollinated plants that transmit similar characteristics and traits from the parent plant to the daughter plant.

But over the years, I've done my research and started to have a healthy respect for heirloom plants and seeds. You may wonder why people once moved away from the heirloom seed and started creating hybrid plants. Much sweeter, juicier and more flavorful than a commercially grown tomato, traditional homegrown tomato seeds restore one of the greatest pleasures of summer. .

Erika Shipley
Erika Shipley

Subtly charming beer nerd. Extreme internet specialist. Devoted travel junkie. Proud coffee maven. Friendly problem solver.