Heirloom Seeds – Know Your Seed (1st of 3 Part Series)

Here at SeedWise we have three ways seed farmers use to describe their seeds – 1) Heirloom seeds, 2) Open-pollinated seeds, and 3) Certified Organic seeds. In this post we are going to talk about Heirloom Seeds.

I’m sure you’re wondering, what exactly is an heirloom seed? Why should you buy them? Why should you grow them?


Heirloom Seed History

These seeds are pretty cool because of their history. Heirloom seeds are what we consider our are old-time varieties, saved and handed down through multiple generations of families. The term “heirloom” defines a seed that has a documented heritage of passing the seed down from generation to generation within a family or community. Due to this ability, the variety of vegetable, fruit, or flower seed must be:

  1. Open pollinated 
  2. Breed true

“Open pollinated” means seeds pollinated by insects, birds, wind or other natural means. The term “breed true” means that the seeds can retain their original traits from one generation to the next. As a result of these traits, heirlooms have lasted a very long time.

Heirloom Seeds Value

The value of an heirloom seed could lie in its flavor, productivity, hardiness or adaptability. Heirlooms are grown, saved, and passed down for hundreds of years, hence their value has been realized by many generations for an extremely long time. So the key thing here is, these seeds allow you to grow plants that you can harvest for their seeds and are true to their traits.  As a result, you can collect seeds from one year that will produce plants with the characteristics of the plant from the previous year. This is great because it is how generations of people have shared heirloom seeds.

According to EcoWatch, heirloom fruits and vegetables are the better seed choice to grow because they are generally known to produce better taste and flavor. Heirloom seeds are more nutritious and less expensive over the long haul.

So, why buy and grow heirloom seeds? Apart from the reasons already listed, heirloom seeds, most of all, constitute a critical part of our agricultural heritage and help ensure genetic diversity of plant species. SeedWise currently boasts a large selection of vegetable, fruit, and flower heirloom seeds. Check out all of our heirloom seed varieties and talk with the farmer about the history of the seed, I’m sure it’s a great one!

Join humanities agricultural heritage and grow some heirloom seeds!

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