The discussion on what a heirloom vegetable is has been debated for many years. Some consider heirloom vegetables to be any vegetable cultivar that's been grown for a certain amount of time. Others think a heirloom vegetable is only a heirloom if it's been passed down by a family or if a special group has preserved them. Heirloom seeds are often called treasures because the seeds may be older than most of our grandparents.
What are Heirloom Seeds?
Heirloom seeds are not hybrid seeds. Hybrid seeds cannot reproduce the same exact plant and most of the time, it won't produce a single seed. The biggest problem with hybrid seeds is that after the first generation of seeds, it will become less and less desirable. Heirloom seeds are completely the opposite, as the freshness and taste will remain the same for many decades.
Many gardeners prefer heirloom seeds because of the freshness and taste of the vegetables and fruits that grow from the seeds. Fruits and vegetables grown from heirloom seeds are often more flavorful and unique looking than fruits and vegetables not grown from heirloom seeds.
Popular Types of Heirloom Fruits and Vegetables
There are many types of heirloom fruits and vegetables. Some of the more popular ones are listed below.
Eggplants are one of the favorites among heirloom vegetables, because of the variety of shapes, color and flavor you won't find at any grocery store.
Watermelons such as moon and stars are popular amongst heirloom gardeners. It's green rind speckled with tiny yellow stars is what attracts gardeners. And of course, the taste is unmatched.
Amana Orange is a beef stake tomatoe that doesn't have a lot of seeds. This heirloom vegetable has a great taste and is perfect for burgers or sandwiches.
Cherokee Long Ear corn is a favorite among heirloom growers. With it's flavorable taste, you won't be disappointed, and it's great for making tasty popcorn. Cherokee Long Ear corn is very popular with industrial kernels.
Christmas Lima Beans have climbing vines that produce large seeds that are white with maroon streaks.
Jackson's Wonder Bush is another great tasting lima bean that's been around since the 1880's.
You can't go wrong with a heirloom potato. Many different types of heirloom potatoes exist, such as the Russian Banana, which has a waxy texture and yellow flesh.
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