Thursday, March 8, 2012

Heirloom vrs. Hybrid Part 1

   In the next few post I am gonna do my best to answer a question that is always asked. What is the difference between "heirloom seeds and hybrid seeds?" I am no scientist, all I know is what I was taught growing up and the investigation that I am about to undertake! Part 1 will deal directly with heirloom seeds!
   It has been said that for generations when a young couple would get married that their parents would give them a house warming package of many different essentials to start the journey in life together and to be able to sustain and grow a large beautiful family. Within that package was two of the most important things that they would need to start their family, one was a family Bible to continue their walk with Jesus and one of the others was a package of all the seeds that their family had grown for generations, showing where the word "heirloom" comes from. Both the seeds and the Bible have been strong and true, never changing and tested for ever!
  The term heirloom seeds refers to any of a variety of seeds that come from plants that were grown historically but have not been used in modern agriculture on a large scale. Any 

plant, whether potato or tomato can have heirloom varieties, which vary in appearance and taste from the commonly known, mass-produced versions sold in most stores. Heirloom seeds also preserve traditional and different strains of various plants. People grow heirlooms for a number of reasons, ranging from their often-unique flavors to their historical and genetic significance. Unlike modern hybrids, heirloom seeds are open-pollinated, which means they will breed true and can be saved by the gardener from year to year — an important consideration for food security and self-sufficiency. There is differences in opinion with this, I read a good article about the co-founder of Wild Garden Seeds, Frank Morton. He says that this is "impossible", read more about "Better Heirloom Vegetables" and see what Frank is saying!  Heirloom vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs have remained popular with home gardeners because they grow well and taste great. Heirloom food plants are varieties that have been selected for their flavor, resistance to pests and diseases, and other traits important to home gardeners.
   Check your local market or area farm stands for heirloom fruits and vegetables, or look online or at a nursery and try growing some heirloom varieties in your own garden. I get a West Virginia Market Bulletin in the mail, people are always listing and trading heirloom seeds in the classified section. Also, heirloom varieties are not limited to plants. Just as thousands of varieties of plants have gone extinct from industry efforts at uniformity, so have hundreds of heritage livestock breeds ceased to exist. Keep an eye open for heirloom and heritage crops and breeds, as they are a great way to preserve regional life while experiencing new and exciting foods.
   So why choose Heirlooms? Well from my experience they just taste better (that id their fruit), they have been scientifically proven to have more vitamins and minerals, they don't all ripen at once and you have more of a selection of seeds to choose from. In simple terms heirlooms have been raised through the years to withstand the diseases, pest, blights, etc. that can hit plants. Kind of like our walk with Christ, never being perfect but being able to with stand the bad stuff around us better! I would be excited from any of your comments and wisdom on this subject!

Well I hope that helps here are some links to help find these heirlooms:

Psalm 12:3 "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward."
Proverbs 13:22 "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous."

45 comments:

  1. I love that people used to pass along their seeds. Talk about a gift that kept giving.

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    1. You ain't kiddin! I wish we would have been taught this in my family!

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  2. Thanks for explaining that. Last year I bought heirloom bush beans and was able to save some for this year. I hope to be able to add more heirloom seeds this year.

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  3. We saved seed year to year for our garden when I was growing up.. but then almost all seed were not hybrid... and you could!

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    1. We need to try to keep heirlooms preserved!

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  4. Yes it is important to take care of each other and our planet.
    Then it's love, space and food for all.
    Good Friday, Marit, Norway.

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  5. Thank you for the story of "heirloom", I knew but I didn't know... I didn't put it together. Now I wont have to ask my Farmer Hubby which one is which. I'll remember the story and connect the name. So cool!

    Sassy

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    1. Thats to funny! But I will give you a hint. We still like it when you ask us, makes us feel special!

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  6. What a wonderful tradition of passing on the Bible and the seeds.

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    1. Seeds from both being planted in the next generation!

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  7. I love the idea of gifting heirloom seeds and a Bible ~ my new standard for Wedding gifts!

    I am growing exclusively heirloom seeds now. But I wonder, can't they change from generation to generation with cross pollination? If I am growing two or three different types of, say, heirloom squash, won't they cross and the seeds be a 'mule' next year? I know not all plants cross, but to be safe, I am only growing one kind of the seeds I want to save pure. Maybe grow something different next year and save those seeds too. Eventually I will have a variety. It's all so exciting and challenging, isn't it!

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    1. Thats what Frank Morton, the link I posted in the article says. Read that link and see how he explains it. I wanted to give both sides to it and he explained it the best!

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  8. I have always wondered about heirloom seeds. Thanks for the information, I now love heirloom seeds even more:)
    I am hopping on Katherines Corner Blog Hop today and having fun (and learning new things)

    My Turn (for us)

    http://myturn-evelyn.blogspot.com/

    Thanks ever so much, I enjoyed the visit.

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  9. Clint in my family you got a bible, seeds and a quilt frame. I grow almost exclusively heirloom. I like that once I make an initial purchase of those seeds I never need to buy them again but rather just save my own. Back when I would purchase my seeds it never failed that when I found a variety that produced dependably in my area after a few years they would remove it from their catalog for the "new hybrid" and I would have to start all over again finding a dependable variety again. Now that I save seeds I know that the seeds in my seed stash are all suited to my area and dependable producers for my zone.

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    1. Another great point! And its so much freer. lol!

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  10. What a great series to start! I have wondered about the hybrid vs heirloom, open-pollinated vs not. I see the open-pollinated in seed catalogs and just recently did some research to discover what all that meant. What seed catalogs have you found to have a good selection open-pollinated?

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    1. I will post a list!
      There are many, and I am sure many here can help us so I will post another post to help us both!

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  11. Passing along 'seeds' is practical and spiritual!
    I liked this article.

    I'm also inquiring about a comment you left on my "editing the garden" post. You had said that the Chickens may get rid of the ants in the Hugelkultur bed? How so? Won't the ants be an endangerment for the chickens? I know I don't like when the ants bite and sting me. I don't currently have a fence around the H.Bed ...but am not opposed to letting them have their day on the mound; if in fact it is safe for them. Gardening and Chicken raising...all new to me. Any advice would be helpful.
    btw...it has rained since putting the DE on the mound-- so I'd most definitely need to replace.

    thanks for stopping by and commenting at CORN!

    ~HAVE A BLESSED WEEKEND!

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    1. I don't think the chicken will be harmed and would probably leave if they felt threatened. Raising Chickens I did as a child with Grammy and my brother, so it has been a while since I have raised but I do remember they would eat anything!

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  12. I do my best to buy non-biotech seeds. I like to be able to save my own seeds if possible.

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    1. Thats great Nancy! We need to keep them preserved!

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  13. What a beautiful history shared! We prefer heirloom seeds over they hybrids and are looking forward to saving seeds from our crops this year (I have only tried this once and only from a few plants).
    Looking forward to the next installment!

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  14. Thanks "Mr Gardener." :) I hope to learn seed saving techniques soon, so my heirloom seeds don't go to nothing. But first I must grow some of the seeds successfully. Thanks for your tips!

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    1. I have two questions to post on from this article, I will post on this one nearer tome to save. That way you will be prepared!

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  15. Thanks for the tip, Mr "Gardener." Now if I can just get my heirloom seeds to grow, and then learn how to save the seeds... :)

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  16. Heirloom tomatoes taste so much better than hybrids that are bred for long storage or size.

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    1. Yes they do, much juicier and sweeter!

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  17. what a wonderful way of putting the heirloom seeds into perspective.

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  18. I think that's interesting that people would pass along seeds. That's something I wish would be revived in our American culture!! Thanks for you explanation on what heirloom seeds are all about :) Greetings from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

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    1. I do as well, It would be a great movement!

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  19. Clint I learn so much from you! I'm so happy you linked this post to the blog hop today xo

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! I just try to pass on what I have learned from God, my wife, my Grammy and dad! I am glad it helps others!

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  20. This is a very interesting post, I really enjoyed the story at the beginning of the post on the history of heirloom. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hello there! I am glad you enjoyed please come back anytime!

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  21. Hi, I am new to your site and I am really enjoying it. Thanks!

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  22. Nice to meet you Savannah! I hope you come back and share some with us. God Bless!

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  23. Your blog is always so informative, Clint! I never knew the real story behind heirlooms so thanks for sharing that. I find it amazing that there are now some heirlooms that you can only get from a few handfuls of families, as they have become stewards of some of these almost extinct varieties.

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    1. Yes you are right. But places like http://www.southernexposure.com/ have programs to get those types of seeds more available!

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  24. What a wonderful tradition to pass along a Bible and seeds...

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  25. Thank you for all of the information! You, as always are an inspiration to us all.

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