Sunday, March 27, 2011

More on Heirlooms from The New York Times

It seems to me as though half the plant-related articles in The New York Times in recent times are about heirloom vegetables. This one questions some of the common assumptions about their qualities, but still ends with a list of sources for heirloom seeds:

In the Garden: Heirloom Seeds or Flinty Hybrids?

Meanwhile, though I appreciate the discussion of heirloom vegetables, I am starting to wonder why heirloom flower varieties do not elicit similar interest.


  1. Hi, I enjoyed the article a lot. I think one has to differentiate between using hybrids in the hobby garden and using them in agriculture in the third world, preventing farmers from propagating their own seeds and becoming reliant on seed companies. In my own garden, this year I'm doing a test of tomatoes from three kinds of seeds: heirloom purchased from an organic coop specializing in them, a hybrid purchased from a major seed company, and seeds propagated from my own most successful tomatoes. I want to test both resistance to blight and also taste. BTW the coop I purchased the heirloom tomato seeds from also offers many old varieties of heirloom flowers. I guess the reason they elicit less interest is because they aren't eaten!

  2. You make a very good point. Personally, I find heirlooms interesting for the home garden mainly because they are often unusual, whether in appearance or in taste - or both - but I also appreciate many modern hybrids. Your tomato trial sounds really interesting. I will be interested to hear which plants do best!


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