sleepyfairy: (haruka and michiru)
[personal profile] sleepyfairy posting in [community profile] gardening
Heirloom plants are those that haven't been standardized by scientists or commercial growers, but that come from small communities and are bred manually and naturally, so they may not be uniform. They're usually defined as plant varieties that existed before the 1940's when people began looking for more uniform produce that can be farmed for a bigger yield at the expense of taste (which is why I think any supermarket vegetable advertised as "GMO free" is a misnomer, but that's a subject for another time).

A lot of heirloom strains are dying out because in a lot of places it's illegal to sell the seeds (particularly in Europe), which is a shame because even though they tend to be more varied in output they're often much more flavorful than the commercial varieties.

Does anyone here focus on heirloom vegetables? Over the last couple of years I've taken an interest in it and this year I procured a number of seeds from one of the local mennonite families. The girl said that she's glad more people have taken interest in heirloom growing in recent years. They're only labeled like "carrot" or "cabbage" so I'm really looking forward to seeing what I end up with! If so, what do you grow?

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-21 05:37 pm (UTC)
gchick: Small furry animal wearing a tin-foil hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] gchick
Your surprise seeds sound amazing -- please keep us posted as they come up!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-21 07:01 pm (UTC)
sporky_rat: Sailor V being Sailor V (even more sailor v)
From: [personal profile] sporky_rat
I do a bit. I get my seeds from Baker Creek, though.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-22 05:14 pm (UTC)
bridgetmkennitt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bridgetmkennitt
I hadn't heard of Baker Creek, so I just googled for it. This is awesome, thank you. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-21 11:17 pm (UTC)
3rdragon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] 3rdragon
I do! I mostly get my seeds from Baker Creek or Southern Exposure, but we do have one tomato that I got from my landlord, whose father brought it over from Italy about a hundred years ago. Unfortunately I'm not a great seed saver because our yard is tiny and it's hard to keep seed separated for anything that cross-pollinates.

In tomatoes, I'm very partial to Brandywine and Green Zebra, but they aren't wilt-resistant and die mid-summer in our garden, so we're only planting one of each. One of our new audition tomatoes is a Mortgage Lifter that's supposedly wilt-resistant, and Ten Fingers of Naples, which might be.

We're trying a whole bunch of lettuces, machĂȘ and claytonia (miner's lettuce), Zucchini Rampicante, and a couple other C. moschatas.

We're also growing Marketmore 76 for cucumbers; Cossack Pineapple ground cherries; Tonda di Parigi carrots; onions: Walla Walla Sweet, New York Early, and the ones that aren't Red Winchester; and some other things I'm not remembering right now.

I'm Mennonite! But not the kind who farms (despite what my neighbors would have you believe).

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-22 12:11 am (UTC)
3rdragon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] 3rdragon

Be warned: Baker Creek is dangerous. So many seeds, so many colors . . .

We just got the lettuces last fall and didn't get them in the ground soon enough to get a fall crop, so I don't actually know. Baby Oakleaf (I think) was the only one that grew at all, and then most of that died when it got covered in snowmelt ice, so we are eagerly anticipating our first spring harvest. I'll keep you posted.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-27 12:11 am (UTC)
3rdragon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] 3rdragon
Oh, and beans! How could I forget the beans? While not Heirloom Bean People, we do have a few. We grow Queen Anne cowpeas, Small Red beans, Scarlet Runner beans, and a couple of random farmer's market ones that we forgot the names of. I don't have a favorite of those yet because last year we made the mistake of trying to plant them among the zucchini, so they were pretty shadowed for the first half of the season, and then late fall was very warm and wet and a lot of our harvest molded on the vine instead of drying out. But the Scarlet Runner bean that went up a floor and a half to the second floor balcony was pretty impressive.

And Shronce's Black peanuts, which so far have produce very, very small harvests, but that we keep planting for the cool factor. (Weird-looking plants. And we grow our own PEANUTS!)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-22 01:01 am (UTC)
cyprinella: Rosemary sprigs on a white background (rosemary)
From: [personal profile] cyprinella
I'm doing a lot of upper south selected plants from Southern Exposure Seed exchange this year. Their farm is like 90 miles from my house so I figure it's more likely to do well than something farmed in another region. I love heirloom catalogs for this kind of focus!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-22 05:39 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
I have grown heritage tomatoes and zucchini, both of which did very well, though the tomatoes were incredibly slow to ripen. Heritage seeds are a bit limited in Australia due to our very strict quarantine laws, but there's still quite a few available, especially for tomatoes.

The problem with the heritage zucchini plants was that we ended up with six of them, and they went absolutely wild. We were supplying the entire town's zucchini needs at one point.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-22 08:50 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
Cocozelle, Golden and the main culprit, Black Beauty.

Oh, we made so much zucchini bread. And muffins. And cakes. And pasta sauce. And pasta. And had a big basket of zucchini at work for customers to take whatever they wanted, once all our co-workers were saying no more!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-23 09:36 am (UTC)
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
From: [personal profile] cesy
Why is it illegal to sell the seeds in Europe?

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-28 12:08 am (UTC)
tielan: (AVG - agents)
From: [personal profile] tielan
I'm in Australia and I currently get mine from Diggers Club Australia, which has a reasonable selection of heirloom veggie types and the added bonus of pissing off right-wing conservatives in their Letters Column...

I've also gotten heirloom vegies from Southern Harvest (in Tasmania, at the Salamanca Markets), and from Eden Seeds...actually most of the seed companies that I order from have some heirloom seeds in their catalogues. Or maybe that's just me, instantly attracted to anything with the word 'heirloom' in it.

As to the ones I've grown...well, the pumpkins are going kind of crazy, and while I'm not certain that these ones are the heirloom mix that I tossed into a seedling tray back in spring, chances are pretty good that at least one or two of them are...

I have an heirloom italian eggplant that I'm growing - it's not doing too badly (last year was the Summer Of The Zucchini; this year is the Summer Of The Eggplant).

For next summer, I've managed to get hold of a packet of 'Mountain Glass Corn' which is the brilliantly coloured kernel corn. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it since it's best used for grinding rather than eating, but...I'll work something out.


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