What Are Heirloom Seeds?
The best definition for heirloom seeds is that they are open-pollinated (non-hybrid seeds) and are grown in an earlier era. Some heirloom seeds are a hundred years old or more. There are also some heirlooms that were originated around the turn of the 20th century.
An heirloom seed produces plants with the same traits. Some gardeners prefer heirloom seeds because they could resist pests and diseases which are important for gardeners.
Hybrid Seeds vs. Heirloom Seeds
Hybrid seeds costs you a lot of money. You cannot keep them because they germinate poorly and they are unlikely to produce plants with the same traits. You cannot gather and re-use the seeds so you will have no choice but to buy another seed for the next planting season.
Buying heirloom seeds will save you a lot of money. Unlike hybrid seeds, heirloom seeds breed true which means you can gather and re-use seeds for the next planting season. They also grow well and tastes great and are not genetically engineered. You can also store heirloom seeds but be careful in storing them. You must store them correctly in dry, cool, dark conditions.
Where to Buy Heirloom Seeds
There are a lot of places where to buy heirloom seeds. You can check some suggestions below:
1. Seed Savers Exchange
Founded in 1975, Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds.
2. Territorial Seed Company
Territorial Seed Company is a privately held company, wholly owned by Tom and Julie Johns. Founder Steve Solomon sold the company to Tom and Julie Johns in 1985.
3. High Mowing Seeds
High Mowing Organic Seeds began in 1996. Founder Tom Stearns tilled up a portion of his backyard and turned his shed into a seed packing area. The business has grown by 2001; Tom began to contract with other local farms to grow seed.
4. The Cottage Gardener
Founded in 1996, the Cottage Gardener is a family owned and operated farm-based seed house started by Mary and Dan Brittain. The Cottage Gardener provides rare, open-pollinated, non-GMO heirloom varieties to gardeners.
For more suggestions, see Source: treehugger.com
Things to Consider In Buying Heirloom Seeds
In buying heirloom seeds you must consider how fresh the seeds are, heirloom seeds can be stored for years. You might also consider if you are getting the right price. Consider also domestic seeds, meaning seeds that are proven to be good in your country are unlikely to grow in other country. For example heirloom seeds from the USA are not likely to grow well in Australia.